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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: May 7, 2020

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Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code Statistics
Auto Insurance DataStatisticsFrom Experts...
Most Expensive ZIP Code - $5,109 annually48227 - Detroit, MICBS News
Least Expensive ZIP Code - $647 annually44836 - Green Springs, OHCBS News
Company With the Biggest Rate Changes by ZIP CodeFarmersThe New York Times
Company With the Smallest Rate Changes by ZIP CodeLiberty MutualThe New York Times
Why are urban rates higher than rural rates?More vandalism, theft, etc.Insurance Information Institute
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There are a lot of factors that affect your auto insurance rate. For instance, does your zip code affect your car insurance? It most definitely does. Comparing auto insurance rates by ZIP code can produce some surprising results.

In a big city, you might actually find that a move across the street can change your premium if it puts you in another ZIP code. This might seem strange, but insurers typically include statistics for claims, accidents, and crime levels for a specific area in their calculations.

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

Where are the highest auto insurance rates? Below is a chart of the top 25 most expensive ZIP codes for auto insurance in the country, all of which are in Michigan.

25 Most Expensive Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code in the U.S.
ZIP CodeCityAverage Annual
Auto Insurance Rates
48203Highland Park$26,923.65
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By contrast, the 25 U.S. ZIP Codes with the lowest annual auto insurance rates are all in Virginia.

25 Least Expensive Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code in the U.S.
ZIP CodeCityAverage Annual
Auto Insurance Rates
22840Mc Gaheysville$2,036.30
24416Buena Vista$2,039.40
22833Lacey Spring$2,041.03
24471Port Republic$2,046.56
22841Mount Crawford$2,048.17
22830Fulks Run$2,048.95
22848Pleasant Valley$2,049.22
24486Weyers Cave$2,055.76
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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. If the crime rate in a ZIP code falls you may see a premium decrease, whereas if a new company opens up in your town that will employ thousands of people you may see an increase in your premium.

What city has the cheapest auto insurance? You’ll generally find that if a state has overall low rates, its cities will as well. Of course, a state with otherwise low rates in most cities can see its average skewed by the high rates in a big city (think New York or Chicago). Smaller cities, in general, have lower rates for auto insurance. Comparing car insurance by town can help you to see the patterns in any given state.

Here’s a look at the highest and lowest average annual auto insurance rates by ZIP code in each state.

US ZIP Codes with the Highest and Lowest Auto Insurance Rates per State
StateLeast Expensive Zip CodeCityLowest Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesMost Expensive Zip CodeCityHighest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Hawaii96703Anahola$2,198.6296704Captain Cook$2,859.11
Maine04742Fort Fairfield$2,403.9004684Surry$2,785.77
Washington98368Port Townsend$2,461.5498118Seattle$4,079.23
Iowa52241Coralville$2,598.2751501Council Bluffs$3,633.75
New York14830Corning$2,729.5911212Brooklyn$10,751.24
California93401San Luis Obispo$2,731.3290210Beverly Hills$6,324.83
North Carolina28701Alexander$2,860.5928205Charlotte$4,803.84
Montanna59635East Helena$2,866.4559089Wyola$3,457.81
Arizona86403Lake Havasu City$2,883.4685009Phoenix$5,479.07
New Hampshire03431Keene$2,887.7703104Manchester$3,845.88
Missouri65301Sedalia$2,938.1863120Saint Louis$5,220.97
New Mexico88310Alamogordo$2,948.8987121Albuquerque$4,364.29
Oregon97850La Grande$2,953.6097236Portland$4,908.54
Kansas67401Salina$2,954.9366115Kansas City$4,318.12
South Carolina29672Seneca$3,115.5829933Miley$4,519.05
Nebraska68803Grand Island$3,133.8168111Omaha$4,516.91
Texas76901San Angelo$3,157.6878049Laredo$5,538.80
Tennessee37601Johnson City$3,173.6538118Memphis$4,991.62
Utah84721Cedar City$3,239.5884104Salt Lake City$4,580.22
Colorado81504Grand Junction$3,291.1380219Denver$4,762.40
Nevada89406Fallon$3,411.0889101Las Vegas$7,486.53
South Dakota57201Watertown$3,467.8157770Pine Ridge$4,695.24
West Virginia25401Martinsburg$3,519.1025621Gilbert$5,111.14
Arkansas72626Cotter$3,675.9372202Little Rock$4,957.15
North Dakota58104Fargo$3,677.1858538Fort Yates$4,477.64
Rhode Island02842Middletown$3,908.0102907Providence$7,262.39
Minnesota56007Albert Lea$3,976.8055411Minneapolis$6,620.56
Georgia31699Moody AFB$3,976.8230314Atlanta$6,991.02
Louisiana71439Hornbeck$4,332.4870117New Orleans$9,303.50
District Of Columbia20001Washington$4,383.6120002Washington$4,440.79
New Jersey07926Brookside$4,592.1707102Newark$8,512.59
Delaware19930Bethany Beach$4,953.7906340Groton$3,896.10
Michigan48880Saint Louis$7,916.2948201Detroit$30,350.09
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Quoting Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code Matters

When it comes to auto insurance, local rates do matter. You need to compare quotes that are valid in your location and that are personalized to your unique circumstances based on the factors we’ve discussed.

These days, it’s pretty easy to find insurance quote forms on the internet that will allow you to enter your ZIP code for a quote. These online forms will return a handful of car insurance premiums that have been custom-tailored to you. Make sure to choose an online quote form that asks for detailed information, otherwise you may not get an accurate quote.

Many of these online systems will ask for detailed information about you and your car. They will want to know your ZIP code, the make and model of your vehicle, whether or not you have any accidents or tickets on your record, and much more.

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

You’re free to review the rates, find out more about one or more of the insurers you get a quote from, or keep your old coverage. 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.
Compare auto insurance rates above to find the best auto insurance rates available in your ZIP code.

Can your ZIP code lower your auto insurance premiums?

You may not be able to change your location, but you might be able to control some other things that can lower your insurance premiums.

One of the simplest things you can do is to look for companies that offer discounts for things you already do. 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. Comparing a combination of auto and homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code may be the best way to save overall.

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, you will still be rated, in part, on your ZIP code, which means that you should keep your insurance rates in mind if you decide to move. A slightly higher rent payment may be more manageable if it lowers your auto insurance, while a higher insurance payment may eat up any savings you 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 premium 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, and it may be worth paying a little more for your policy if that is important to you.

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. In fact, you can enter your ZIP code right now to get rates here.

How much do auto insurance rates vary by ZIP code?

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’ premiums. 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.

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, which means that insurance companies that rate by ZIP code are doing so with a lot of statistics about that neighborhood in mind.

It’s even easier to understand why auto insurance rates vary by state. Different states have different insurance regulations and minimum liability 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.

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 insurance company?

One of the factors in determining how much to rate by ZIP code is how much crime there is where you live. Specifically, insurers are concerned about car-related crimes like vandalism and theft. Because these crimes directly impact claims paid, insurance companies take them into consideration when rating a ZIP code.

Dealing with auto theft?
That affects premiums too. The more car thefts in an area, the more they are going to charge for your insurance to account for the increased likelihood that you will have your car stolen.

Auto Thefts in Major U.S. Cities
Auto Theft by CityNumber of Vehicles Stolen
New York City799
Los Angeles17,538
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You’ll also see an increase in your premium 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.

Types of crime involving a moving car

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 – 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 car insurance cheaper in different ZIP codes? Let’s look at some of the factors.

How does the number of crashes in a ZIP code impact your rate?

In simple terms, the more car accidents there are in your ZIP code, the higher your insurance rate will be.

2016-2017 Auto Crashes by State
StateCrashes in 2016Crashes in 2017Percent Change
Dist of Columbia2731+15
New Hampshire136102-25
New Jersey602624+4
New Mexico405379-6
New York1,041999-4
North Carolina1,4501,412-3
North Dakota113115+2
Rhode Island5183+63
South Carolina1,020988-3
South Dakota116129+11
West Virginia269303+13
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This is because it increases the odds that you will be in an accident, which means your insurance company may need to pay out a liability claim and possibly a collision claim as well, depending on the circumstances. Anything that could possibly impact whether or not a claim will be filed will impact your insurance rates, and 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, you might end up with lower insurance premiums as a result.

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

When it comes to damage caused by potholes, collision coverage will usually pay for those repairs. Because of this, the number of potholes and other damage on the roads in a given ZIP code can impact your insurance rates. Road conditions are not the largest factor when determining rates by ZIP code, but they are considered.

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

The chart below shows some of the major urban areas of the country and the quality of their roads by percentages.

Road Conditions in Major U.S. Urban Areas
Urban Area 500K +StatePoor
Vehicle Operating
Costs (VOC)
Dallas–Fort Worth–ArlingtonTX21%31%20%28%$609
El PasoTX‐NM35%32%9%25%$788
Grand RapidsMI29%25%6%41%$594
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
New HavenCT33%24%15%28%$621
New OrleansLA37%22%14%27%$716
New York–NewarkNY‐NJ‐CT46%23%13%18%$719
Oklahoma CityOK37%31%11%20%$897
St. LouisMO‐IL22%29%17%32%$611
Salt Lake City–West Valley CityUT9%16%45%31%$382
Tampa–St. PetersburgFL16%22%10%51%$424
Virginia BeachVA32%30%17%22%$686
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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 the state of the road or if they are weaving on the road to dodge potholes, this can make them more likely to be involved in an accident.

While road conditions are not the biggest factor in how your ZIP code is rated, they’re not something you can ignore, either. Convincing your town to fix any road hazards can prevent damage to your car, as well as potentially lowering your insurance rate. Enter your ZIP code in the box below now for instant quotes.

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Is it important to compare auto insurance rates by state or by ZIP code?

The place where you park your car at night can change your premiums. That being said, you’re unlikely to move out of your house just to get a lower rate on your insurance.

However, it is interesting to note that some people who live in their recreational vehicles do choose their home state based on the cost of insuring their vehicles. While RV dwellers choose lots of different states to reside in, South Dakota is a popular location because it has low taxes and low insurance rates.

Of course, if you are moving, it’s not a bad idea to know which areas have the highest rates. That’s especially true in a state that has a lot of variation; looking at the cheapest ZIP code for auto insurance in California may show bigger differences than comparing Arizona insurance rates by ZIP code.

Your location is also not the only factor that can change your premiums, 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 someone needs full coverage but they have two accidents on their record and a low credit score, they should expect to pay more for their auto insurance than the average driver. Even something as small as a single speeding ticket can drastically increase your rates, so try your best to keep your driving record clean.

Your ZIP code can impact the cost of all of the most common types of auto insurance coverage.

  • Liability – 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 of bodily injury someone else sustains 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 – Collision insurance protects you by paying for damages to your vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident, 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 – 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.

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

What state has the lowest auto insurance rates? Check out the table of car insurance rates by state below.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual
Auto Insurance Rates
New Hampshire$3,158.99
North Carolina$3,393.11
New Mexico$3,463.21
South Carolina$3,781.14
South Dakota$3,961.60
West Virginia$4,067.75
North Dakota$4,205.11
New York$4,289.88
Washington, DC$4,439.24
Rhode Island$5,003.36
New Jersey$5,515.21
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Please note: In the table above there were several states with no information available. Also, these rates are based on actual insurance purchases, including policies with higher liability limits, additional coverages, and high-risk drivers. Your individual rates will vary.
Your ZIP code obviously plays a pretty significant part in your overall insurance rate. You can enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool below to get started looking at rates in your area.

Is it legal to rate someone based on their ZIP code?

The short answer to this question is yes, it is absolutely legal to rate a driver based on their ZIP code.

The long answer to this question is that it’s a complicated situation. Many people feel that rating someone based on their ZIP code can have racist or classist undertones. Since so many of the ZIP codes that have higher rates are urban areas that are filled with lower-income people and/or racial minorities, there are some groups that consider this a form of redlining and are actively fighting against the process of rating by ZIP code.

Customer redlining and it's effects on auto insuance rates

Insurance companies are adamant that they are rating solely based on the factors that impact their bottom line, including crime levels and 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 like these before impacting their 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 to rate by ZIP code and it looks like this will continue for the foreseeable future.

See how your ZIP code stacks up with rate comparisons from different companies. Just use the easy search box below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully the information above has answered your questions about how your insurance rates are impacted by your ZIP code. If you still have other questions you need answered, keep reading for more information.

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.

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

Lying about your address (or anything else, for that matter) on your insurance 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 more than $40 billion per year.

Not only will your insurance be canceled if you get caught, it could 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. While lying about your ZIP code may seem like a good idea at the time, it isn’t worth the risk.

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

As an individual resident, there is very little you can do to change the rate for your ZIP code. You could always petition the city to fix any potholes or start a neighborhood watch group to lower crime rates, but those things take a large investment of time and are generally not fully within your control.

What you can do, however, 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.

Your ZIP code obviously plays a pretty significant part in your overall insurance rate. You can enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool below to get started looking at rates in your area.