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Greenville Business Magazine

South Carolina among 10 most expensive states for car insurance

Apr 28, 2020 04:30PM ● By David Dykes, a comprehensive resource for insurance information, released its annual ranking of the most and least expensive states for car insurance. For the seventh year in a row, Michigan takes the top spot as the highest cost state to insure a vehicle, with an average annual premium of $2,878. That amounts to 90 percent higher than the current national average auto insurance cost of $1,517.

While the Wolverine State has far and away the priciest premiums, last year's second most expensive state, Louisiana, reclaims that spot, averaging $2,389. Louisiana's rates rose substantially from 2019, up 4 percent from its 2019 average of $2,298.

For Michigan, one of the factors contributing to high rates is its unique insurance system, which includes no-fault car insurance that requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, officials said. 

PIP helps cover medical expenses for the policyholder, family members and any passengers in the vehicle that are injured during a car accident.

Overall, the average annual insurance cost for the 10 most expensive states, one being a district, is $2,082, a list that includes:

1. Michigan ($2,878)

6. Georgia ($1,936)

2. Louisiana ($2,389)

7. Washington, DC ($1,928)

3. Florida ($2,239) 

8. Rhode Island ($1,918)

4. Texas ($2,050)

9. South Carolina ($1,759)

5. California ($1,968)

10. Delaware ($1,757)

In many cases, state rates are pushed higher due to factors such as a large number of uninsured drivers, inclement weather and high population density, officials said.  

But these factors also help keep rates down in other states, the officials said. For example, Maine is found to have the least expensive car insurance with an annual premium of $912. That's partly due to being 38th in population density and having the lowest rate of uninsured drivers in the country, with only 4.5 percent of drivers lacking coverage, according to 

Maine's low annual car insurance premium average of $912 puts it 40 percent below the national average. Overall, the average yearly car insurance for the 10 least expensive states is $1,115, a list that includes:

1. Maine ($912)

6. Iowa ($1,123)

2. New Hampshire ($985)

7. Indiana ($1,213)

3. Ohio ($1,034)

8. North Dakota ($1,229)

4. Wisconsin ($1,049)

9. Tied - Virginia ($1,270)

5. Idaho ($1,062)

9. Tied - Pennsylvania ($1,270)

"The goal behind our survey is to show consumers that their state has unique circumstances that impact car insurance premiums, such as Michigan and it's no-fault car insurance system," says Penny Gusner,'s senior consumer analyst. "If you're looking for the best rates available, understand average auto insurance rates in your state. This can help you assess whether or not a policy is a good value, especially if you live in a state that's ranked among the most costly. Identify the factors that can be controlled, and those that can't, and then use those insights to your advantage by comparing as many rates as possible."

To do this, offers an interactive map that gives motorists an at-a-glance view of state rate information and shows how each compares to the national average. also provides a tool for consumers to research national and state car insurance rates for 2020 vehicles – which the insurance information site says is a must when planning a new car purchase.

For the entire report and its methodology, read: Car Insurance Rates by State, 2020 Edition. is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST).