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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Study: Car insurance rates vary widely in NH; are more expensive in Mass.

Car insurance rates vary by hundreds of dollars a year across New Hampshire, with smaller cities and towns like Keene, Concord and Peterborough paying less than most places in Greater Nashua, according to a new survey by a finance firm called ValuePenguin.com.

Even in the most expensive place, however, the cost was much less than in Massachusetts towns – although state-to-state comparison is difficult due to differing requirements for coverage. ...

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Car insurance rates vary by hundreds of dollars a year across New Hampshire, with smaller cities and towns like Keene, Concord and Peterborough paying less than most places in Greater Nashua, according to a new survey by a finance firm called ValuePenguin.com.

Even in the most expensive place, however, the cost was much less than in Massachusetts towns – although state-to-state comparison is difficult due to differing requirements for coverage.

The survey examined auto insurance rates for a single 30-year-old male who drove his Toyota Camry about 12,000 miles a year, with good credit and a good driving record. It’s not clear how costs would vary for other types of drivers.

The analysis “includes costs across 37 cities from 14 insurers, including the five largest groups
underwriting in the state: State Farm, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, National Indemnity (GEICO), and Allstate,” the firm said in a press statement.

The average costs, the firm said, range from $827 a year in Keene to $1,140 a year in Manchester, a difference of 37 percent.

Nashua, at $989, was almost a dollar a week more expensive than the statewide average of $948 a year.

Results varied a surprising amount even between similar adjacent communities – for example, Amherst’s figure was about 7 percent higher than Milford’s.

“The likely answer is that claims frequency and severity for those insurers were different in those towns, “said Ting Pen, co-founder of ValuePenguin.com.

In Massachusetts, rates ranged from $1,286 in Marlborough to $2,125 in Brockton. Lowell’s average was $1,693 a year, Lawrence was $1,863, and Boston was $1,933.

The Massachusetts analysis involved 35 different insurance companies and 179 cities and towns. The coverage was much more extensive than in the New Hampshire analysis and involved seven kinds of driver situations.

The New Hampshire study assumed covered liability of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for the passengers and an uninsured motorist; $1,000 in medical payments; and $500 in collision deductible.

Annual car insurance costs for other Greater Nashua communities include:

Milford: $912.

Hollis: $958.

Merrimack: $960.

Amherst: $972.

Hudson: $980.

Windham: $1,073.

The analysis was done by requesting rates from each of the companies in each of the communities and then averaging the results for each community.

The list of all New Hampshire rates can be found at www.valuepenguin.com/best-cheap-car-insurance-new-Hampshire

The entire study is at http://www.valuepenguin.com/auto-insurance.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).