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The Best States To Save On Car Insurance

Ohio drivers who shop around for car insurance are likely to save a bigger chunk of their annual bills than motorists anywhere else in the U.S.

A  ZIP-code-by-ZIP-code analysis of Ohio rates from six national insurance carriers showed an average rate for full coverage of $969 a year.  But the cheapest rate averaged just $424 a year -- a savings of 56 percent on identical coverage.

Nationally, the average potential savings was $407, or 32 percent.

Rates from the six companies were the most similar in New Jersey, where a driver who bought the cheapest policy would save $112.

Even within the same state, differences in location can bring huge changes in savings.  A Valparaiso, Neb., driver could save 51 percent off the average price for that ZIP code by shopping around and choosing the cheapest rate. But just 55 miles away in Omaha, the potential savings are 23 percent.

“Rural areas are almost always cheaper than cities,” says CarInsurance.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner. “But every insurance company will put a different number on how risky a ZIP code is. Sometimes the differences are shocking -- thousands of dollars.”

Here are the top 10 states for potential savings:
State Average rate Cheapest rate Savings Change
1. Ohio $969 $424 $545 56%
2. Oklahoma $1,971 $1,035 $936 47%
3. Arizona $931 $510 $421 45%
4. Wyoming $1,419 $801 $618 44%
5. Montana $1,773 $1,009 $764 43%
6. Kansas $1,217 $710 $507 42%
7. New Hampshire $1,172 $693 $479 41%
8. Alabama $1,414 $850 $564 40%
9. South Dakota $1,062 $636 $427 40%
10. Nebraska $1,066 $649 $416 39%

The study gathered rates by ZIP code from Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm for a 40-year-old man with a clean record driving a 2012 Honda Accord. ZIP codes are a primary car insurance pricing factor in most states, along with age, driving record and miles driven.

You can find the lowest and highest rates for every ZIP code in the U.S. with CarInsurance.com's Nosy Neighbor tool. While the rates you see are from nationally known insurers and derived from their publicly filed rating formulas, the prices don't include the car insurance discounts a typical shopper may see once the policy is written. (See “ Your guide to car insurance discounts.”)

Here are potential car insurance savings by state:

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