Insure.com's 2012 study of average car insurance rates across the country reveals that Louisiana leads the nation in auto premiums. Last year's study showed Louisiana at No. 2, down a notch from the No. 1 perch in 2010.
Other expensive states are Oklahoma and Michigan, while Maine, Iowa and Wisconsin were the least expensive, according to Insure.com.
The rankings are based on Insure.com’s 2012 car insurance comparison study, which also includes average premiums for more than 900 models.
Premiums can be affected by a variety of factors, including:
Having a significant portion of uninsured drivers.
A state’s insurance laws.
The level of competition among carriers.
Severe weather that produced above-average claims in the last year.
The highest-premium states in this year’s survey have their own particular trouble spots, according to Insure.com:
In Louisiana, auto insurance claims must reach $50,000 before they go to a jury trial. Lawsuits involving claims for less go before elected judges, who tend to side with the "little guy" (their constituents) over the insurance companies. Insurers then pass these costs on to consumers.
Oklahoma's high premiums are chalked up to uninsured drivers and storm losses.
Michigan's no-fault insurance system guarantees unlimited, lifetime medical benefits to car accident victims. Victims' insurance carriers pay the first $500,000, and then are reimbursed for any amount above that threshold by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. This year’s assessment, which goes to support the claims association, is $145 for each insured vehicle, Insure.com notes.
The rates shown below are for comparative purposes and are an average of premiums in each state for all 900-plus vehicles in Insure.com's 2012 survey.
West Virginia: $2,002
Washington, D.C.: $1,866
Rhode Island: $1,830
New Jersey: $1,608
North Dakota: $1,426
New York: $1,431
South Dakota: $1,303
New Mexico: $1,274
New Hampshire: $1,133
South Carolina: $1,108
North Carolina: $1,022
For more about the states rankings, see the full article at Insure.com