The average cost of car insurance is $1,424 per year. But that’s just an average. How much car insurance costs for you will be determined by a variety of factors, and MoneyGeek’s data can give you an idea of what to expect based on your profile.
What Is the Average Cost of Auto Insurance?
Car insurance rates vary based on many factors such as location, driving record and even credit score. Different insurers will weigh certain aspects more heavily than others. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get at least two to three quotes from insurance carriers to weigh your options more accurately.
MoneyGeek's analysis of car insurance rates across the country highlights that good drivers pay an average of $1,424 per year for a policy with 100/300/100 liability insurance and comprehensive and collision coverage. Individual rates may vary significantly depending on your level of coverage, vehicle and other factors.
Average Cost of Auto Insurance Summary
The average costs of car insurance depend, in part, on how you pay: annually or monthly. The figures below are based on the average annual premium, but be aware that drivers may pay more if they opt for monthly payments. This is because there’s usually a discount for paying in full. That’s why it’s essential to get a personalized quote to understand your options fully.
Average Car Insurance Rates
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Average Car Insurance Costs by Company - Major Insurers
One of the most important factors determining the cost of car insurance is the average by company. Of the companies widely available across the country:
- USAA is the cheapest, costing $883 per year on average.
- MetLife, the most expensive: It costs $1,686 per year on average for the same driver.
The price difference shows the importance of getting quotes from multiple insurers.
The Average Cost of Major Insurers - From Cheap to Expensive
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Average Car Insurance Costs by Company - Midsized Insurers
Certain insurance companies don’t have national availability, but still make up a large share of the car insurance market for the states in which they’re available. These mid-sized insurance companies range from affordable — such as Erie, which costs an average of $934 per year — to expensive, such as Allied Insurance, a Nationwide subsidiary which costs an average of $1,633 per year.
The Average Cost of Midsized Insurers - From Cheap to Expensive
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Average Car Insurance Costs by State
The requirements and coverage types for car insurance vary by state, which can impact the costs. Michigan — the highest-cost state ($5,471 annually) — recently required drivers to carry at least $20,000 in liability protection for bodily injury (a maximum of $40,000 per incident) and $10,000 for property damage. On July 1, 2020, the state enacted sweeping changes to its auto insurance requirements, which may serve to lower costs for car insurance there. In Maine — the lowest-cost state ($607 annually) — the minimum required for liability coverage is $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.
Average State Premiums by Payment Option
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How Average Car Insurance Rates by State Have Changed Over Time
At a national level, car insurance rates have been fairly stable over the last half decade. From 2015 to 2021, average car insurance rates have only increased by 2.7%; in other words, less than $50. In fact, in the last year car insurance rates have fallen by 2.2%.
But changes in car insurance rates are not uniform, and certain states have seen large changes over the last five years. The five states that have seen the biggest decrease in car insurance rates in recent years are New Jersey, Arkansas, Illinois, Oregon and Connecticut. All five of these states saw average car insurance rates fall by at least 23%.
States With the Biggest Decreases in Rates - Last Six Years
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- State% Rate Decrease (2015-2021)
- New Jersey-30%
Conversely the states with the largest increase in insurance rates over the last six years are Montana, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Missouri. All of these states saw their average insurance rates increase by 19% or more.
States With the Biggest Increases in Rates - Last Six Years
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- State% Rate Increase (2015-2021)
Average Car Insurance Costs by Age
Age is another factor that can impact the cost of insurance. For example, a less experienced teen driver could cost as much as $5,318 per year to insure by themselves.
The average cost of car insurance greatly decreases from age 16 to 30, at which point car insurance rates tend to remain steady until slightly rising in a driver’s senior years.
Average Car Insurance Premiums by Age
Average Costs by Coverage Type - Full Coverage vs. Liability-Only
The amount of coverage you decide on will depend on the state you live in and your unique needs. Typically, more coverage is more expensive.
- Liability-only insurance costs an average of $898 per year.
- A full coverage policy with the same liability limits costs an average of $1,311 per year.
Liability-only car insurance coverage tends to cost the least, but getting only the minimum comes with risks. For example, you won’t be covered for damage to your vehicle with liability-only coverage — you’d only be covered for any damage that you do to another person’s car. That’s why full coverage (comprehensive and collision) is generally a better option for many drivers.
Car Insurance Premiums by Coverage Level
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- Payment Cycle50/100/50 Liability-only50/100/50 w/ Comprehensive and Collision100/300/100 w/ Comprehensive and Collision
Average Car Insurance Costs by Car Model
Certain car models can be extremely expensive to insure, but most car models will alter a driver’s rates by less than a few hundred dollars per year. For example, the top selling sedan (Toyota Camry), truck (Ford F-150) and SUV (Toyota RAV4) models in the country all cost our sample driver an average of $1,266 to $1,414 to insure.
On the other hand, sports cars and electric car models can be much more expensive to insure than the average car. MoneyGeek found that the most expensive car to insure is a Nissan GT-R. The cheapest car model to insure is a Honda CR-V.
2020 Average Annual Premium
Nissan GT-R (Most expensive model to insure)
Toyota Camry (Top-selling Sedan)
Ford F-150 (Top-selling Truck)
Toyota RAV4 (Top-selling SUV)
Honda CR-V (Cheapest model to insure)
Average Car Insurance Costs With Tickets or Accidents
Your accident and ticket history is another factor insurance companies consider when setting rates and determining if they can insure you.
- A driver with a clean record pays an average of $1,424 per year for car insurance.
- The same driver with a ticket on their record pays an average of $1,836 per year.
- If that driver were at-fault for an accident, he pays an average of $2,237 per year.
There are things that can combat increases or lower the costs to your car insurance after an accident. In some states, attending traffic school can get violation points taken off your record. That, in turn, can impact your premiums. And, depending on the insurer, you may get a break if it’s your first violation. It’s worth discussing your options with your insurance agent.
Car Insurance Premiums With Tickets and Accidents
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- Payment CycleRate After A TicketRate After An Accident
Average Car Insurance Costs If You Have Bad Credit
In most states, your credit score can impact your auto insurance rates. The exceptions to this rule are Hawaii, Massachusetts and California, where this practice is not allowed. But for those who live elsewhere in the U.S., even having just average credit can increase your costs more than, for example, having a moving violation, according to research from Consumer Reports.
Raising your score can help you get lower car insurance rates and access other benefits. So it’s something to keep an eye on if you’re planning on taking out a new policy soon.
Car Insurance Premiums for Drivers With Poor Credit
- Payment CyclePoor Credit
Average Car Insurance Costs If You Have a DUI
If you have a DUI on your driving record, that can significantly increase your rates, as insurance companies take it as a sign that the driver is high-risk.
- The average annual cost of car insurance across the board was $1,424.
- The cost for someone with a DUI was $2,879. That’s more than double the average.
A DUI can stay on your driving record for years, and the exact length of time will depend on the state in which you live. For many reasons, not only insurance rates, you need to avoid a DUI.
Car Insurance Premiums With a DUI
- Payment CycleRate After DUI
Other Factors That Impact Cost
The way insurance companies calculate the costs of insuring any given person is usually based on a wide variety of unique factors. Here’s a breakdown of some of those other aspects you should be aware of and how those can influence your cost of getting car insurance:
Your car’s make, model and year all impact how much you’ll pay in insurance costs. For example, a classic car would come with special requirements as those have a different kind of value than a typical vehicle. On the other hand, a car that’s rated highly for safety and can qualify for eco-friendly discounts can lower your car insurance costs.
Your gender can be another factor that influences your rates. In general, this rule only applies to drivers under 21. Among those younger drivers, men tend to pay more than women. But, after that, things tend to even out.
Those who have a gap in coverage are generally seen as being less credible, or safe, from the perspective of car insurance companies. So it’s essential to make sure that you have at least the minimum required insurance for your vehicle at all times to avoid inflated rates.
Your ZIP Code
Where you live can have a significant impact on your rates as well. For example, more dense population areas and those with higher crime rates tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, more sparsely populated areas or places with lower crime rates can help you get a better deal.
The more you drive, the more opportunities there are for an accident or other damages. So your rates will vary depending on your annual mileage as well.
Opting for a higher deductible will lower your monthly costs and vice versa. Keep in mind that if you need to file a claim, you will have to pay more. If you choose a higher deductible, it’s important to have that amount saved, if possible, to lessen potential financial shock later on.
Can insurance companies tend to assume that those who have had claims filed in the past are more likely to do so in the future. In general, having fewer claims under your belt is better for getting a lower rate.
Number of Drivers in Household & Marriage Status
Having more drivers in your household will cost more, but it can also lower your overall costs, per driver, if your insurer offers a multi-driver discount. That’s in comparison to each driver getting their own policy. Marital status also impacts your rates as single people tend to pay more than married individuals.
Some factors are hard to control when it comes to the cost you’ll pay for car insurance, such as your age and where you live. Since insurance companies weigh many factors when determining your premium, it’s good to control the elements you can, such as not getting tickets or DUIs and maintaining good credit. Knowing the average cost of car insurance in your state can help you make an educated decision when you shop for the best rate.
Expert Advice: Factors That Influence the Cost of Auto Insurance
- Why does the average cost of car insurance change so much depending on what state you live in?
- My insurance rates seem much more expensive than average. What factors could be driving that?
- Insurance companies give me very different quotes. Why is the average cost of car insurance so different between insurance companies?
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About the Author
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- CNBC. "The one time when being married may cost you less." Accessed July 14, 2020.
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- Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. "Your Guide to Auto Insurance." Accessed July 18, 2020.
- Nationwide. "Michigan car insurance coverage." Accessed July 14, 2020.