Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 14, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • Your insurance provider will use your address as a premium determinant that’s known as a rating factor
  • The state that you live in affects your rates because of the type of insurance and the limits that are required by law
  • Your zip code can affect your base rate because of loss exposure and how it relates to property crime rates
  • If you live in a zip code where vehicles are vulnerable to thieves and vandals, you’ll pay a higher rate
  • Insurance companies now have access to a tool that helps to verify if someone is being honest about their address

It’s in your best interest to be honest when you’re answering questions on any auto insurance application.

If you withhold something about yourself or purposely give false information to an insurance agent, your insurer may have a legitimate reason to deny claims when you present them against your policy.

The last thing you want to do is get stuck paying for your own repairs after you’ve already paid car insurance premiums.

There are plenty of areas on the application that you might be tempted to fib. You could hide the fact you’ve had prior claims, underestimate your mileage, or fail to add a risky driver to your plan in an effort to keep your premiums low.

The way to save is by using a car insurance quote comparison tool! Enter your zip code above to compare today.

Using the wrong address can also be considered a risky tactic. Here’s what you need to know about your address and how it affects your insurance premiums:

How The State You Live In Affects Your Premiums


When all auto insurance premiums are averaged out nationwide, the average consumer pays around $841 per year for insurance.

While this statistic fluctuates as operational costs and claims totals change from year to year, most nationwide averages reported over the last decade are between $785 to $866 per year.

Nationwide averages help people get a feel for how expenditures are changing from year to year but they don’t represent how much you’ll pay for insurance in your state.

Auto insurance expenditures in each state can be much higher or even fairly lower than the nationwide average.

Some of the reasons that averages vary from state to state include:

  • Urban population vs, suburban or rural population
  • Miles driven on the highway
  • Disposable income per capita
  • Traffic density based on the population
  • Claims data reported and average settlement for closed claims
  • Coverage options and limits required in the state
  • The type of insurance system the state operates under (no-fault vs. tort)

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Where are auto insurance expenditures the highest?

It’s nice to know where the premiums are higher than the average rates reported. If you think you’re stuck paying a lot for your coverage, look at some of the average premiums reported in the top 10 most expensive states for automobile insurance:

  • New Jersey – $1,263
  • Michigan – $1,227
  • New York – $1,205
  • Louisiana – $1,193
  • District of Columbia – $1,192
  • Florida – $1,140
  • Delaware – $1,125
  • Rhode Island $1,106
  • Massachusetts – $1,035
  • Connecticut – $1,031

Usually, states make the list of the 10 most expensive states to buy auto insurance in because there’s a city where expenditures are substantially higher than anywhere else.

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It’s common for the most expensive cities to be in urban areas where population and crime rates are high. Here’s a list of the 10 most expensive cities to buy insurance in:

  • Detroit, MI – $10,723
  • New Orleans, LA – $4,310
  • Grand Rapids, MI – $4,042
  • Newark, NJ – $3,525
  • Baton Rouge, LA – $3,364
  • Hialeah, FL – $3,272
  • Jersey City, NJ – $3,267
  • Louisville, KY – $3,256
  • Miami, FL – $3,169
  • Philadelphia, PA – $2,931

Why does your zip code matter?


Your zip code can have a major impact on your insurance rates. Moving from one zip code to another that’s just a digit or two off can drive your premiums upward in an instant.

If you’re even planning a move, you need to be prepared for how your zip code change is going to influence a price adjustment.

You know that an address change will impact your rates, but do you really understand why rates fluctuate so much when there’s hardly any distance between the properties?

The main answer is that your zip code can expose you to a higher rate of accidents or property damage claims. Here are a few factors that are considered when a garaging address rating factor is assessed:

  • Property crime rates in the zip code
  • The value of vehicles driven in the area
  • The propensity of claims filed in the zip code
  • The total amount that claims are settled for the in zip code

Can an insurance company verify you’re giving the right address?

If you’re tempted at all to use a different garaging zip code so that you aren’t in a high-risk region, think twice.

You could save hundreds of dollars by changing some of the digits in your zip but that’s frowned upon now that companies have access to tools that verify garaging addresses.

If a car is sighted at a location regularly, it appears that the policyholder is being honest.

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What happens if the insurer believes you’re lying?


Using another person’s address to save money on your insurance is called rate evasion. It’s not just a bad practice, it’s a form of insurance fraud because insurers lose billions of dollars in premiums annually.

If the fraud prevention technology identifies that you’re not being honest, your policy could be dropped.

Technology has changed the way that the insurance marketplace operates. Since almost everything is verifiable, you need to be honest as you get quotes and apply for coverage.

When you’re ready to get quotes for insurance at different addresses, use our online quoting system to plug in your information and get instant price estimates.