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Best and worst cities for car insurance

Posted On Thu, February 6, 2014

When choosing where to live, you might not take into account how much your car insurance will cost, but you should.

As the price of vehicle insurance varies based on a wide array of things, it is not likely to stay the same if you move. A recent study from NerdWallet investigated this trend.

"To find the average car insurance rates of the 125 largest cities in the United States, we used the profile of a 26-year-old male without any history of accidents, insuring a 2012 Toyota Camry with extended coverage (100/300/50 with a 500 deductible)," read the study. "In calculating averages for each city, we only used zip codes within city limits and not in the city's metro area."

According to the data, North Carolina is one place a driver would want to move, as six of top 10 cities for car insurance were located in the state. The report suggested that because North Carolina has drive-friendly car insurance laws, it's one of the best places when it comes to insurance costs.

Here's the list of the best cities for car insurance:

  1. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  2. Greensboro, N.C.
  3. Raleigh, N.C.
  4. Durham, N.C.
  5. Charlotte, N.C.
  6. Boise, Idaho
  7. Rochester, N.Y.
  8. Fayetteville, N.C.
  9. Spokane, Wash.
  10. Montgomery, Ala. 

The study did show that drivers overpay an average of $368 a year for car insurance. Those assessing their options are encouraged to get car insurance quotes before signing up, especially if they live in some of the worst cities for insurance.

Here's a list of the worst cities for car insurance:

  1. Detroit
  2. New Orleans
  3. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  4. Newark, N.J.
  5. Baton Rouge, La.
  6. Hialeah, Fla.
  7. Jersey City, N.J.
  8. Louisville, Ken.
  9. Miami
  10. Philadelphia

Best practices to find the lowest rates
While car insurance rates can vary widely across the country, it's important to find reputable help when looking for coverage. Aside from driving as safely as possible, insurance rates can be kept low by maintaining good credit and comparing rates for cars you might be interested in.

As insurance companies investigate your credit score to determine rates, it's also important to make sure your finances are in order. Request a credit report to see where you stand. Then take steps to improving your situation and building credit. 

Aside from ensuring you look good on paper, there are other ways to keep insurance costs down. If you are purchasing a vehicle, keep in mind that rates vary depending on which one you choose. Sure you might be able to afford the asking price for that Corvette, but don't forget about the cost to insure it.

Feedback or questions? Email the editor here.

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