If you watch any amount of television in America these days, chances are you've viewed countless car insurance ads. They feature talking geckos, cavemen, perky sales people and "mayhem" personified as a car-wrecking villain. Ad spending by the insurance industry now tops $4 billion, and auto insurance makes up a big part of it. Insurance companies are getting aggressive with their ad campaigns because of increasing competition in the field, and because they want to attract new clients who, perhaps dissatisfied with escalating premiums, are increasingly taking to the Web to search for insurance quotes [source: Schultz].
There are many factors that go into determining your auto insurance premium, including driving record, age and vehicle safety features, but one of the most important factors that goes into the calculation is your location. Insurance companies tend to view some places as higher risk than others, and as a result, they require drivers in those places to pay more -- sometimes significantly more -- for insurance.
But isn't that undemocratic? Shouldn't everyone pay the same rate for the same service? Well, that's not how the insurance companies see it, as shown by the great disparity between the costs of car insurance in different parts of the country. For example, the average driver in Maine pays just $889 per year for car insurance, while a driver in Detroit, the nation's priciest city, pays a whopping $5,941 per year. But Detroit isn't the only place in the U.S. where people need to empty their wallets to cover their cars. Keep reading to see five states with unusually high auto insurance.