Car insurance companies consider a wide range of factors when they give you a quote, including your driving record, the type of car you drive, and how much time you spend on the road. Your place of residence also plays a big role in your car insurance quote. 

Whether you’re thinking about moving or simply trying to get a better grip on your expenses in your current location, it’s helpful to understand whether car insurance is cheaper in the city or suburbs and why this makes a difference. Here’s what you need to know about insurance rates based on where you live – or give us a call with any questions you may have!

How Does Location Affect Car Insurance Rates?

A look down Lasalle Avenue in downtown Chicago at night.

lighted roadway surrounded with buildings by Chris Dickens is licensed with Unsplash License 

Determining whether car insurance is cheaper in the city or suburbs isn’t always easy because many factors come into play. Some cities are more expensive than others. According to Bankrate, Dolton is the most expensive city in Illinois when it comes to insuring your car, with an average full coverage premium of $2,915. Bloomington, Illinois, has the lowest full coverage premium on average at $1,571. Brooklyn, New York, has the highest average car insurance premium in the country, priced at a whopping $6,236 a year.

Several factors affect your car insurance rate in a particular location. Insurance companies assess the likelihood of a claim in that area. If you get a lot of inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, or hail, you’re more likely to suffer from hail damage or fallen tree branches. In a high-crime neighborhood, it’s more likely that you’ll suffer from vandalism or theft. All of these incidents fall under comprehensive car insurance coverage. Therefore, a comprehensive insurance plan may cost more in these areas, while other types of coverage are less affected.

An area with high unemployment is more likely to have impoverished citizens who can’t afford car insurance. If you’re sharing the road with a lot of uninsured drivers, it’s more likely that you’ll need uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to cover the damage if you’re in an accident. Since it’s more likely that this type of car insurance will need to pay out for an accident, you’ll also have to pay more for your coverage.

Poor road conditions can lead to accidents. If you live in an area with lots of potholes and poorly maintained roadways, you can expect to pay more for car insurance. The sheer number of people on the road also influences the likelihood of an accident. An area with low population density naturally has fewer car accidents, so residents in these neighborhoods will probably pay less for car insurance.

Is Car Insurance More Expensive in the City?

Car insurance is usually more expensive in the city than in the suburbs. This is particularly true of both liability and collision car insurance. Comprehensive coverage can be expensive in both the city and the suburbs. While the risk of vandalism and theft decreases in the suburbs, the risk of fallen tree branches or weather damage may increase in a rural setting. For this reason, you may find comprehensive coverage cheaper in certain urban areas than in some rural spots.

It’s important to note that car insurance prices vary by zip code. While it’s generally true that car insurance costs more in the city, this isn’t always the case. You may find some safe urban neighborhoods that have cheap car insurance as well as expensive rural areas where car insurance costs more because the roads are bad and there’s a greater risk of environmental damage. The only way to truly determine if car insurance is cheaper in the city or suburbs is to get a car insurance quote for the areas that you’re considering.

Why Is Car Insurance More Expensive in the City?

Car insurance is usually more expensive in the city because the abovementioned risk factors are greater. Cities typically have greater population densities and higher crime rates. According to AreaVibes, Chicago’s crime rate is 86% higher than the state average, with 3,133 property crimes per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, in the nearby suburb of Glenview, crime is 27% lower than the state average, with just 1,314 property crimes per 100,000 individuals. The situation in Naperville is even better, with crime rates 56% lower than the state average and only 814 property crimes per 100,000 people.

Cities are also prone to potholes. Illinois ranks 13th in the nation among the states with the worst pothole problems. At the beginning of 2023, the city of Chicago had repaired almost 215,000 potholes in just four months. In that time, Chicago also received 22,000 requests for pothole repairs through its 311 reporting system. On average, it costs about $406 to repair the damage from hitting a pothole, so this is a problem that insurance companies take seriously when providing quotes.

How Can You Lower Your Car Insurance Rates?

Moving from a city to the suburbs is one way to lower your insurance costs, but it’s far from your only option. Relocating isn’t always feasible, so it’s important to explore other ways to lower your car insurance rates. American Auto Insurance offers some of the most affordable car insurance policies in Illinois. If you’re currently working with another insurance provider, give us a call to find out how much you can save by switching. You can also lower your car insurance rates by switching to a car that’s cheaper to insure or removing risky drivers from your policy. 

Get Affordable Car Insurance From American Auto Insurance

If you want more details about making car insurance cheaper in the city or suburbs, talk to American Auto Insurance. We’ll help you compare your options and choose the most affordable car insurance plan for your needs. We offer fast quotes and same-day proof of insurance. We can even help you with SR-22 regulations if you need to provide this certificate to stay on the road. Contact us to get started today.


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