#low rate auto insurance
Wisconsin ranks 7th-lowest in U.S. for auto insurance rates
By Paul Gores of the Journal Sentinel
Updated Feb. 24, 2014
Wisconsin has the nation’s seventh-lowest auto insurance rates, and they could be even lower for people who drive a new Jeep Wrangler Sport.
Those are among conclusions from a survey released Monday by the insurance information website Insure.com.
The company ranked average annual premiums on 2014 model-year vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for a 40-year-old single male driver with a good driving record and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. Wisconsin’s average was $1,087, which was higher than only North Carolina, Iowa, Idaho, New Hampshire, Maine and Ohio. Ohio’s average was $926 — a low rate that Insure.com said may have been due in part to competition by the 660 or so companies that sell insurance there.
The highest annual premium — $2,551 — was in Michigan, where under the state’s no-fault auto insurance system, drivers must buy “generous” unlimited lifetime personal injury protection, Insure.com said. That type of coverage pays for treatment of injuries for the driver, members of the household and passengers who don’t have their own personal injury protection benefits.
Insure.com also ranked the most and least expensive 2014 model-year vehicles to insure in the United States. The least expensive was the Jeep Wrangler Sport, at $1,080. It was followed by Honda Odyssey LX, $1,103; Jeep Patriot Sport, $1,104; Honda CR-V LX, $1,115; and Jeep Compass Sport, $1,140.
The most expensive were: Nissan GT-R Track Edition, $3,169; BMW M6, $3,065; Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic AWD, $3,019; Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, $2,986; and Porsche Panamera Turbo S, $2,970.
“Family cars generally have the lowest auto insurance premiums,” said Amy Danise, spokeswoman for Insure.com, in a statement announcing the survey results. “People ferrying kids are always the safest drivers, and that holds down rates on popular family vehicles. What we’ve seen over the last few years of this study is that SUVs are replacing minivans as the family vehicle of choice.”
Wisconsin historically has ranked among the least-costly states for auto insurance. In 2012, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, Wisconsin had almost 200 companies selling private passenger car insurance.
Having many insurers competing helps keep costs down, said J.P. Wieske, spokesman of the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
“We have a lot of competition, a lot of consumer choice,” Wieske said. “And I think that’s what this is reflective of — the fact that we’ve got a lot of competitors who are competing for Wisconsinites’ business.”
“A lot of companies do operate in Wisconsin,” said Steve Witmer, a spokesman for Madison-based American Family Insurance, which insures about one of every five cars in the state. “We have a competitive market that serves the consumers well.”
For the survey, averages were calculated using data from six large insurance carriers — Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm — in 10 ZIP codes per state. Not all models were available, especially exotic cars. More than 850 models are included in the 2014 study.
Averages were based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident, and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.
State averages were calculated by averaging the rates for all 855 models surveyed for each state.
Insure.com said the average rates are for comparative purposes only, and actual rates depend on personal factors.