Your zip code determines your base car insurance rates and therefore has a significant effect on how much premium you pay. Not only every zip code has a different auto theft, vandalism, accident statistics, road conditions, congestion, population density, fraudulent injury claims, weather conditions and socio-economic factors but also the vehicle insurer you applied to has its own claim experience, risk assessment and premium calculation methods. This results in different auto insurance rates for each zip code and company.
Generally, metro areas and large cities are considered high-risk zip codes due to congested roads, auto thefts, vandalism and higher number of claims in comparison to suburbs, smaller towns and rural regions. For example, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City have some of the highest vehicle insurance rates in the country. On the contrary, living in a sleepy hamlet where nothing hardly ever happens can qualify residents for lower car insurance.
Cities also have higher wages, rents and business taxes which can translate as higher vehicle repair costs that affect insurance premiums. Also, they have a higher number of injury claims in most places due to accidents with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Another noticeable factor affecting automobile insurance rates in particular zip codes is bad weather like storms, hailstorms, blizzards, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes since they cause large destructions and significant losses for insurers.
Naturally, which state you live in affects rates because of the different insurance, traffic and licensing rules, ratio of uninsured drivers, population density, income levels and competition in the insurance market. Also, some state legislators may make it easier for policyholders to make larger injury or loss claims that have to be reflected on prices everyone in that state has to pay.
For exactly the same drivers, vehicle and other details, motorists may have to spend several times more between the cheapest and most expensive auto insurance zip codes in the country. Even with averaged out rates and for state required minimum coverage, you would pay over 6 times more in New York state ($1,371) than Iowa ($223). This may be an extreme example but shows the significance of zip code clearly.
Car insurance companies have to care about every little detail because they increase or reduce the risks they face. For example, if you live in a state, metro area or particular zone with a high number of accidents, companies experience higher claims, repair and replacement costs. In order to counter the losses, insurers have to increase the base rates for every policyholder in that zip code.
Automobile insurers utilize years of claims data and statistics, have the programming capabilities to consider minute details and work out the likelihood of having to pay for more or less damages and injuries in every zip code that even neighboring districts, towns or streets can see noticeable premium differences on vehicle insurance.
So, motorists living in low-risk zip codes can afford the coverage they want more comfortably. Contrarily, people living in high-risk zip codes have to be much more mindful of the type of cars and coverage levels they choose because their base rates are higher to start with and every negative change in their details would push the costs even higher.
The address where the vehicle is kept is one of the most important factors influencing automobile insurance premiums, along with age, the car details, credit score and driving history. The more of these factors work in your favor the less you spend on coverage.
Shopping around for the cheapest car insurance rates still work regardless of your zip code because every company determines their prices independently. So, motorists shouldn’t ignore the power of getting a few quotes and comparing them to find the best deals in their areas.