Research ranks auto insurance premiums by state and finds uninsured increase costs

 Car InsuranceAn online survey conducted by Insure.com, has shown that drivers in Louisiana, Michigan, and Oklahoma pay highest premiums for auto insurance in the country.

On the flip side, Vermont had the lowest car insurance rates, according to the same survey. The findings were based on the rates paid every year by single males who are 40 years old and who commute 12 miles every day to work.

This profile would generate a rate of $995 in Vermont, but was much higher in some other states. For example, the same person would pay $2,453 in Louisiana, and would pay $2.541 in Michigan, and $2,197 in Oklahoma.

The survey also identified some of the reasons that these states saw higher rates. Oklahoma, for instance, saw two major factors that caused their premiums to skyrocket: a very high rate of uninsured motorists, and the common occurrence of extreme weather events such as ice storms and tornados.

In Oklahoma, almost one quarter (24 percent) of all drivers get behind the wheel without being insured. Oklahoma is the fourth worst state or uninsured drivers. The worst is New Mexico, where 29 percent of drivers are uninsured.

Though states don’t have any control over their severe weather events, they are beginning to see the uninsured driver rate as something that is within their control and that can help to decrease the premiums paid by their insured drivers.

Oklahoma, for example, has started to take some small steps toward lowering the rate of uninsured motorists in order to achieve that goal. In November 2010, it enacted a law that gave police officers the authority to have the vehicles of uninsured drivers towed away. The primary struggle with that law’s enforcement is that the police only discover that the driver is uninsured if he or she is stopped for another traffic violation.

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