Rural Communities: Lower Car Insurance Policy Prices but Higher Violations

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 3 min read
According to our
data, more rural drivers have violations than urban drivers—but somehow those rural drivers also pay less for
car insurance
It’s interesting because traffic violations and a poor driving record usually increase one’s car insurance premium. So, why are urban drivers paying more?
Let’s take a closer look at what our data shows.
According to our Jerry data, more rural drivers have violations than urban drivers—but somehow they also pay less for car insurance.

About the car insurance study

Jerry analyzed over 1 million car insurance quotes from July 2020 to July 2021.
Rural or urban designation was determined by the USDA Economic Research Service, which classifies ZIP codes as metropolitan, micropolitan, small town, and rural areas based on area size and commuting flow. Jerry set metro and micropolitan areas as "urban" and small town and rural areas as "rural."
The study found that on average, urban residents pay 39% more than rural residents for car insurance.
According to our data, the average monthly premium for rural drivers, both male and female, is $168. For urban drivers, it’s $234.
The payment gap between female urban and rural drivers is slightly smaller—female urban drivers pay about 36% more than female rural drivers. The gap between male urban and rural residents is 43%.
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Violations in the different areas

But it’s also interesting that even though rural drivers pay less for car insurance, they also have more violations.
Usually, it works the opposite way—the more violations an individual has, the higher their insurance premium.
In fact, more rural drivers have violations than urban drivers for both male and female drivers. At the same time, more male urban and rural drivers have violations than female urban or rural drivers.
There was also a difference in the types of violations among groups.
Urban drivers are almost two times as likely to be pulled over for failure to obey a traffic sign, making an illegal turn,
hit and run
, or driving with a suspended license.
Rural drivers are almost twice as likely as urban drivers to drive with defective equipment, and violate open container laws.
Could it be that urban drivers pay more because more of their violations have to do with high-risk driving behavior? This could be the case.

Car insurance rates and zip code

While this can’t be proven by our data, there may be another reason that rural areas are paying less for car insurance even though the drivers that live there tend to have more violations.
That’s because a person’s
zip code
tends to have an effect on what they pay for car insurance.
In fact, according to
, car insurance premiums are sometimes higher in cities or urban areas because the streets are busier and tend to have more accidents, while rural roads tend to be less congested.
This could be one reason why the rural areas are seeing lower rates.

Save on car insurance with Jerry

No matter where you live or what violations you have on your record, Jerry can save you money on car insurance.
The app compares quotes from up to 50 different insurance companies for you in under a minute, and sends you quotes that compare to your current coverage. The app also monitors your car insurance rate every six months on an ongoing basis.

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