For the 5th year in a row, Kansas State is ranked as a leader in low rates for automobile insurance, according to the Kansas Insurance Department.
According to data released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the state ranks 6th lowest nationwide for average insurance expenditures.
Kansas customers, according to the same NAIC report, were found to have spent $568 on average per vehicle for insurance in 2007. The national average is $795. As of press time, no data exists for 2008.
The report from last year pegged Kansas state’s spending average at $579, which reveals an improvement of $11 when compared against the current average.
According to Commissioner of Insurance Sandy Praeger, in a press release, “The ranking and the lower cost-per-vehicle figure show that Kansas has a healthy, competitive climate for vehicle insurance buyers…. With more than 160 auto insurance companies vying for customers statewide, competitive rates are certainly advantageous to Kansas consumers.”
Praeger clarified that the ranking takes into account that all insured vehicles have liability coverage. However, collision or comprehensive coverage may not necessarily be included.
Case in point, Kansas consumers are not compelled to own any collision or comprehensive coverage although the vehicle’s loan agreement may be required by the lending company involved.
According to recent figures in the NAIC report, the state with the lowest average expenditure for auto insurance is North Dakota ($512). The following states are ranked 2nd up to 5th: Iowa ($518), South Dakota ($534), Nebraska ($554); and Idaho ($564). States which rank lower than Kansas, regionally, include Oklahoma ($646), Missouri ($658); and Colorado ($738).
State assistant insurance commissioner Bob Tomlinson said that there may be two reasons for the lower insurance rates in Kansas: competition, and possibly, the variety of weather.
Tomlinson explained that with co-existence of Kansas City urban drivers and drivers in the west side of the state, which happen to be areas which are least likely to experience accidents, companies are able to tap into a mix of various areas in what he calls ‘pools of insurance.’
The commissioner added that there are places within the state that are deer-prone, while other areas which are hail prone. When areas such as these are mixed with pools which are less prone, it follows that rates are averaged as particularly lower across the state.
The NAIC Auto Database Report is conducted annually to provide data and analysis for the benefit of policymakers, consumers and regulators. This report takes into account various factors which bring about state-to-state differences in average expenditures and premiums for auto insurance.