Keeping Track: Auto insurance

Study finds where costs vary most

If you're looking to insure your wheels, it pays to shop around. Yet that's not a common practice, despite the potential for savings, according to a pair of surveys by Mayfield, Ohio-based Progressive Insurance.

In an online poll of 342 consumers, 46 percent said they had never done any comparison shopping for auto insurance. Asked how much time they would dedicate to the task if they did, 36 percent estimated "less than an hour."

A much broader survey - of nearly 90,000 consumers in 44 states - compared the costs of similar insurance plans offered by different insurers, including Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide.

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Below are the surveyed states in which the "variance" - the difference between lowest and highest quoted premiums for the same policy - was greatest:

Connecticut $983

Georgia 912

Washington, D.C. 823

Arizona 714

Delaware 679

Michigan 609

Maryland 606

Nevada 596

Tennessee 560

Texas 558

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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