In some places in the state, car insurance eats up 36 percent of income, which is greater than housing costs. Yikes!

A new University of Michigan study reveals how the rising costs of car insurance is eating into the income of Michiganders.

The study, highlighted in Crain's Detroit, shows that auto insurance is 'unaffordable' in 97 percent of the state's zip codes. That's using the U.S. Treasury Department guideline that auto insurance premiums exceeding 2 percent of median household income is unaffordable.

According to the study, Crain's revealed:

Detroiters have to spend 12 percent to 36 percent of their pre-tax income on auto insurance, which used average premium data from every ZIP code in the state from the auto insurance price-comparison website The Zebra.


"By comparison, the Department of Housing and Urban Development considers housing costs to be unaffordable if they surpass 30 percent of income," the report says.


Auto insurance premiums in Pontiac and Flint range from 8 percent to 24 percent of pre-tax income, while motorists in Saginaw and Ypsilanti pay 4 percent to 12 percent of their income to keep their vehicles insured, according to the study.

Most of the Grand Rapids metro insurance rates fall between 2.1 and 4 percent of take home income, on the lower end of the scale, but still way compared to national rates.

"There's no place in Michigan that can run from what are rising rates throughout the state," Joshua Rivera, data and policy adviser at UM's Poverty Solutions told Crains. "The only places that could be deemed affordable aren't affordable because the car insurance rates are low. They're affordable because incomes are high."

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