For the average driver, it’s a fair bet that the he or she looks at auto insurance as a necessary evil; certainly something that they would rather not have to shell out hundreds of dollars every six months. But despite the common sentiment that paying large amounts of money for a car, truck or motorcycle insurance policy that they may never have needed, someday, somewhere you or a family member might just be thankful for that coverage.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff fight against lawyers for various insurance companies in court when benefits or insurance payouts have been withheld or reduced unfairly. As much as some people might rail against having to buy car insurance, having a policy that covers one’s vehicle is required by law. That said, it’s important to remind critics why carrying coverage is a good idea for every driver.
For one, car insurance protects the owner and/or driver from personal liability in the event that his car, truck or bike is involved in a traffic accident. If a person gets into an accident and they are found to be at fault he or she can be held personally (read: financially) responsible for the damage to property and for the costs of any medical treatment incurred by those injured as a result of one’s mistake or negligence.
Needless to say, the monetary costs that an individual could be liable for can be well above the existing resources of the average driver or his family. In short, without an insurance police to cover damages and the medical bills of injured parties if one is found negligent in a car or truck collision can bankrupt most people and even ruin most families. It is not uncommon for individuals who have caused a bad traffic accident and did not have insurance coverage on their vehicle to be forced to selling their family’s home, stocks and bonds, or other personal assets just to pay the costs of the injured parties.
Since even one car or motorcycle crash can force a person to the brink of bankruptcy, it makes complete sense to carry the proper amount of auto insurance to cover any eventualities. Now, when it comes to the cost of insurance, this can vary state to state. A short while ago, the folks at Insure.com published their annual ranking of least-to-most-expensive states in terms of insurance premiums.
The good news, if one can state it that way, is that Maryland is about mid-pack when it comes to auto insurance costs. Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, our state came in at the 21st spot — just $18 above the average annual cost for the entire nation. That’s the good news, as we said. The bad news is for residents of Washington, D.C., who rank as the fifth most expensive area of the country.
Based on information provided by the Insure.com researchers, drivers in the District pay and average of $2,006; twice as much as the cheapest state (Maine), but still more than 25 percent less than drivers in Louisiana, the most expensive state for auto insurance according to Insure.com. The reason why Louisiana is so expense, by the way, is reportedly due to the large number of bodily injury claims tht are filed each year throughout that state.
The second most costly state for auto insurance is Michigan, which researchers attribute high premiums to that state’s guarantee of unlimited lifetime personal injury protection benefits for treatment of injuries from a car crash.
This was the third year in a row that Insure.com had performed this research. In order to arrive at these rankings, researchers reviewed automobile insurance rates for more than 750 vehicle models from a half dozen major car insurance carriers, namely Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, Nationwide, Farmers and Progressive in 10 ZIP codes for each of the states.
The typical driver profile used for the comparison was a single male, aged 40 years, with a “clean” driving record, good credit, and who travels 12 miles to work each day; policy limits were set at $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries, and $50,000 for property damage in each accident. Deductibles were set at $500 for both collision and comprehensive.
Naturally, the figures that the company’s researchers came up with are fore comparison purposes, and spokesperson for the Insure.com stated that people’s actual rates may vary depending on individual factors. Nevertheless, it is an interesting comparison piece, which serves to point up the differences between states as far as insurance affordability goes.
The most and least expensive states for car insurance in 2013, Insure.com, March 14, 2013
Best and worst states for car insurance prices, MSN.com, March 19, 2013