Relocation to a new community causes many people to re-learn auto insurance rules and options — and many result in higher rates, says Sean Denny of www.AutoInsurancePlanners.com. You can check average rates for your new home area, and might consider factors like where to live or what type of car to drive to keep rates down.
Average auto insurance cost varies across states. The average expenditure, which combines liability, collision and comprehensive coverage to show what U.S. consumers spent, on average, for auto insurance, ranged in 2003 from $536 a year in North Dakota to $1,188 in New Jersey, and averaged $821 countrywide. Although those 2003 rates were 7.5 percent higher than 2002, industry experts say rate increases have slowed, and should average just a 1.5 percent increase in 2005.
How can you affect those rates? Review insurance costs when deciding where to live, not only which state, but whether to live in an urban, suburban or rural area. Insurers base their rates on traffic density, theft and other factors, such as state liability laws, medical costs, fraud and lawsuit frequency and severity.
For instance, the highest auto theft rates in the U.S. are in the West and the South, while the Midwest and the Northeast have the lowest rates. Auto theft is rising fastest in suburban areas and mid-sized cities. If buying a new car, choose one that is not as popular among thieves.
Accidents can be expensive, especially when someone is injured, which happens in more than 1 in 4 crashes. Although accident rates have been trending down, severity has been going up, especially for accidents involving sport utility vehicles. Medical treatment after an injury can cost $6,000 to $9,000. You can affect your chance of an accident by living closer to your job or in an area where traffic density is lower.
Whether the cost of auto insurance is a factor in choosing your new home, use a comparison shopping Web site like www.AutoInsurancePlanners.com to get the most choices and the best car insurance rates available.
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