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How Your Location Affects Your Car Insurance Rates

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/26/2011

Where you live can affect your car insurance rates as much as your driving record does.

A Picture of the USA and the Different Cities Where Insurance Rates are Different

Where you live in the country will determine your car insurance rates

As we have talked about many times before on this site, insurance companies base their car insurance rates off a number of different factors. Some you have control over, like your driving record, and some you just don’t. One of the biggest factors that you have no control over is the area that you live in.

Insurance companies use statistics to chart the factors that would eventually lead to claims in geographical areas. The higher the chance that a vehicle in a certain location would have a claim reported on it, the higher the car insurance rate will be for that area. So, unless you want to contact every insurance company in the nation to find out where they charge the cheapest rates and then move there; you really have no control over this.

What Increases Car Insurance Rates in a Location?

A location will see increased car insurance rates whenever there is a greater chance of a situation happening that a client will have to report a claim on their vehicle for. Locations that have high crime rates have a higher chance of a vehicle being stolen or vandalized. Locations that have a high number of irresponsible or less experienced drivers have greater chances of an accident in general happening.

Also locations that have roads with high speeds or high populations of drivers have a higher chance of a serious, possibly fatal, accident happening. This last category can have the greatest affect on insurance premiums. Serious accidents with injuries and fatalities are going to be the most costly for an insurance company in terms of the amount paid out on a claim. 

All of these situations and factors come into play when an insurance company is setting the car insurance rates for a certain area. They then have to submit a request for the rate to be approved by the Department of Insurance or Insurance Commissioner in the state they are setting the car insurance rates in. Until these rates are approved, they cannot begin to use them.

Cities that Would Have Higher Car Insurance Rates

The following 15 cities made the list as the most dangerous cities (population of 150,000 or more) to drive in according to information from the National Highway Traffic safety Administration ( ).  This information was based on the number of car accident related deaths compared to population, which is just one of the factors that insurance companies use to calculate their insurance rates.

Even so, the people that live in these cities most likely pay higher car insurance rates than a person living somewhere else.

  1. Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  2. Orlando, FL.
  3. Augusta-Richmond, GA.
  4. Little Rock, AR.
  5. San Bernardino, Ca.
  6. Salt Lake City, UT.
  7. Chattanooga, TN.
  8. Jackson, MS.
  9. Memphis, TN.
  10. Lubbock, TX.
  11. Jacksonville, FL.
  12. St. Petersburg, FL.
  13. Tulsa, OK.
  14. Birmingham, AL.
  15. Oklahoma, OK.

Does anyone else notice that there is one state in particular that makes a repeat appearance multiple times on this list? To think, I’ve always been worried about driving in Southern California.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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