If you own a car, then your insurance bill is no doubt part of your budget. Rates can vary by several hundred dollars depending on where you live, and it turns out, the difference between full and minimal coverage makes a big difference too.
- Michigan is the most expensive state to buy car insurance for both minimum ($5,282) and full coverage ($8,723) policies due to its unique requirement of no-limit personal injury protection.
- Maine is at the other end of the spectrum with the cheapest rates in the country at just $1,268 for full and $489 for minimum coverage amounts.
- The average cost difference between full and minimum coverage across the entire U.S. is $1,453.
- For full coverage, the average cost around the country is just under $2,400 or about $200 per month.
We found the data for our visualization at ValuePenguin, a cost and financial product comparison website. We pulled together both full and minimal coverage averages for each state, ranking from highest to lowest in a spiral stacked bar chart. Minimal coverage is defined for these purposes as the least amount of insurance a motorist can carry and still legally operate a vehicle. Full coverage means also taking on collision and comprehensive coverage above the minimum, as well as extra liability coverage. Read more about ValuePenguin’s specific methodology here. Suffice it to say, this approach lets you easily see an apples-to-apples comparison of auto insurance rates around the country.
Top 5 Lowest Auto Insurance Rates by State (Full Coverage)
1. Maine: $1,268
2. Hawaii: $1,340
3. North Carolina: $1,434
4. Iowa: $1,482
5. Indiana: $1,489
Top 5 Lowest Auto Insurance Rates by State (Minimum Coverage)
1. Iowa: $357
2. South Dakota: $420
3. Hawaii: $475
4. Alaska: $485
5. Wyoming: $485
Our visual makes it clear how there are major differences in cost between minimal and full coverage. The average difference comes out to $1,453 per year. The state with the biggest difference is Michigan ($3,441), followed by Rhode Island ($2,258) and Louisiana ($2,196). In fact, the lowest difference between full and minimal coverage can be found in Maine, where drivers can still save $779 each year with the cheapest policies. This means you could find some significant savings in your monthly budget by switching to the cheapest policy available, especially if your car is sitting idle now thanks to lockdowns and quarantines.
There’s one big reason why auto insurance rates are so high in Michigan. The state uniquely required all motorists to purchase unlimited personal injury protection. This was extremely expensive for insurance companies, so they passed the cost to consumers, resulting in the highest rates in the country for both full ($8,723) and minimum ($5,282) coverage. Last year, Michigan passed a law changing this requirement starting in spring 2020, meaning Michiganders should soon see dramatically lower rates if they elect lower protection limits. And all this just as the pandemic forces millions of people to become unemployed. Timing is everything.
Speaking of the pandemic, many car insurance companies are seeing high profits as Americans stay home and off the roads. Less driving means fewer accidents and car insurance claims. A number of companies are passing these savings back to policyholders through refunds or lower rates.
If you’re looking to save even more money, you might be on the market for a new car insurance carrier. Check out our cost guide to get started.