The Top 10 States to Receive the Best State Auto Insurance Rating

Did you know that North Dakota at $510, and South Dakota at $521, have the cheapest annual auto insurance rates in the U.S.?

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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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 ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2021

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Things to Remember...

  • Many factors affect the cost of auto insurance
  • Natural disasters can increase auto insurance costs
  • Your driving history plays a major role in the price of premiums

Everyone wants to live in a state that has low insurance costs and high ratings for that insurance. However, many factors go into a state’s average premiums.

The factors that affect the average cost of insurance in a state are many and varied. Factors such as the rate of fatal accidents and the cost of claims drive up insurance rates. Storms and natural disasters can also increase insurance costs.

Storms and natural disasters can also increase insurance costs. The following is a look at some of those factors that make for great insurance.

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Least Expensive Premiums


Every driver is concerned about the cost of auto insurance premiums, so it is important to know the average costs of insurance coverage in your state.

Cost is affected by many factors. One large factor will be the number of accidents and the number of claims in a state. Those states with a high rate of accidents will likely have costlier insurance.

Your insurance will vary depending upon factors such as your age, your personal driving history, what kind of vehicle you drive, and how much coverage you purchase.

Data compiled by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association for 2009 lists the average cost for car insurance as the lowest in these 10 states:

  • North Dakota with an annual cost of $510
  • South Dakota with a yearly cost of $521
  • Iowa with an annual premium of $532
  • Idaho with a twelve-monthly cost of $455
  • Nebraska with an annual cost of $559
  • Kansas with a yearly cost of $578
  • Wisconsin with an annual premium of $591
  • Maine with an annual cost of $598
  • North Carolina with a yearly cost of $610
  • Ohio with an annual cost of $616

As of 2009, the above states were rated the highest for the low average of the cost of insurance. Rates will vary depending on a number of factors.

If there are 10 states with the best average rates, then there are also states that have the most expensive average costs for insurance. As of 2009, the five states with the highest average yearly cost of insurance were:

  • Washington, DC with a yearly cost of $1,128
  • New Jersey with an annual cost of $1,101
  • Louisiana with a yearly premium of $1,099
  • New York with a yearly cost of $1,057
  • Delaware with an annual premium of $1,021
  • Lowest Fatality Rates

States that have high fatality rates are going to have higher insurance. Crashes that lead to death are serious, and they generally have high claim values due to death and the destructive nature of such crashes.

High claims drive up the overall cost of insurance for every other driver.

Additionally, no one wants to be in an accident, so those states with the lowest crash fatality rates have a higher ranking.

Seatbelt use is generally a large factor in such crashes, as are other safe driving behaviors such as following the speed limit, obeying drinking and driving laws and avoiding distractive behaviors while driving, like texting.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 30,808 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2009.

The 10 states with the lowest fatality rates based on population were:

  • Washington DC with 4.84 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents
  • Massachusetts with 5.07 fatalities per 100,000 residents
  • New York with 5.92 fatalities
  • Connecticut with 6.34 deaths from car crashes
  • New Jersey with 6.70 driving deaths
  • Illinois with 7.06 fatalities
  • Washington with 7.38 traffic deaths
  • Rhode Island with 7.88 fatalities
  • Minnesota with 7.99 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents
  • New Hampshire with 8.30 fatalities

There are many ways to crunch the numbers, such as the number of deaths per population, per licensed driver or per every one million miles driven.

Yet, looking at the data for all such calculations, drivers in the above states certainly have a lower risk of being involved in a fatal accident, no matter how you calculate the rates.

Other states don’t have such an impressive track record.

The states with the highest rates of traffic fatalities include:

  • Wyoming with 24.62 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents
  • Mississippi with 23.71 driving deaths
  • Montana with 22.67 fatalities
  • North Dakota with 21.64 fatalities
  • Arizona with 20.25 driving deaths

Some feel that accidents in more rural states, such as North Dakota and Montana, are more likely to be fatal because it takes longer for the accident to be reported and medical assistance is further away. Such occurrences could skew the results.

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Lowest Amount of Costs

The Centers for Disease Control keep track of data related to accidental deaths, such as auto accidents, and they compiled data relating to the cost of traffic accidents per state.

In 2005, it is estimated that medical bills and loss of work cost Americans $41 billion.

That data can also be correlated into claims; obviously, states with the highest costs will have the highest claims for insurance.

Even those who are uninsured still affect the insurance of a state; their medical bills are essentially absorbed by every other paying resident when the doctor or hospital writes them off and extra insurance must be bought by every other driver to protect against an accident with the uninsured.

No one wants to be in an accident that costs them time, money and possibly good health, so those states with the lowest costs will rank highly.

Those 10 states that had the lowest costs for medical bills and lost work time were:

  • Vermont with $73 million
  • Alaska with $74 million
  • Rhode Island with $79 million
  • Delaware with $107 million
  • North Dakota with $111 million
  • Hawaii with $124 million
  • Wyoming with $137 million
  • New Hampshire with $143 million
  • South Dakota with $156 million
  • Maine with $159 million

Millions may seem like a lot of money, but the above numbers don’t come close to the costs of the states with the highest amounts.

The five states with the highest medical costs and lost work wages were:

  • California at $4.16 billion
  • Texas at $3.5 billion
  • Florida at $3.16 billion
  • Georgia at $1.55 billion
  • Pennsylvania at $1.52 billion

Lowest Uninsured Motorists



The number of uninsured motorists traveling the roads and highways of your state are a great danger to every other motorist.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you have three choices or a combination therein; you can hope you have enough insurance to cover your own injuries and damages, you can sue the uninsured motorist, or you can pay for your damages yourself.

Uninsured motorists raise insurance rates for everyone who buys insurance coverage.

More and more states are requiring uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to compensate for those drivers who can’t or won’t buy even the most basic liability insurance coverage.

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, based on 2009 data, one in seven drivers is uninsured in the United States. They also compiled data concerning the percentages of uninsured drivers in each state.

The 10 states with the lowest rate of uninsured motorists include:

  • Massachusetts, with only 4 percent of drivers being uninsured. That works out to one out of every 25 drivers being uninsured.
  • Maine, with only 4 percent uninsured drivers
  • New York, with 5 percent of drivers being uninsured
  • Pennsylvania, with 7 percent of drivers on the road uninsured
  • Vermont, with 7 percent uninsured drivers
  • Nebraska, with 8 percent of drivers on the road uninsured
  • Idaho, with 8 percent of drivers being uninsured
  • Utah, with 8 percent uninsured drivers
  • South Dakota, with 9 percent of drivers on the road uninsured
  • North Dakota with 9 percent of drivers being uninsured. That calculates to one driver out of every 11 drivers being without car insurance coverage.

If you get into an accident in one of the above states, then you are more likely to smash fenders with a driver who has insurance coverage.

Driving is not a right; it is a privilege, and with great privilege comes responsibility.

One of those responsibilities includes maintaining insurance to cover your responsibility if you cause injuries and damages to another driver.

There are states out there who have uninsured motorist mayhem on their hands.

According to the data, these five states have the highest rate of uninsured motorists:

  • Mississippi with 28 percent of drivers having no insurance coverage. That calculates to almost one out of every three drivers lacking insurance.
  • New Mexico with 26 percent of drivers uninsured
  • Tennessee with 24 percent uninsured drivers
  • Oklahoma with 24 percent drivers uninsured
  • Florida with 24 percent uninsured drivers on the road. That is almost one out of every four drivers on the road is without insurance.

Your Rates

If you live in a state with high insurance costs due to expensive accidents or a high number of fatalities, it does not mean that you will pay higher insurance premiums than drivers in other states will.

Your driving history and other risk factors will still drive the calculation of your insurance rates; where you live is just a part of your rates.

If you have a poor driving record, a low credit score, and other negative factors, then your car insurance rates will still be higher.

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Lowering Your Rates


The region where you live does affect insurance costs, and each insurance company assesses the importance of such a factor to differing degrees.

If you feel that your car insurance is expensive because of where you live, then you should attempt to lower it by improving the other factors that are also used to calculate your insurance costs.

You can improve your driving history and credit score over time, you can take a driving course to reduce points on your license, and you can install anti-theft devices on your vehicle, just to name a few.

Also, using one of the greatest money-saving measures when it comes to car insurance, you can compare quotes to find the lowest rates.

Click here to save money when you compare car insurance rates by entering your zip code into our FREE search tool now!

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