Many Greater Gardner residents paying the state average for auto insurance – News – telegram.com

Posted on


When it comes to automobile insurance, where you live determines your cost as much as what you drive or how you drive it.

The average American pays $1,470 annually to insure a vehicle. But move to Maine, and that rate will drop by almost half. Motor to Michigan, and it will nearly double — even if nothing about your vehicle or driving habits change.

It’s not just your state. It’s also your ZIP code. Urban dwellers generally pay more for insurance than rural residents, with premiums sometimes tripling when you move from the farm to the city.

A resident of Corning, New York, for example, could face a 265 percent increase in insurance just by relocating to Brooklyn. That’s a hike of nearly $3,000 a year.

“I think a good number of folks — though certainly still not all — know that car insurance costs vary by state,” said Alyssa Connolly of auto insurance comparison website The Zebra. “However, when they find out it varies by as granular a variable as ZIP code — and that they could pay a different amount for insurance than their friend two blocks away — they’re frustrated and confused.”

The Zebra examined more than 61 million rates across the country for its 2019 State of the Auto Insurance Report and shared some of its data with GateHouse Media. The numbers reveal vast disparities based on not only geography, but the type of vehicle and the driving history.

 

Area residents paying state average

For residents of Greater Gardner, their insurance rates match up favorably with those from across Massachusetts.

On average, drivers in the Bay State paid an average of $1,277 for the year 2018. But residents of Greater Gardner were paying an average of $1,081 for insurance last year.

The lowest rate came for residents of Templeton, who paid an average of $991, one dollar less than a resident of Petersham. The highest rate, perhaps surprisingly, was for a resident of East Templeton who paid $1,207 on average in 2018.

READ :  Dan Fagan: Governor, lawmakers fail miserably on one of Louisiana's biggest issues | Opinion

In Gardner, the average insurance payment was a shade under the state average at $1,137. The full list for Greater Gardner in 2018 is as follows: Barre, $1,106; Athol, $1,133; Petersham, $992; Royalston, $1,083; Ashburnham, $1,062; Baldwinville, $1,036; East Templeton, $1,207; Gardner, $1,137; Hubbardston, $1,083; Templeton, $991; Westminster, $1,081; Princeton, $1,008; Winchendon, $1,141.

“As you can see from the study, there are a number of variables driving auto insurance premiums; when we add in tailoring coverage to the exact needs of a client, it can mean a hundred variables,” said Bill Trudeau, President of ICNE in Gardner. “Your situation, town and coverage needs can change quickly. A qualified independent agent has the tools to compare rates from multiple insurance companies, offer suggestions as you search for a new car, offer coverage options based on your budget, and really guide you to an informed decision.”

Trudeau added, “The rate of accidents has been rising over the last decade due to distractions inside our vehicles, it makes more sense now than ever to review your coverage and make sure it fits your situation.”

 

Women pay more than men

Annual auto insurance premiums have risen about 23 percent nationally since 2011, when they were at an average of $1,194, according to The Zebra.

The country’s inflation rate, by comparison, climbed by just half that during the same period.

States with the biggest rate hikes include Colorado, Rhode Island, Louisiana, California and Florida — all of which jumped by at least 50 percent. Colorado’s average annual rates nearly doubled from $944 to $1,682.

Just seven states saw reductions: Maine, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, Arkansas, Connecticut and Oklahoma. Oklahomans saved an average of $379 annually on car insurance premiums compared to 2011.

READ :  Sudbury drivers among most ticketed in province: Study

The Zebra generated its numbers based on the profile of a 30-year-old, single, male with a 2014 Honda Accord EX, a good driving history, and a standard insurance policy including injury liability, property damage liability and a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.

Deviations from this profile impact price. Women, for example, pay more than men — a less than 1 percent difference overall, but as high as 6 percent more in Nevada. And married drivers pay about 6 percent less nationally than their single friends.

The vehicle, too, makes a difference. Cars generally cost more to insure than trucks — about $500 higher annually on average. Among the most costly is the Audi R8, whose drivers pay more than $4,100 annually for insurance, based on the national average. Subaru Outback owners, by comparison, pay just $1,392.

 

Michigan feels the pinch

When factoring in geography, Michigan has the nation’s highest premiums at an average of $2,693 per vehicle, The Zebra’s data show.

Blame its no-fault insurance law for driving up costs. It requires drivers to purchase unlimited, lifetime medical liability regardless of who is at fault. Eleven other states also have no-fault insurance laws, but only Michigan requires unlimited personal injury protection.

That policy will change under bill signed by the governor in May that could save consumers up to $1,200 annually when it takes full effect.

Meanwhile, premiums remain steep in Michigan, and even more so in Detroit — the capital of the American automotive industry — where residents pay as much as $6,282 annually to insure just one vehicle.

“It’s higher in Detroit because the cost of an average claim in Detroit is higher, and fewer people have insurance so the likelihood of you being in an accident with an uninsured driver is higher,” said state Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, who voted in support of the insurance reform bill.

READ :  Guide to find No Down Payment Car Insurance Quote - Press Release

Hollier said he pays $7,500 annually to insure three vehicles, two of which are over a decade old and one without collision coverage. His best friend in a nearby suburb pays just half that to insure two brand-new vehicles, he said.

Within a decade, Hollier will have paid about $40,000 more than his friend on auto insurance.

“That’s a new roof, daycare, college education,” he said. “That stuff adds up really, really fast.”

 

Lowest rates, highest limits

Maine residents, meanwhile, enjoy the lowest rates in the nation. They pay an average of just $896 per vehicle, The Zebra’s data show.

Yet Maine, along with Alaska, has the highest mandatory minimum bodily injury liability limits in the country — $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. Most states require just half that.

“Because we’re cheap, you can have higher limits without spending a lot of money,” said Dan Bernier, an attorney who represents the Maine Insurance Agents Association.

Bernier credited several factors for reducing Maine’s premiums: It’s a largely rural state with a low crime rate; its numerous insurance carriers aggressively compete; and its juries rarely award high damages in auto-related lawsuits.

“When I was single in my 20s and living in Massachusetts, I was paying $1,500 a year for my Pontiac Sunbird,” Bernier said. “When I moved back to Maine, I got married and bought a house. And we were paying $1,500 to insure the house and two cars.”

Now, he said, he pays about $6,000 annually to insure his home and vehicles. But the family has two additional cars and two additional drivers who are among the costliest ages to insure — 19 and 21 years old.

“Having a kid as the primary driver on a car,” he said, “is very expensive.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *