As in most states, auto insurance is mandatory in Indiana. You will need proof of insurance before you can register your vehicle. You are required to maintain auto insurance on your vehicle at all times in order to be able to drive it legally. Indiana auto insurance law requires drivers to have both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. This is to give you some financial protection in case you are injured in an accident and the other driver does not have insurance.
As of December 2013, the average insurance premium rate in Indiana is $1183. Your actual premium rate will be determined by several factors. Age, gender, where you live and the kind of car you drive are some of the factors that play a part in determining your premium. For instance, if you live in Gary you’ll pay, on average, $1455 whereas if you live in Carmel you can expect to pay as little as $935. However, one of the most important factors that determine your premium is your previous driving record.
It’s well known that if you’ve been involved in car accidents in the past your premiums are going to be higher than average. What is not as well known is that drunk driving has a bigger adverse impact on your insurance than accidents do. For instance, if you live in Indianapolis, your average insurance premium as of December 2013 will be $1236. If you have an accident, your premium will rise to $1522. If you have a second accident your premium will go up to $2271. However, if you are caught drunk driving your premium will shoot up to $2299. That’s $28 more than you would be paying if you’d had two accidents. Moreover, your premium payment will remain at a higher rate for three years after conviction. You can bring your premium down to $1954 by taking a defensive driving course. However, given the impact of drunk driving on your insurance premium, you are better off using a taxi service on a night you know you will be drinking.
Indiana is the 8th least expensive auto insurance state in the United States. With an average annual insurance rate of $1183, Indiana’s insurance rates are $313 lower than the national average. Auto insurance is more expensive in Indianapolis, the capital and most populous city of the state. The average insurance rates here are $1236. The average insurance rates in Evansville and Fort Wayne are $1090 and $992, respectively.
Most cars cost less than $1000 to insure in Indiana. In Fort Wayne, insuring a Honda CR-V would cost you an average of merely $758 on an annual basis. In Evansville too, insuring the Honda CR-V is very affordable, with an annual average insurance rate of $832.
One of the most affordable cars in Indiana is the Honda Accord in Fort Wayne, where its median price is $11,381 and its average annual insurance rate is $836. The Ford F-Series is also an extremely inexpensive option in Fort Wayne. With a median price of $13372, and an average annual insurance rate of $882, the Ford F-Series is the most affordable full-size pickup available in Fort Wayne. In Evansville, on the other hand, the Ford F-Series would cost $970 to insure every year. Its median price in Evansville is $29,900.
The Toyota Corolla costs around $15,101 in Fort Wayne, but in Evansville its median price is $10,995. It is, however, cheaper to insure the Corolla in Fort Wayne.
The cars that have the highest insurance rates in Indiana have been listed in the table below –
|Average Annual Insurance Rate ($)
|Median Price ($)
|Percentage of Median Price spent on insurance (%)
Indianapolis is clearly an expensive auto insurance zip code. Buyers from Indianapolis could reduce their overall costs by buying their cars from a cheaper city, since the median prices of the cars are also high in Indianapolis.
The Consumer Federation of America found in a November 2013 study that between 1989 and 2010 the average auto insurance expenditure across the country went from $551.95 to $791.22. The 2010 figure represents a 43.3 percent increase in auto insurance costs over the 21 years. In the same time period, average costs in Indiana went from $426.29 to $624.86, an increase of 46.6 percent. Indiana is one of 38 states where auto insurance costs went up by more than the countrywide average. Despite the higher increase, it was still cheaper to buy insurance in Indiana when compared the average costs across the country as of 2010.
The study found that states which had stringent insurance regulations achieved the most success in keeping rates lower. California, which implemented landmark auto insurance regulation, was by far the most successful state and was the only one to actually see a decrease (0.3%) of costs in the same time period.
One of the key features in the regulation in California, as well as a few other states, is the Prior Approval (PA) system. This system requires insurers to file rates and have them approved by the state before they can be used in the market. In contrast, Indiana has a file and use (F&U) system in place which requires insurers to file rates before using them however, there is no requirement for approval. The PA system is one way in which Indiana can keep rates low, as per the study.
As of 2010, it was still cheaper to buy auto insurance in Indiana compared to the rest of the country. However, rates are going up faster in Indiana as opposed to the countrywide average. If timely measures are not taken, consumers in Indiana will end up paying a lot more for their auto insurance. Good regulation is one of the best ways to achieve this, as per the study.