NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Taxes, schools, health care costs, quality of life and job opportunities are all affected by where you call home, and so too is auto insurance.
In fact, there is a 165% payment disparity between the nation's most expensive city for auto insurance (that would be Detroit) and the average cost for auto insurance in the rest of the U.S.
InsuranceQuotes.com ran the numbers, and it's clear that residents of the Motor City pay the most - and by a wide margin - for auto insurance in the U.S.
Following are New York City (36% more than the national average), Miami (34% more) and Los Angeles (25% more).
On the budget-friendly side of the scale, Charlotte, N.C. residents pay the least for auto insurance at 43% below the national average, with Cleveland (31% less) and Pittsburgh (24% less) ranking next on the list.
Why the big disparity, and why do Detroit residents pay so much relative to the rest of the country? It's a combination of factors, some the fault of state legislators and some the fault of uninsured drivers.
"One of the main reasons why car insurance is so expensive in the Detroit area is because Michigan is the only state where car insurance includes unlimited personal injury protection," says Laura Adams, a senior analyst at InsuranceQuotes. "Also, Detroit has a very high percentage of uninsured motorists - as high as 50% by some estimates. That unfortunately raises rates for those who do have car insurance."
If you live in Detroit, or another pricey city for auto insurance, take these steps to cut your insurance bill:
Get a high deductible. The higher your auto insurance deductible, the less you'll pay on auto insurance.
Think ahead before you buy a new car, SUV, or truck. Auto insurers look at what kind of vehicle you drive. Some, like GM's Saturn, came with lower insurance costs because it had dent-resistant doors. Other vehicles, including most convertibles, come with higher insurance rates because they are a favorite target for auto thieves.
Bundle. The more insurance policies you have with one company, the lower your rate on auto insurance - it's a moneymaker for the insurer and a convenience (and a money saver) for you.
Also, ask your insurer about low-mileage discounts if you don't drive a lot, or safe driving price breaks for accident-free driving. Most insurers will offer deals on low-driving and safe-driving habits.
Other than that, the best advice is not to live in Detroit if you want a big price break on your auto insurance.
— By Brian O'Connel for MainStreet