When it comes to car insurance, New Jersey has the ninth highest rates in the nation according to Insure.com's 2014 study of auto insurance premiums.

Win McNamee, Getty Images
Win McNamee, Getty Images

"For any state, it's going to come down to two things; competition and claims," said Amy Danise, editorial director of Insure.com. "If you have a really competitive market and a lot of people competing for business, the consumers will generally get a better deal than they might in other states. But, it's also a question of claims. If you have a lot of people filing frequent claims or expensive claims, that's going to push up the rates for everyone in that state especially if you have a lot of urban areas where you have frequent crashes."

According to the study, Michigan took the number one spot where drivers spend an average of $2,551 for car insurance. West Virginia and Georgia round out the top three. In New Jersey, drivers spend about $1,905 on average for auto insurance. Ohio has the least expensive rates where the average driver spends $926 for insurance.

Legislation also plays a role if there are laws in a state that force costs to go higher for drivers. For example, Michigan guarantees lifetime medical benefits for people injured in car accidents. It also depends on how well a state insurance department regulates rates. "Are they hard on insurers who submit rate increase requests or do they just let any rate increase request go through?" Danise said.

Generally, states where rates are low lack the urban areas that tend to push rates up, and those states also tend to have a competitive market which allows consumers more freedom to comparison shop for lower rates.





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