Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 23, 2020

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Things to Remember

  • Your ZIP code will impact your auto insurance rates. Crime statistics, vehicle theft rates, population density, and even road conditions will all be considered in your ZIP code.
  • The least expensive ZIP code in America is 24450 in Lexington, Virginia.
  • Folks pay an average of $2,018.13 annually for auto insurance. The most expensive ZIP code in America is 48201 in Detroit, Michigan. The average annual rates reach a grand total of $30,350.09 in this neighborhood.

Auto insurance companies use many different variables when calculating your specific auto insurance premiums. But does your ZIP code affect your auto insurance? It most definitely does. In fact, comparing auto insurance rates by ZIP code can produce some surprising results.

In a big city, you might actually find that a move simply across the street can change your rate if it puts you in another ZIP code. This can make it challenging to find cheap auto insurance rates in your city.

This might seem strange, but insurers typically include statistics for claims, accidents, and crime levels for a specific area in their calculations. Read through our complete guide to uncover the truth about why your ZIP code impacts your rates, and learn what you can do to keep your premiums lows.

Enter your five-digit ZIP into our FREE online tool above right now to perform an auto insurance quotes comparison by ZIP code and find the best rates available in your area.

Table of Contents

Are auto insurance rates impacted by your ZIP code?

There are a lot of factors that affect auto insurance rates. One factor that has a big impact is where you live. We don’t just mean your state or city, either. Your specific ZIP code will affect what you pay on average for auto insurance.

Auto insurance companies will consider statistics from your neighborhood when assessing your risk. Specifically, vehicle crash statistics, crime rates, and population density will be analyzed.

Higher rates of auto theft, fatal accidents, and denser populations are often considered higher-risk ZIP codes. If you live in one of the higher-risk ZIP codes, your average annual insurance rates will increase.

However, if you live in a lower-risk ZIP code, you’ll receive cheaper base rates.

In the table below, we collected the average annual auto insurance rates by state for the ZIP codes with the highest premiums. Check it out.

Most Expensive ZIP Code by State
StateMost Expensive ZIP Code in StateMost Expensive City in StateHighest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates in State
Maine4684Surry$2,785.77
Hawaii96704Captain Cook$2,859.11
Virginia22312Alexandria$2,871.02
Idaho83536Kamiah$3,008.28
Alaska99504Anchorage$3,132.74
Wyoming83414Alta$3,156.85
Vermont5079Vershire$3,314.44
Montanna59089Wyola$3,457.81
Iowa51501Council Bluffs$3,633.75
Ohio43224Columbus$3,667.48
New Hampshire3104Manchester$3,845.88
Delaware6340Groton$3,896.10
Washington98118Seattle$4,079.23
Kansas66115Kansas City$4,318.12
Mississippi39086Hermanville$4,323.64
New Mexico87121Albuquerque$4,364.29
Alabama35218Birmingham$4,428.60
District Of Columbia20002Washington$4,440.79
North Dakota58538Fort Yates$4,477.64
Nebraska68111Omaha$4,516.91
South Carolina29933Miley$4,519.05
Utah84104Salt Lake City$4,580.22
South Dakota57770Pine Ridge$4,695.24
Indiana46402Gary$4,747.17
Colorado80219Denver$4,762.40
North Carolina28205Charlotte$4,803.84
Oregon97236Portland$4,908.54
Arkansas72202Little Rock$4,957.15
Tennessee38118Memphis$4,991.62
Wisconsin53206Milwaukee$5,102.46
West Virginia25621Gilbert$5,111.14
Oklahoma74110Tulsa$5,150.50
Missouri63120Saint Louis$5,220.97
Massachusetts2119Boston$5,333.79
Illinois60636Chicago$5,437.22
Arizona85009Phoenix$5,479.07
Texas78049Laredo$5,538.80
California90210Beverly Hills$6,324.83
Connecticut6103Hartford$6,373.96
Minnesota55411Minneapolis$6,620.56
Georgia30314Atlanta$6,991.02
Rhode Island2907Providence$7,262.39
Kentucky41542Lookout$7,400.56
Nevada89101Las Vegas$7,486.53
Florida33142Miami$7,631.16
New Jersey7102Newark$8,512.59
Pennsylvania19133Philadelphia$8,527.54
Maryland21216Baltimore$8,830.19
Louisiana70117New Orleans$9,303.50
New York11212Brooklyn$10,751.24
Michigan48201Detroit$30,350.09
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Currently, neighborhoods in Detroit, Michigan, Brooklyn, New York, and New Orleans, Louisiana land in the most expensive spots in the country.

The average annual rate for auto insurance in the 70117 ZIP code in New Orleans is $9,303.50. In Brooklyn, New York, folks living in the ZIP code 11212 receive average yearly rates of $10,751.24.

Unfortunately, Detroit, Michigan residents living in the 48201 ZIP code pay three times as much as the Brooklyn residents for auto insurance, with average annual rates reaching a grand total of $30,350.09.

Now let’s explore the least expensive ZIP codes in each state. Check out the average annual rates for the lowest-paying ZIP codes in each state in the table below.

Least Expensive ZIP Codes by State
StateLeast Expensive City in StateLeast Expensive ZIP Code in StateLowest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates in State
VirginiaLexington24450$2,018.13
HawaiiAnahola96703$2,198.62
OhioTiffin44883$2,325.38
AlaskaAngoon99820$2,335.97
MassachusettsNantucket2554$2,378.90
MaineFort Fairfield4742$2,403.90
WashingtonPort Townsend98368$2,461.54
WisconsinKaukauna54130$2,491.30
IowaCoralville52241$2,598.27
IdahoBoise83716$2,612.88
New YorkCorning14830$2,729.59
CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo93401$2,731.32
IllinoisKewanee61443$2,792.51
North CarolinaAlexander28701$2,860.59
MontannaEast Helena59635$2,866.45
ArizonaLake Havasu City86403$2,883.46
New HampshireKeene3431$2,887.77
WyomingSheridan82801$2,896.66
IndianaLafayette47909$2,931.86
MissouriSedalia65301$2,938.18
New MexicoAlamogordo88310$2,948.89
OregonLa Grande97850$2,953.60
KansasSalina67401$2,954.93
MississippiStarkville39759$3,077.33
VermontColchester5446$3,098.67
South CarolinaSeneca29672$3,115.58
PennsylvaniaBellefonte16823$3,116.01
NebraskaGrand Island68803$3,133.81
TexasSan Angelo76901$3,157.68
TennesseeJohnson City37601$3,173.65
UtahCedar City84721$3,239.58
ColoradoGrand Junction81504$3,291.13
AlabamaOzark36360$3,310.05
NevadaFallon89406$3,411.08
South DakotaWatertown57201$3,467.81
FloridaWaldo32694$3,481.35
West VirginiaMartinsburg25401$3,519.10
KentuckyOwensboro42303$3,562.72
OklahomaManitou73555$3,646.98
MarylandSmithsburg21783$3,658.86
ArkansasCotter72626$3,675.93
North DakotaFargo58104$3,677.18
ConnecticutGroton6340$3,896.10
Rhode IslandMiddletown2842$3,908.01
MinnesotaAlbert Lea56007$3,976.80
GeorgiaMoody AFB31699$3,976.82
LouisianaHornbeck71439$4,332.48
District Of ColumbiaWashington20001$4,383.61
New JerseyBrookside7926$4,592.17
DelawareBethany Beach19930$4,953.79
MichiganSaint Louis48880$7,916.29
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Those living in Lexington, Virginia, Anahola, Hawaii, and Tiffin, Ohio receive some of the lower annual auto insurance rates in the country, according to our data.

The 44883 ZIP code in Tiffin, Ohio pays an average of $2,325.38 per year for auto insurance. In Anahola, Hawaii, folks living in the 96703 ZIP code pay a low annual rate of $2,189.62.

For the lucky drivers in the 24450 ZIP code in Lexington, Virginia, your average annual rates are only $2,018.13.

This means the difference between the lowest-paying ZIP code and the highest paying ZIP code in America is a staggering $28,331.96 annually.

If you live in a high-cost ZIP code, there are plenty of ways to help you lower your annual rates. Seek out discounts, compare quotes from multiple companies, and only buy the level of coverage you actually need.

The truth is, a lot more than just your ZIP code will impact your auto insurance rates. For example, your driving and age also come into play. In fact, some states actually no longer allow insurance companies to even use ZIP codes as a determining factor.

We have good news for the Detroit residents in the 48201 ZIP code. Your high rates will start to lower substantially thanks to new laws and regulations enacted in the state of Michigan in July of 2020.

Now, only driving-related demographics can be used to determine your rates in Michigan. Your gender, ZIP code, and credit history can no longer be considered. Residents can also choose to deny previously required auto insurance limits.

Think of the average annual rates as guidelines rather than promises. Not only are there many different variables that impact your individual rates, but each state also has different auto insurance laws and regulations.

Whatever your ZIP code is, the best way to know how much auto insurance will cost you is by comparing quotes from as many companies in your area as possible. These days, you can easily find insurance forms like the ones on this page that allow you to enter your ZIP code for a quote.

These online forms will return a handful of auto insurance rates that have been custom-tailored to you. Just make sure to choose an online quote form that asks for detailed information, otherwise, you may not get an accurate quote.

After receiving a quote, if you’re interested in purchasing that policy, you’ll want to contact that insurance company directly to verify that the rate is correct and find out what they need from you to sign up for a policy.

Using these online quote forms should also always be free, and it also should not obligate you to purchase insurance from any of the companies that provide you with rate information.

Remember, you always have the right to review the different rates, find out more about the insurers you’re interested in, and can even decide to keep your old coverage. Let’s explore how and why ZIP codes impact your auto insurance rates in more detail.

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What cities and ZIP codes have the highest and lowest auto insurance rates?

You now understand why some ZIP codes receive higher auto insurance rates than others. But where are the highest auto insurance rates in the country?

Below is a table of the top 25 most expensive average annual auto insurance rates by ZIP code in the country, all of which are currently in Michigan.

25 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code in the U.S.
StateZIP CodeCityAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates in ZIP Code
Michigan48201Detroit$30,350.09
Michigan48206Detroit$29,791.56
Michigan48227Detroit$29,374.46
Michigan48204Detroit$29,281.79
Michigan48202Detroit$28,946.15
Michigan48213Detroit$28,556.49
Michigan48210Detroit$28,417.19
Michigan48215Detroit$28,186.14
Michigan48238Detroit$28,148.98
Michigan48228Detroit$28,073.12
Michigan48216Detroit$28,040.22
Michigan48211Detroit$28,033.06
Michigan48205Detroit$27,952.29
Michigan48208Detroit$27,867.09
Michigan48226Detroit$27,767.58
Michigan48207Detroit$27,424.94
Michigan48212Hamtramck$26,925.66
Michigan48203Highland Park$26,923.65
Michigan48224Detroit$26,758.51
Michigan48214Detroit$26,730.26
Michigan48209Detroit$26,710.79
Michigan48126Dearborn$26,665.38
Michigan48234Detroit$26,566.42
Michigan48235Detroit$26,516.65
Michigan48223Detroit$26,031.27
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As you’ve learned, Michigan’s new insurance laws will cause those rates to decrease dramatically over time.

By contrast, the 25 U.S. ZIP codes with the lowest annual average auto insurance rates are all in Virginia. See the table below for more details.

25 Least Expensive Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code in the U.S.
StateZIP CodeCityAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates in ZIP code
Virginia24450Lexington$2,018.13
Virginia22802Harrisonburg$2,031.22
Virginia24401Staunton$2,033.51
Virginia22815Broadway$2,034.01
Virginia24060Blacksburg$2,035.11
Virginia22840Mc Gaheysville$2,036.30
Virginia22834Linville$2,037.09
Virginia22853Timberville$2,038.95
Virginia24416Buena Vista$2,039.40
Virginia22833Lacey Spring$2,041.03
Virginia24073Christiansburg$2,042.79
Virginia22812Bridgewater$2,043.31
Virginia22801Harrisonburg$2,044.17
Virginia22939Fishersville$2,044.69
Virginia24471Port Republic$2,046.56
Virginia22821Dayton$2,046.69
Virginia22841Mount Crawford$2,048.17
Virginia22830Fulks Run$2,048.95
Virginia22848Pleasant Valley$2,049.22
Virginia22803Harrisonburg$2,050.19
Virginia24141Radford$2,050.57
Virginia22811Bergton$2,050.97
Virginia24435Fairfield$2,053.78
Virginia24486Weyers Cave$2,055.76
Virginia22824Edinburg$2,056.80
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Sometimes towns that are situated between two major cities see an increased amount of traffic as people commute from one city to another. Sometimes cities are rated higher because of their crime rates.

For example, Irvington, NJ has a crime rate that is six times higher than the state’s overall crime rate, which means motor vehicle theft and vandalism is going to be higher there, too.

There can be a wide variety of things that cause one ZIP code to be rated higher than another, and these factors can change over time. Your rates in your ZIP code will usually reflect the most current available data.

That means if the crime rate in a ZIP code falls, you may see a rate decrease. However, if a new company opens up in your town that will employ thousands of people, causing more traffic, you may see an increase in your rates.

How can you tell what city has the cheapest auto insurance? You’ll generally find that if a state has overall low rates, its cities will as well. This is why you see all of the most expensive ZIP codes in Michigan, and the least expensive ZIP codes in Virginia.

Of course, a state with otherwise low rates in most cities can see its average skewed by the high rates in a big city, for example, this happens in New York because of New York City, and Illinois, because of Chicago.

In general, smaller cities like Portland, Maine tend to have much lower rates for auto insurance than larger metropolitan areas.

Can your ZIP code lower your auto insurance rates?

You may not be able to change your location all too easily, but you can still control some other things that will help lower your insurance rates.

One of the simplest things you can do is to look for companies that offer discounts for things you already do. Auto insurance discounts stack, which means the more you qualify for, the more you’ll save.

For example, many insurers offer auto and home bundling discounts for their customers who wish to combine two or more policies, which applies no matter what ZIP code you live in.

Therefore, if you need to insure both your home and your car, for example, you might find companies that will lower your rates on both policies because they’ll be getting all of your business.

In the long run, keeping your credit score up, avoiding traffic tickets, and not making any accident claims can help you reduce your rates too. When you purchase a new or used car, consider safety features that might make one model cheaper to insure than another.

All that being said, in most states, you will still be rated, in part, by your ZIP code. If you ever decide to move, you should keep your insurance rates in mind and do a little research ahead of time.

Think about it. A slightly higher rent payment may be more manageable if it lowers your auto insurance. But a higher insurance payment may eat up any savings you’d earn by moving to a cheaper neighborhood.

This can also become an issue if your town adds a new ZIP code, which can change your insurance rate even if you personally did nothing at all. Staying abreast of changes in your town can give you an inkling of what will happen to your insurance rates in the future.

Of course, insurance companies are all different. You’ll find that some offer a great package of rates and plans for you, while others do not. You might even find that the company that has the best rate doesn’t have the best service. In that case, it may be worth paying a little more for your policy.

Comparing auto insurance rates might help you save quite a bit of money over the course of a year, even in an expensive ZIP code. And of course, you want to make sure you are still getting good coverage. So, look at both insurance by ZIP code and reviews of the company when you’re shopping around.

A good independent agent or online insurance quote site can help you save a lot of time by helping you shop for the best auto insurance prices available in your ZIP code.

Does living in a rural or urban area affect your auto insurance rates?

How much does ZIP code affect auto insurance? One large auto insurance comparison site performed a study to illustrate how much of a difference location made to vehicle owners’ rates. This study was based on averages from six large insurers, and these were all prices for the same individual driver and type of vehicle.

In other words, everything was controlled except for the location.

Generally, rural areas are cheaper than urban areas for auto insurance. Typically, urban areas with a dense population and a lot of cars tend to be more expensive.

It might be logical to conclude that more traffic equals more risk of having an accident, but that’s not the only thing that insurers consider. They might also look at the rate of car thefts, and those numbers tend to be higher in crowded urban areas too.

Many factors contribute to how a ZIP code is rated, from the amount of available street parking to the overall condition of the roads. The insurance companies that rate by ZIP code use a lot of different statistics during this process.

Why do auto insurance rates vary so much per state? Different states have different insurance regulations and minimum legal insurance requirements.

Some states are much more heavily populated than others. Some have at-fault laws on the books and others are considered no-fault states.

In an at-fault state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damages. In a no-fault state, you must rely on your own auto insurance provider, regardless of who is at fault.

All of those differences have a significant effect on which ZIP code is cheaper for auto insurance.

Do crime levels impact how a ZIP code is rated by an auto insurance company?

One of the factors that we mentioned earlier that affects how much you’ll pay for auto insurance by ZIP code is how much crime there is where you live. Specifically, insurers are concerned about car-related crimes like vandalism and vehicle theft.

Replacing a stolen car or filing a vandalized vehicle costs the insurer more money. Because these crimes directly impact claims paid, insurance companies take them into consideration when rating a ZIP code.

Do you live in a city that is used to dealing with auto theft? The more car thefts in an area, the more you will be charged for your insurance to account for the increased likelihood that you will have your vehicle stolen.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), around 748,841 vehicles were stolen in 2018.

In the table below, see the total number of vehicle thefts by state, ordered from least to most. We’ve also included the average annual rate for full coverage auto insurance for each state as well.

Motor-Vehicle Theft Rates by State
StateMotor-Vehicle Theft TotalAverage Annual Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
Vermont298$764.02
Wyoming713$847.00
Maine726$703.82
New Hampshire893$819.00
Rhode Island1,358$1,304.00
Idaho1,571$679.89
Delaware1,604$1,240.57
South Dakota1,756$766.91
North Dakota1,792$773.30
District of Columbia2,333$1,331.00
Montana2,377$863.52
West Virginia2,419$1,025.78
Alaska2,617$1,027.75
Nebraska4,985$831.02
Iowa5,142$702.46
Hawaii5,254$873.28
Mississippi5,747$994.05
Connecticut5,964$1,151.07
Massachusetts6,132$1,129.29
Utah6,738$872.93
Kansas7,279$862.93
Wisconsin7,385$737.00
Arkansas7,420$906.34
New Mexico8,957$937.59
Kentucky10,196$938.51
Virginia10,269$842.67
New Jersey10,336$1,382.79
Louisiana10,716$1,405.36
Minnesota11,217$875.49
Maryland11,259$1,116.45
Nevada11,260$1,103.00
Pennsylvania12,390$971.00
Alabama12,577$868.48
New York12,704$1,360.66
Oklahoma13,378$1,005.32
Indiana13,723$755.03
South Carolina14,975$973.10
Oregon15,185$904.83
Michigan17,744$1,364.00
North Carolina18,061$789.09
Arizona18,151$972.85
Ohio18,672$788.56
Illinois18,775$884.56
Tennessee19,180$871.43
Missouri21,072$872.43
Colorado22,113$981.64
Georgia23,776$1,048.40
Washington24,402$968.80
Florida39,048$1,257.00
Texas77,489$1,109.66
California141,757$986.75
Nationwide721,885$971.41
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Florida, Texas, and California have some of the highest vehicle theft rates in the country. Those states are also in the top 25 most expensive states for auto insurance.

Vermont, Wyoming, and Maine have the least amount of stolen vehicles in the country. All three of these states fall within the lowest 25 states for auto insurance rates.

You’ll also see an increase in your rate if there are higher levels of vandalism and other car-related criminal activity in your ZIP code.

You might think that this only impacts your comprehensive and collision coverage, but it can actually impact your liability rates as well. Crime isn’t something that only happens while a vehicle is stopped, unfortunately.

There are multiple types of crime that can happen while you are driving, but the three worst ones include:

  • Hit and run: A driver strikes a pedestrian or a bicyclist and does not stop their vehicle.
  • DUI/OUI: A driver gets behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs.
  • Staged car accidents: A driver purposely causes an accident that makes you appear to be at fault so they can collect on the insurance. For example, they may wave you through a stop sign and then slam on the gas so you hit their car. They typically have someone they know nearby who can act as a “witness” to report that you’re at fault to the insurance company.

The more accidents reported in a ZIP code, the higher your liability coverage is likely to be for the year. So why is auto insurance cheaper in different ZIP codes? Let’s look at some of the factors.

How does the number of motor-vehicle accidents in a ZIP code impact your auto insurance rates?

In simple terms, the more car accidents there are in your ZIP code, the higher your insurance rate will be. This is because your risk of getting into an accident and filing a claim is increased.

To mitigate any potential losses, insurance providers charge higher rates. In the table below, you can see the number of fatal vehicle accidents and total deaths by state, with data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Fatal Crash Rates by State
StatePopulationTotal Number of Fatal CrashesTotal Deaths
District of Columbia702,4553031
Rhode Island1,057,3155659
Vermont626,2996068
Alaska737,4386980
North Dakota760,07795105
Wyoming577,737100111
Delaware967,171104111
Hawaii1,420,491110117
South Dakota882,235110130
Maine1,338,404128137
New Hampshire1,356,458134147
Montana1,062,305168182
Nebraska1,929,268201230
Idaho1,754,208212231
Utah3,161,105237260
West Virginia1,805,832265294
Connecticut3,572,665276294
Iowa3,156,145291318
Nevada3,034,392300330
Massachusetts6,902,149343360
Minnesota5,611,179349381
New Mexico2,095,428350391
Kansas2,911,505366404
Oregon4,190,713450506
Arkansas3,013,825472516
Maryland6,042,718474501
Washington7,535,591497546
New Jersey8,908,520525564
Wisconsin5,813,568530588
Colorado5,695,564588632
Mississippi2,986,530597664
Oklahoma3,943,079603655
Kentucky4,468,402664724
Louisiana4,659,978716768
Indiana6,691,878774858
Virginia8,517,685778820
Missouri6,126,452848921
Alabama4,887,871876953
New York19,542,209889943
Michigan9,995,915905974
Arizona7,171,6469161,010
Illinois12,741,0809481,031
South Carolina5,084,1279701,037
Tennessee6,770,0109741,041
Ohio11,689,4429961,068
Pennsylvania12,807,0601,1031,190
North Carolina10,383,6201,3211,437
Georgia10,519,4751,4071,504
Florida21,299,3252,9153,133
California39,557,0453,2593,563
Texas28,701,8453,3053,642
U.S. total327,167,43433,65436,560
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The District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and Vermont have the lowest number of fatal accidents in the country. Oppositely, Texas, California, and Florida have the highest crash rates.

If you live in a state with high crash rates, especially if you’re in a city, expect your auto insurance rates to be higher than other ZIP codes in rural areas. This is because your odds of getting into an accident are increased.

Not only are your odds higher, but everyone else who lives near you also has the same chance of getting into an accident. Therefore, the rates all around have to be set higher for insurance providers to be able to properly function.

For example, after an accident, your insurance company may need to pay out a liability claim and possibly a collision claim as well, depending on the circumstances. That’s twice the cost.

Anything that could possibly impact whether or not a claim will be filed will almost always impact your insurance rates. A high number of accidents in your ZIP code is no exception.

While the number of crashes in a ZIP code doesn’t say anything about your driving skills, it does say something about the safety of driving in your ZIP code.

Maybe the streets are laid out in such a way that it is hard to see traffic coming as you approach an intersection. Maybe you have a stop sign or two that should really be a traffic light instead. Maybe you have a very young population that likes to drive fast and ignore traffic laws.

Whatever the reason, if driving in your ZIP code is more likely to result in an accident compared to other places, you will see an increase in your rate.

If you know of a particular intersection or stretch of road in your town that is prone to accidents, it may be worth sending a letter to your mayor or city council and asking them to address the issue. Not only will you be safer, but you might also end up with lower insurance rates as a result.

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How important are road conditions to auto insurance rates in a ZIP code?

Road conditions in your ZIP code can cause your rates for auto insurance to increase or decrease. This is because potholes and bad roads correlate to more accidents. More accidents lead to more claims being filed.

As you’ve already learned, the more likely folks are in your area to file claims, the higher you should expect your base rates to be. However, road conditions are not the largest factor when determining rates by ZIP code.

Road conditions also contribute to wear and tear on your vehicle, making you more likely to be in need of repairs.

The table below shows some of the major urban areas of the country and the quality of their roads by percentages. Check it out.

Road Conditions in Major U.S. Urban Areas
Urban Area 500K +StatePoor
Share
Mediocre
Share
Fair
Share
Good
Share
Vehicle Operating
Costs (VOC)
AkronOH49%12%14%25%$837
AtlantaGA8%12%14%66%$269
BaltimoreMD36%23%14%27%$693
BostonMA‐NH‐RI14%13%8%65%$306
Bridgeport–StamfordCT‐NY40%29%15%16%$730
ChicagoIL‐IN28%35%14%22%$627
Dallas–Fort Worth–ArlingtonTX21%31%20%28%$609
El PasoTX‐NM35%32%9%25%$788
FresnoCA40%29%15%15%$755
Grand RapidsMI29%25%6%41%$594
HartfordCT32%30%16%21%$644
IndianapolisIN22%22%15%42%$575
JacksonvilleFL4%33%8%55%$297
Kansas CityMO‐KS26%27%17%30%$667
Las Vegas–HendersonNV14%18%17%51%$379
Los Angeles–Long Beach–AnaheimCA57%22%11%10%$921
Louisville/Jefferson CountyKY‐IN26%26%17%31%$628
McAllenTX22%30%7%43%$573
MemphisTN‐MS‐AR40%17%14%29%$746
MiamiFL8%48%4%40%$427
MilwaukeeWI54%18%12%16%$944
New HavenCT33%24%15%28%$621
New OrleansLA37%22%14%27%$716
New York–NewarkNY‐NJ‐CT46%23%13%18%$719
Ogden–LaytonUT8%17%33%43%$339
Oklahoma CityOK37%31%11%20%$897
PhiladelphiaPA‐NJ‐DE‐MD43%28%11%17%$732
Phoenix–MesaAZ23%29%20%27%$550
PittsburghPA25%22%18%36%$495
PortlandOR‐WA12%13%20%55%$309
ProvidenceRI‐MA46%25%10%19%$724
St. LouisMO‐IL22%29%17%32%$611
Salt Lake City–West Valley CityUT9%16%45%31%$382
SeattleWA41%23%17%19%$684
SpringfieldMA‐CT15%20%12%53%$366
Tampa–St. PetersburgFL16%22%10%51%$424
ToledoOH‐MI19%19%16%46%$468
TulsaOK36%37%6%21%$898
Virginia BeachVA32%30%17%22%$686
WashingtonDC‐VA‐MD30%25%17%29%$562
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Beyond a certain point, road damage can also contribute to accidents as well. If a driver loses control of their car because of a poor-quality road, or if they are weaving on the road to dodge potholes, this can make them more likely to be involved in an accident.

Even though road conditions are not the biggest factor in how your ZIP code is rated, it is not something you can ignore, either. Convincing your town to fix any road hazards can prevent damage to your car, as well as potentially lower your insurance rates.

Can you compare auto insurance rates by ZIP code to save money on auto insurance?

Now you know how the place you park your car at night can change your auto insurance rates. However, you’re probably unlikely to move out of your house just to get a lower rate on your insurance.

To help keep your rates affordable, try comparing quotes from multiple different insurance providers. Remember to also ask about auto insurance discounts you believe you can qualify for. This will help you minimize any negatives associated with your current ZIP code.

It is also interesting to note that some people who live in a recreational vehicle will choose their home state based on the cost of insuring vehicles.

While RV dwellers choose lots of different states to reside in, South Dakota is a particularly popular location because it has both low taxes and low insurance rates.

Of course, if you are moving or plan to move soon, it’s not a bad idea to know which areas have the highest and lowest rates. This is especially helpful if you’re moving to a state that has a lot of variation. For example, rates from Los Angeles are much higher than parts of rural northern California.

Even if you’ve had the same auto insurance provider for a long time, it’s worth checking what your quotes might be from other insurers. This way, you’ll know with confidence that you’re paying for the coverage you need at your best possible rate.

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It is legal to base auto insurance rates on your ZIP code?

In most states, it is absolutely legal for insurance providers to rate a driver based on their ZIP code. However, states like California and Michigan have banned insurance underwriters from taking ZIP codes into consideration when calculating rates.

The long answer to this question is that it’s a complicated situation. Many people feel that rating a driver based on their ZIP code can have racist or classist undertones.

Some studies have shown that auto insurance rates for ZIP codes with majority white populations receive lower average rates than ZIP codes with people-of-color as the majority, despite having similar crime rates and population densities.

Many groups consider this a form of redlining and are actively fighting against the process of rating by ZIP code.

However, insurance companies are adamant that the ratings are solely based on the factors that impact their bottom line, including crime levels and the number of accidents in a ZIP code.

Some states, like California, have put laws in place requiring insurance companies to ask permission before setting rates so that they can be reviewed for issues and biases before impacting the customer base.

If you are concerned about whether or not your state requires approval for rate changes, check with your state’s DMV website for more information.

Though the situation is complex, as of now it is legal at the federal level to rate by ZIP code. While it looks like this will continue for the foreseeable future, more and more states are making changes to auto insurance underwriting practices.

Other Factors Affecting Auto Insurance Rates

Your location is also not the only factor that can change your rates, and you should understand that it is unlikely your rates will be perfectly aligned with the average rates.

Your rate may be higher or lower than your neighbor’s rate based on your driving record, what kind of car you drive, your current age, coverage level, and other factors.

For example, if you finance your vehicle, you might be required to purchase full coverage auto insurance. However, if you also have two accidents on your record and a low credit score, you should expect to pay a much higher rate than the average driver.

Ready to learn about a few more factors insurance companies use when calculating your rates?

From your driving record to your age, to the type of vehicle you drive, there are many different variables involved when determining your individual rates.

Even something as small as a single speeding ticket can drastically cause your premiums to increase.

To remain a low-risk driver and have the best chance of getting the lowest rates, follow these simple steps. First, keep your driving record clean. Not only do safe drivers receive better rates, but you can also earn safe driving discounts or cost-reductions for remaining claim-free.

Next, drive a vehicle that has great safety ratings and crash test results. Double-check the insurance loss ratios for any vehicle you’re interested in purchasing to see the chances of it causing your premiums to go up or down.

Finally, ask about discounts. Every company offers different savings opportunities to benefit consumers. Some companies even prefer to insure certain types of people. GEICO, for example, offers a young driver discount and is known for being more affordable for teenage drivers.

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How do coverage levels affect your auto insurance rates?

There are a lot of different auto insurance coverage options. Your ZIP code will impact most of these policies. Generally, if your liability rates are high, other major policy coverages will also be high.

The four more common types of auto insurance are as follows:

  • Liability insurance: Liability insurance protects you financially by paying for damages to another person’s vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident. It also covers medical bills in the event that someone else sustains any bodily injuries in an accident where you’re at fault. This is mandatory in almost every state, and if you live in an area with a lot of reported accidents, your liability costs may be higher than they would be elsewhere.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage, often referred to as UM, is sometimes mandatory and sometimes optional, depending on the state. It covers you at the same levels as your liability coverage if you’re in an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault. If you live in a ZIP code with a lot of uninsured motorists, that can increase the cost of your UM coverage.
  • Collision coverage: Collision insurance protects you by paying for damages to your vehicle regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It will protect you whether you hit another vehicle or a stationary object. If you’re responsible for a loan on your car, you may be required by the lender to have active collision insurance on your policy. If you live in an area with lots of accidents, this can increase the cost of your collision coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car that isn’t caused by an accident. Some examples of what might be covered under a comprehensive policy are hail damage, theft, and vandalism. If you live in a high crime area, the increased risk of theft and vandalism will raise your comprehensive rates.

Almost every state will require you to carry a minimum legal level of auto insurance. To learn what the requirements are in your state, take a look at the table below.

Minimum Legal Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StateMinimum BI & PD Liability LimitsRequired Insurance Policies
Alabama25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Alaska50/100/25BI + PD Liability
Arizona15/30/10BI + PD Liability
Arkansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
California15/30/5BI + PD Liability
Colorado25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Connecticut25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Delaware25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
District of Columbia25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM
Florida10/20/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Georgia25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Hawaii20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Idaho25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Illinois25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Indiana25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Iowa20/40/15BI + PD Liability
Kansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Kentucky25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Louisiana15/30/25BI + PD Liability
Maine50/100/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM, Medpay
Maryland30/60/15BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Massachusetts20/40/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Michigan20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Minnesota30/60/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Mississippi25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Missouri25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM
Montana25/50/20BI + PD Liability
Nebraska25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Nevada25/50/20BI + PD Liability
New Hampshire25/50/25Financial Responsibility only
New Jersey15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
New Mexico25/50/10BI + PD Liability
New York25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
North Carolina30/60/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
North Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Ohio25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oklahoma25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oregon25/50/20BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Pennsylvania15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Rhode Island25/50/25BI + PD Liability
South Carolina25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
South Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Tennessee25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Texas30/60/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Utah25/65/15BI + PD Liability, PIP
Vermont25/50/10BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM
Virginia25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Washington25/50/10BI + PD Liability
West Virginia25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Wisconsin25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM, Medpay
Wyoming25/50/20BI + PD Liability
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If your ZIP code is exceptionally high-cost for auto insurance, it might be easier for you to simply carry your state’s minimum level of insurance. This is also known as a basic policy.

But remember, when it comes to lowering your insurance costs, you can’t control things like your age, but it is possible to lower your auto insurance rates if you:

  • Concentrate on avoiding accidents and traffic tickets.
  • Select a vehicle that insurers consider safe.
  • Work to improve your credit score.
  • Ask about specific discounts that may apply to you.
  • Get a quote from several companies to compare rates.

You now know the truth about auto insurance rates by ZIP code. Your individual rates will vary from the data we’ve gathered. However, your ZIP code obviously plays a pretty significant part in your overall insurance rate. Keep that in mind while you comparison shop for your best auto insurance policy.

Is there anything I can do to lower the auto insurance rate for my ZIP code?

As an individual resident, there is very little you can do to change the rate for your ZIP code. However, you could always petition the city to fix any potholes or start a neighborhood watch group to lower crime rates.

Just be aware that those things take a large investment of time and are generally not fully within your control.

Another thing you can do is check with your insurance company to see if they offer a discount for parking in a secure garage. If you live somewhere that you have to pay for parking anyway, it might be worth it for you to park in a secure facility for a lower rate.

It’s also possible that your insurance company may consider parking in your own locked garage a secure facility, so make sure to ask your insurance company if they offer a discount for that.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

No matter what your ZIP code is, you are now ready to find affordable auto insurance rates. Refer back to this guide as much as needed while you shop around for a great new policy.

Did you think of something we missed? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below for even more information about how your ZIP code can impact your auto insurance rates.

#1 – How can I tell how my ZIP code is rated?

The easiest way to tell how your ZIP code is rated is to get multiple quotes from insurance companies. Not only will this give you a wide variety of options to choose from for your coverage, but it will also give you a better idea of how your ZIP code is rated.

You can also search online for information, making use of resources like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, otherwise known as NAIC, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, otherwise known as NHTSA.

These resources can help you figure out which ZIP codes are the most expensive and how traffic and accident numbers in those areas are impacting that rate.

#2 – What happens if I lie about my address for a lower rate?

Lying about your address, or anything else on your application, is considered insurance fraud. While it may save you some money initially, if you are caught, the consequences can be severe. It may not seem like a big deal, but insurance fraud is estimated to cost Americans more than $40 billion per year.

Not only will your insurance be canceled if you get caught, but it could also be canceled back to the start date of your policy. You will also face legal issues, potentially being fined in a court of law, depending on the situation and how much effort your insurance company wants to put into addressing it.

If your insurance is canceled, and especially if it is canceled back to the start date of your policy, it can be difficult to find a new policy and it will probably cost you more money for at least the first six months of coverage.

Ready to compare auto insurance rates by ZIP code to find the best deal in your area? Simply enter your five-digit ZIP below for an auto insurance rate comparison by ZIP code.