Why do you have to provide your address or ZIP code when seeking a quote? It’s because insurance costs, requirements, and needs vary dramatically depending on where you live. Here, we break down the different local considerations to keep in mind when searching for auto insurance near you.
Average Cost of Car Insurance Near You
Baseline insurance costs can vary substantially by state. The average driver in Brooklyn, New York, for example, pays much more for insurance than someone living in Boise, Idaho.1
The reason for this is regional variance in risk. Insurance companies assess things like local collision, car theft, and car vandalism rates, as well as standard factors like your age, driving history, and credit score, to determine a quote. If you live in a city with high rates of theft and accidents, your premium is going to be higher than it is for someone living in a less risky area.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements by State
Where you live also determines how much coverage you are required to buy. All states have some minimum auto insurance requirements, but they vary significantly. For example, minimum liability insurance requirements factor directly into what you pay each month and your claims service. New Jersey asks for just $5,000 in minimum property damage liability coverage per accident, while Michigan requires $1 million in coverage for damage your car causes in-state!2
Of course, it is often a good idea to elect for more than the minimum coverage. While you can technically drive in New Jersey with just $5,000 in property damage liability per accident, you may be responsible for high out-of-pocket expenses if you get into an accident that causes more than $5,000 in property damage. It’s a good idea to weigh what you can afford with the amount of protection you get with each plan. Online quotes can help with this process.
Location-Specific Optional Coverage
The same advice applies for add-on insurance coverage; where you live may impact which useful but optional coverage you purchase. A driver with a new car in a city with high collision rates, for instance, may want a plan with accident forgiveness, while someone in Florida may opt for a company that can insure their boat as well.
If you have location-specific needs, take them into account when shopping around for auto insurance. Perks like roadside assistance are standard in some plans and pricey add-ons in others. Certain companies specialize in selling car insurance on its own, while others offer every insurance type under the sun, from renters insurance to life insurance.