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TheStreet Open House

The Most And Least Expensive States For Car Insurance In 2013

Maine and Iowa held the bottom two spots on the list last year and have been in the bottom 10 since 2010.

A variety of factors make car insurance rates more painful in some states than others -- the number of insurers competing for business, driving conditions, the portion of drivers who are uninsured, and the way state insurance systems are set up.

No. 1: Louisiana

Compared to the rest of the country, Louisiana drivers who get in accidents file more bodily injury claims than drivers in other states.

Louisiana also has a high rate of comprehensive claims, which include damage from natural disasters, says R. Parke Ellis, president-elect of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana and chairman of Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc. in New Orleans.

In addition, a greater portion of people filing insurance claims hire attorneys, says Barry Blumberg, president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana and president and CEO of Blumberg and Associates Inc. in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana's judicial system may also be to blame for high rates. Lawsuits involving claims under $50,000 go before judges instead of juries. Some observers say elected judges are more likely to side with local people than insurance companies.

No. 2: Michigan

Michigan is the only state in the country that guarantees unlimited, lifetime personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for treatment of injuries from a car accident.

Other states don't even come close, observes Jeremy MacDonald, vice president of the Michigan Association of Professional Insurance Agents and president of the Mid-Michigan Agency Inc. in Alma. Florida caps PIP benefits at $10,000, for instance, and New York at $50,000.

MacDonald says an instructor at an insurance course for agents once quipped, "'I tell my wife if I have a heart attack, put me in the car and roll it into a tree.'"

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