State Auto Insurance Laws That Affect Your Quote

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You thought you understood how auto insurance quote job. Then you moved to a new state and found things to be a lot different. State auto insurance laws and regulations have a big impact on how much you pay and the type of coverage you have.

Here is an overview of some key factors.

Protection against injuries

Injury Protection (PIP) covers the medical costs that you and your passengers may have after an accident, regardless of who caused it. He can also pay for rehabilitation, lost wages, funeral expenses and child care.

You must purchase personal injury protection in no fault auto insurance States where your own insurer always pays for the treatment of your injuries. The 12 clear states are Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah (plus Puerto Rico). In these states, drivers can usually only sue the offending party for serious injuries – ones that cost more than a certain amount to treat, or cause the injured driver to miss a certain number of days of work, for example.

Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland and Oregon also require drivers to purchase personal injury protection, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Other states, like Washington, require coverage unless policyholders expressly reject it. California does the same for medical payment coverage, which is similar, but does not cover lost wages or services such as rehabilitation and child care.

Uninsured and underinsured motorists

If you are injured or your property is damaged in a hit and run or an accident caused by someone without insurance, Uninsured Motorist Protection pays for your treatment or the damage. It is required in Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Dakota North and South, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the Insurance Information Institute. New Hampshire requires you to have it if you choose to purchase auto insurance, which is not required in this state.

Coverage for underinsured motorists pays for expenses that exceed the policy limits of the person who caused the accident. It is required in Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North and South Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia. North Carolina requires it in policies with coverage limits greater than $ 30,000 per person and $ 60,000 per accident.


Some states require suppliers to offer discounted rates to drivers who have certain safety equipment on their cars. Antilock brakes and airbags, for example, allow drivers to take advantage of discounts in Florida, New Jersey and New York. Other features that qualify for state-mandated discounts include automatic seat belts (New York and New Jersey) and daytime running lights (New York).

Tariff rules

States have different regulations regarding what insurers can take into account when setting rates. North Carolina, for example, prohibits basing fares on gender or age, although it allows a surcharge for drivers with less than three years of experience. Massachusetts blocks the use of factors such as gender, marital status, occupation, income, education, credit rating, and age (with the exception of a discount for drivers over 65 years and over). Likewise, Hawaii prohibits the use of age, gender, credit rating, marital status, and years of driving experience in setting rates.

Interestingly, California requires insurers to factor drivers’ years of experience into rates, along with information about their driving record and annual mileage. The state also defines other factors that companies may choose to consider, including car model, vehicle use, driver training, gender, marital status, and frequency and severity of incidents. claims where the car is based.

Many states require insurers to base rates only on factors related to a driver’s likelihood of having an accident. This is why several states have acted against “price optimization, A practice in which insurers charge consumers more than they consider unlikely to shop.

Finally, some states regulate increases in insurance rates. A notable example is North Carolina, which sets maximum rates. Insurers can still offer discounts or get around limits by refusing to provide certain coverage unless people agree to pay more. The rate increases also require state approval in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia, according to a report by the Consumer Federation of America. The report found that tariffs increased an average of 48% in those states between 1989 and 2010, compared with 70.1% in states that do not review tariffs or even require companies to file notices of. pricing.

State regulations are a factor that causes auto insurance quotes to change dramatically from state to state. This can mean that the company you chose before you moved might not offer you the best deal for your new home, so it pays to shop around.

NerdWallet’s auto insurance estimate tool can help you easily compare rates.

Aubrey Cohen is a writer at Nerdwallet, a personal finance site. E-mail: [email protected]. Twitter: @aubreycohen.

Car image via iStock.

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Lois Mendez

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