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The 10 worst ZIP Codes if you're buying car insurance

Detroit won the prize for highest insurance costs, with average rates 130% above the Michigan average
Green Springs, Ohio, won the prize for cheapest insurance, at an annual average premium of $647

Your ZIP Code has a lot to do with what you're paying for car insurance. If you live in Detroit, you probably already know that.

Drivers in that city's 48227 ZIP Code pay the most for auto insurance -- with an average premium of $5,109 to insure a 2014 Honda Accord for a year, a study has found.

CarInsurance.com commissioned the survey of 33,410 ZIP Codes around the country, using insurance rates provided by Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. They found the national average cost of insuring that Accord, with a policy for a 40-year-old male driver who opts for a standard policy and a $500 collision deductible, was $1,231.

According to the study, the 10 worst ZIP Codes and their average premiums for a 2014 Accord were:

1. Detroit, 48227: $5,109

2. Brooklyn, N.Y., 11226: $3,877

3. Philadelphia, 19132: $2,760

4. Providence, R.I., 02903: $2,749

5. New Orleans, 70117: $2,542

6. Los Angeles, 90029: $2,416

7. Woodbridge, Conn., 06525: $2,291

8. Baltimore, 21216: $2,256

9. Miami, Fla., 33142: $2,248

10. Royalton, Ky., 41464: $2,104

Among other ZIP Codes in the Los Angeles area, Beverly Hills' 90210 average rate was $2,237, while nearby Bel Air's 90077 was $2,150. Across Mulholland Drive, Encino's 91316 average rate was $2,205, while Sherman Oaks' 91403 was $2,177.

Brentwood's 90049 had an average rate of $1,955. Silver Lake's 90026 average rate was $2,174, while Boyle Heights' 90023 was $1,755.

Palos Verdes' 90275 had an average rate of $1,510.

Average insurance rates rise and fall with accident, theft and damage reports in the surrounding area, the study explained.

"ZIP Codes are judged to have different risk levels based on the number and severity of car insurance claims within the area," CarInsurance.com said in its report. "Many factors go into calculating car insurance rates, but a driver's location is typically used to kick off the process."

In many cases, ZIP Codes had insurance rates far higher than the areas surrounding them. Detroit's 48227 average of $5,109 was 130% higher than the state average of $2,226. The $2,416 average rate in Los Angeles' 90029 ZIP Code, which is centered in East Hollywood, was 69% above the state average of $1,433.

The least expensive insurance rates around the country, on the other hand, tended to be in rural areas -- like Normal, Ill.; Saco, Maine; and Arden, N.C. The cheapest in the nation: the 44836 ZIP Code in Green Springs, Ohio, with an average annual premium of $647 -- only 16% below the state average of $771.

CarInsurance.com, which commissioned the research firm Quadrant Information Services to perform the study, operates an independent quote comparison website. It is owned by the marketing and media company QuinStreet Inc.

Twitter: @misterfleming

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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