Drivers who live in New York or Washington D.C. can breathe a sigh of relief: the average insurance cost in their state (or district) is a relative bargain when compared to Louisiana. The average premium for a resident of Louisiana is $2,510.87 per year, compared to $1,753.19 for a Washington D.C. resident and $1,463.21 for a New Yorker.
Why is insurance in Louisiana so expensive? It’s got nothing to do with accident rates, uninsured motorists or traffic violations; instead, it’s based on the amount of money insurance companies pay out to settle litigation. Louisiana law requires a jury for civil awards in excess of $50,000.00, which means that most cases settle at $49,000.00 to avoid the uncertainty of presenting a case before a jury. Louisiana also has more lawsuits and bodily injury claims per capita than most other states, factors that drive insurance costs through the roof. Surprisingly, claims from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 did not influence insurance costs.
Rounding out the top five most expensive states are Michigan ($2,098.29), Oklahoma ($1,869.39), Montana ($1,857.96) and California ($1,774.41). On the flip side, the five cheapest states to insure a car are New Hampshire ($1,011.23), Wisconsin ($1,010.93), Ohio ($999.86), Vermont ($986.58) and Maine ($902.85). Choose your next residence accordingly.