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The Most And Least Expensive States For Car Insurance In 2013

He tells of a single mom who recently scraped enough money together to buy a used car and came to see him to buy auto insurance.

"It was a great day for her because she was finally able to get transportation to change her life," he says. "But the premium was $2,600 a year for the bare-minimum coverage. That includes no collision or comprehensive, and she can't afford it."

No. 3: Georgia

Victor Hamby, president of the Professional Insurance Agents of Georgia, says the market in the Atlanta metropolitan area was "ultra competitive" from about 2003 to 2010.

Then things took a turn.

"The carriers underpriced the market, and claims caught up with them," he says. "We're seeing carriers increasing rates on auto insurance for the first time in seven or eight years, anywhere from 2 to 12 percent. We're seeing some hardening in the market."

But plenty of companies are still competing in Georgia, says Hamby, personal lines and bonds manager at Hamby & Aloisio Inc. in Atlanta.

"And that's a great thing," he says. "The regulatory environment is conducive to insurance companies writing car insurance. We're working hard to keep the marketplace in Georgia vibrant and competitive."

Donna Marcus-Doughten, president-elect of the Professional Insurance Agents of Georgia, agrees that Georgia has a healthy, competitive market. But she says traffic is terrible in the Atlanta area, which may lead to more fender-benders.

"It's bumper to bumper across six lanes," says Marcus-Doughten, vice president of Phoenix Associates in Marietta.

No. 50: Iowa

Iowa's rural sensibilities help keep rates down in the Hawkeye State, insurance agents say. The population of Des Moines, the largest city, is about 200,000.

"I don't think we're as rushed to do things," observes Paul Pohlson, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa and vice president of Ramsey Weeks in Grinnell.

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