East Hawaii News

Report: Hawai`i Car Insurance Costs Third Lowest in Nation

July 31, 2012, 5:30 PM HST
* Updated July 31, 5:33 PM
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Hawai`i has the third-lowest auto insurance rates in the nation when compared to household incomes, according to a report from CarInsuranceQuotes.com.

Hawai`i’s median insurance cost of $1,244 represents 1.634% of the state’s median family income, placing it third lowest among the 50 states and District of Columbia, the website said.

Five states had lower median rates but also had a higher median household income than Hawai`i’s, which was $76,134, the report said.

Two others also had lower insurance costs that combined with income levels to give them more affordable rates than the Aloha State.

Massachusetts, with an annual household income of $78,643 and insurance costs of $1,128, and North Carolina, with income of $52,920 and insurance costs of $860, were the only states ahead of Hawai`i in the rankings. Their insurance rates represented 1.434% and 1.625% of their household income, respectively.

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Slightly behind Hawai`i in affordable rates was Alaska, where the $1,348 in insurance costs represented 1.752% of income. Next up was Oregon, with insurance costing $1,108 representing 1.955% of income.

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Michigan topped the list of states with the least affordable insurance at 8.003% of household income, the website said. That state had household income of $56,101 and median insurance costs of $4,490.

Second was Louisiana with insurance costs of $2,912, representing 5.551% of income, and Kentucky was third with insurance costing $2,292, which was 4.548% of income.

According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, factors affecting car insurance rates including costs of car repairs and medical care, the amount of insurance fraud taking place, the number of uninsured drivers on the roads and the number of people living in densely populated areas, the website said.

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“When you get more drivers together, they’re going to run into each other more,” Bob Passmore, the associations’ senior director told CarInsuranceQuotes.com.

According to Passmore, state regulations also play a major role, especially in the type of insurance a state uses.

The website said Hawai`i is unlike most other states in that it requires no-fault insurance which is designed to help lower the frequency of lawsuits and keep rates low.

No-fault states require each individual’s insurance company to cover their medical expenses regardless of who is held liable for the accident. Hawai`i also requires that motorists carry personal injury protection to help pay medical expenses beyond what is covered by their health insurance.

There are exceptions to the no-fault rule, the website noted. If the medical expenses from an accident exceed a certain amount, the party at fault will be required to pay for damages, which is why Hawai`i also requires motorists to carry a minimum liability policy for bodily injury and property damages.

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