How does where you live affect your auto insurance rate?

Author's Note

All insurance involves a kind of paradox. When I insure my auto, home, health or life, I'm betting I'm going to have a car crash, lose my house to a fire, get sick or be run down by a train. The insurance company's betting I'm not. And the odds are stacked in their favor.

Preparing this article set me to thinking how complicated the issue really is. Somehow, insurance companies and regulators have to find a balance between spreading the risk to everyone and charging more to those who are more likely to file a claim. It raises all kinds of questions. Should I pay more for home insurance if I build in a flood plain? More for car insurance if I'm under 25? More for health insurance if I smoke?

Two things seem clear. One is that there are no easy answers. The other is that whatever your insurance premiums are, you're bound to think they're too high.

Related Articles


  • Auto Insurance Tips. "Your Zip Code and Your Auto Insurance Premium: How Where You Live Impacts How Much You Pay,", May 18, 2009. (March 8, 2012)
  • "Worst places to buy car insurance," MSN Money, May 3, 2011. (March 8, 2012)
  • Ohio History Central. "World's First Automobile Accident." (March 8, 2012)
  • Ruuska, Allison. "Does Where You Live Affect Your Auto Insurance Premium?", January 21, 2008. (March 8, 2012)