10 U.S. Cities Where Car Insurance Is Most Costly in 2019

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

guteksk7 / Shutterstock.com

What’s the most expensive U.S. city for car insurance? If you guessed New York City, you’d be wrong.

It’s Detroit that comes in at the top. Residents of Motor City pay an average of $5,464 each year in car insurance premiums, according to the 2019 State of Auto Insurance report from insurance search engine The Zebra. NYC comes in at No. 5, though.

At the other end of the spectrum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has the lowest average annual premium — a mere $846.

The Zebra’s data is based on rates from 2011 to 2018, a spokesperson tells Money Talks News. At times, those figures are scary — in some places, auto insurance rates went up as much as 78% during that time frame.

The 10 most expensive cities for insuring a vehicle are:

  1. Detroit — $5,464 average annual premium
  2. New Orleans — $3,686
  3. Hialeah, Florida — $2,997
  4. Miami — $2,913
  5. New York City — $2,814
  6. Tampa, Florida — $2,786
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana — $2,766
  8. Las Vegas — $2,609
  9. Philadelphia — $2,520
  10. Los Angeles — $2,510

As a whole, Motown’s home state of Michigan also has the highest average annual premium of all 50 states, The Zebra found.

Factoring into the state’s high rates are its laws on personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which pays medical expenses if the insured or the insured’s passengers are injured in an accident.

As we reported in “These 5 States Have the Most Outrageous Car Insurance Rates,” Michigan state law requires all drivers to carry PIP coverage, guaranteeing unlimited medical benefits to car accident victims. This has the effect of driving up insurance rates.

Michigan also has the fourth-highest rate of uninsured motorists in the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute. About 20% of drivers forgo buying insurance there, which can contribute to higher costs for insured drivers.

The good news is that no matter where you live, you can take steps to lower your auto insurance costs.

Perhaps the single best way to do that is to simply shop around. You can contact multiple insurers for quotes or let a tool like The Zebra do this work for you.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson lays out more pointers for you in “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.” It should be required reading for all drivers. Even those who live in cheaper-to-insure cities will likely discover tips on saving money.

What’s your take on the most expensive cities for auto insurance? And how have you cut your insurance costs? Share with us by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.