The first entry to our little list of states with unusually high auto insurance isn't a state at all -- it's the District of Columbia. But as D.C. residents will tell you, The District functions like a state, with its own governance and a Department of Motor Vehicles that is separate from Virginia and Maryland. Washington, D.C. has a lot going for it -- great museums, history and the Cherry Blossom Festival -- but affordable auto insurance isn't one of them. Those corporate lobbyists must be to blame!
As far as cities are concerned, Washington, D.C. actually isn't in that bad shape; it hasn't cracked the top 10 of most expensive cities in recent years, and it's nowhere near Detroit, the country's most expensive city for car insurance. But at an average of $1,866 per year in 2012, the nation's capital is still pretty pricey.
The main reason that car insurance costs so much in D.C. is that it's generally more expensive to insure a car in a city than it is in a small town or rural area, and the entire district happens to be urban. Why do the insurance companies have against city-dwellers? For one thing, cities tend to have higher rates of theft and accidents, so they view them as higher risks. Also, cities and nearby suburbs tend to be the places where wealth is concentrated, and because of that, city dwellers often buy pricier cars than people who live in the country. The more expensive the car is, the more expensive it is to insure.