Wisconsin has Eighth-Lowest Auto Insurance Costs in United States

Wisconsin is among states with the least expensive auto insurance rates, but premiums in the metro Milwaukee area are rising faster than the national average, a new report says.

A study by the online auto insurance search engine and research firm The Zebra found Wisconsin had an average annual premium of $1,040 for car insurance, which was lower than all but seven states in the United States.

In the survey, Michigan had the highest annual average premium, at $2,610. North Carolina had the lowest, at $865. Overall, the report said, car insurance rates are higher than they’ve ever been, with a national average annual premium of $1,427, or 20% higher than in 2011.

Wisconsin historically has had among the lowest auto insurance rates in the U.S., and part of the reason is many insurance companies want to do business in the state, Franken said. According to the most recent report from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, in 2016 there were about 175 companies offering private passenger car insurance in Wisconsin.

“We’re pretty proud of that history, and we hope it continues,” Franken said. “I think it’s the positive regulatory climate, positive litigation climate and a lot of credit to the state drivers.”

The study said insurance companies are penalizing distracted drivers for the first time since the advent of cellphones, though still not nearly as much as other dangerous traffic violations.

To compile the survey, The Zebra said, it conducted a comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis between September and December using its proprietary quote engine, using data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra said it examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all U.S. zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, D.C.