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According to a recent survey by Insure.com, Oklahomans continue to pay among the nation’s highest rates for car insurance. Yahoo.com recently graphed the findings of the most expensive states to the least expensive states to insure an automobile.

Rank

State

Avg. Premium

1

Louisiana

$2,510.87

2

Michigan

$2,098.29

3

Oklahoma

$1,869.39

4

Montana

$1,857.96

5

California

$1,774.41

6

South Dakota

$1,772.83

7

Washington, D.C.

$1,753.19

8

Georgia

$1,751.42

9

Illinois

$1,679.15

10

Connecticut

$1,678.90

Source: Insure.com, from a study commissioned by Insure.com from Quadrant Information Services

As you see, Oklahoma ranked 3rd among all states for the most expensive car insurance. So the question I have is why are automobile insurance rates so high for Oklahomans?

To answer the above question, I discussed this with a friend (who will remain nameless since he occasionally cavorts with this personal injury attorney) who works in the automobile insurance field. Together, we identified (not scientifically of course) reasons why automobile insurance rates are so high in Oklahoma. We identified the following as some of the predominant reasons automobile insurance rates are so high Oklahoma:

  1. 1. High Number of Uninsured.
  2. 2. Low Incomes Resulting in Low Credit Scores.
  3. 3. Weather Related Losses (Hail and Storm Damage)
  4. 4. A Lot of Youth Drivers Having Their Own Cars.

Studies have consistently shown that one in three drivers in Oklahoma is without car insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council, in 2007, the five states with the highest uninsured driver estimates were New Mexico (29 percent), Mississippi (28 percent), Alabama (26 percent), Oklahoma (24 percent), and Florida (23 percent). The five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Massachusetts (1 percent), Maine (4 percent), North Dakota (5 percent), New York (5 percent), and Vermont (6 percent).

Believe it or not your credit scores also play a role in your premiums. According to insure.com your insurance company probably sees a correlation between your credit history and insurance premium.

Many home and auto insurance companies use your credit information, filtered through a formula to create an "insurance risk score," to determine how likely you are to file an insurance claim. Your premium bill could rise if you have a bad credit score, even if you haven’t filed a claim.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insurance companies use these risk scores to help differentiate between lower and higher insurance risks and thus charge a premium equal to the risk they are assuming. Statistically, people who have a poor insurance score are more likely to file a claim, according to III.

Oklahomans also endure several weather related losses each year. I’m sure many of our Oklahoma readers have made hail damage related claims or have had their vehicles damages in our spring and summer storms. Believe it or not, I actually had an automobile that was totaled two (2) years ago in a hail storm. This weather dynamic is definitely accounted for by insurance companies.

Last but not least my friend and I discussed the fact that Oklahoma has a disproportionate number of teen drivers whose rates are high due to their age and risk factor. If you are parent of a teen you recognize the fact that you pay much higher premiums for that teen. Oklahoma is a rural area and we are not blessed with much in the way of public transportation even in our larger cities. This dynamic has lead to many Oklahoma teens having their own automobile and thus higher premiums are reflected in the state’s overall average.

I want you to take careful notice that Oklahoma’s liability laws didn’t seem to factor into the evaluation by my friend. Why? A little secret that insurance companies do not like you to know is that Oklahoma juries are very conservative and in general there are very few high verdict cases each year. In fact, a trend in Oklahoma has seen many “soft tissue” cases only receiving the amount of medical bills from the jury. While as a personal injury car accident attorney, I find this appalling and have personally not been subject to such a low verdict, but recognize that each jury trial in Oklahoma represents this risk.

If you or loved one has been injured or a loved one killed in an auto accident, McIntyre Law, P.C. has the experience and knowledge needed to successfully handle your auto accident case. Contact us immediately after an auto accident and we will discuss the situation with you and come up with a plan of action to help you get compensation for your injuries, property damage or a loved one’s wrongful death. Visit www.mcintyrelaw.com or call toll free 1-866-917-5200 to discuss your case and find out the best course of action to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

One Comment

  1. No no fault and aren't there caps there? Minnesota has no caps and no fault, funny how that works. Consumer friendly states do have their benefits.

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