- Comparing quotes from providers is the best way to find the cheapest rates.
- Drivers under the age of 25 tend to pay significantly higher rates for auto insurance.
- You can save money on your car insurance premium by qualifying for discounts or bundling your auto and other coverage.
Auto insurance premiums are based on factors such as your age, driving history, and location, along with the type of vehicle you drive. In this article, our team of experts will share the average cost of car insurance in every state and explain the criteria auto insurance companies use to set rates. This information can help you compare quotes from the best car insurance companies to find out how much the auto coverage you need might cost.
How Much Is Car Insurance?
According to Quadrant Information Services, the national average cost of full-coverage car insurance is $1,730 per year or $144 per month. The average annual cost of state-minimum car insurance, also known as minimum coverage, is $635 per year or $53 per month.
What Is Full-Coverage Car Insurance?
A full-coverage auto policy includes state-minimum insurance and other types of coverage that offer more financial protection. Here’s a look at the kinds of insurance often found in a full-coverage policy:
- Liability insurance: This refers to both property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability protection. It pays for property damage and injuries to other parties when you’re at fault for a car accident.
- Collision coverage: Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle if you have a collision with a vehicle or an object such as a fence or telephone pole.
- Comprehensive coverage: This covers damage done to your car by non-collision issues like natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and fire.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, this pays for your property damage and medical expenses.
- Medical payments coverage (MedPay): This handles medical and funeral expenses for you and your passengers no matter who’s at fault for an accident.
- Personal injury protection: Along with medical and funeral expenses, this covers lost wages for you and your passengers regardless of who’s at fault for a car accident.
What Is Minimum-Coverage Car Insurance?
When you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance, state-minimum coverage is the way to go. Coverage requirements vary by state, but drivers in 48 states must have liability insurance. If you have an auto loan or lease, you’ll most likely be required to carry a full-coverage auto insurance policy that has collision and comprehensive coverage.
Average Cost Of Full-Coverage Car Insurance By State
In the table below, we’ve listed the average annual cost of full-coverage car insurance in every state and Washington, D.C. These averages come from Quadrant Information Services and are for a married 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record.
Average Cost Of Minimum-Coverage Car Insurance By State
Below are the average annual rates for minimum-coverage car insurance in every state and Washington, D.C. These are based on the profile of a married 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record.
Average Cost Of Car Insurance For Teen Drivers
People under 21 years old are considered high-risk drivers because of their limited experience on the road. As a result, they tend to pay much more than the average cost of car insurance.
Here are the national average car insurance rates for full coverage for drivers 19 and under:
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs
These are the key criteria auto insurers use to determine premiums in most states:
- Location: If you live in a heavily populated area, you’ll likely pay higher car insurance premiums. This is because there are more car accidents and insurance claims in these places.
- Driver’s age: Young drivers pay higher auto insurance rates because their lack of experience behind the wheel often leads to accidents.
- Gender: The gender listed on your driver’s license affects your rate in many states. Female drivers generally pay lower rates than male drivers.
- Marital status: Single drivers pay more for auto coverage than married drivers in most states.
- Driving record: Premiums go up after violations like at-fault accidents, DUIs, or speeding tickets.
- Vehicle type: High-end luxury vehicles, sports cars, and classic cars cost more to insure than less expensive models. Newer vehicles are more expensive to insure than older ones because they typically cost more to repair and have more value.
Your credit history can also affect your car insurance rates in most states (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan are the exceptions). A poor credit score leads to higher premiums.
Of course, the level of coverage you purchase also has a significant impact on your auto insurance costs. If you have a full-coverage policy with several add-ons, you can expect to pay a higher premium. Having a lower deductible also generally leads to higher insurance payments and vice versa.
Common Car Insurance Discounts
Auto insurance companies offer a range of discounts to help drivers save money. As you search for the right cheap car insurance provider, look for theses common discounts:
- Multi-vehicle discount: Having more than one car on your insurance policy often leads to discounted rates.
- Bundling discount: Bundling homeowners, renters, or life insurance with your auto policy is a good way to earn a discount.
- Defensive driving discount: Many auto insurers offer discounts for completing defensive driving courses.
- Safe driver discount: Being a good driver, whether by avoiding accidents or using a telematics program that tracks driving habits, often leads to significant savings.
- New car discount: Some insurance companies give you a discount for driving a recent car model with modern safety features.
- Military discount: Most auto insurers offer discounts to members of the military.
Average Cost of Car Insurance: Conclusion
The cost of a car insurance policy varies depending on a variety of factors, including where you live, what kind of car you drive, and the level of coverage you need. As you compare car insurance quotes from providers, don’t just consider prices. Look for a company with a strong industry reputation and plenty of positive customer reviews online.
Our Top-Rated Car Insurance Providers
We recommend checking out State Farm and Geico, two of our top-rated providers, as you shop for auto coverage.
State Farm: Best Overall Provider
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S., according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It’s also our choice for Best Overall Provider because of its sterling industry reputation, affordable rates, and quality of coverage.
Along with standard insurance coverage options, State Farm offers roadside assistance, rideshare coverage, and rental car reimbursement. Drive Safe & Save™, the company’s usage-based insurance product, tracks driving habits and can save good drivers up to 30 percent at policy renewal time.
Geico: Best For Discounts
Among Geico’s many discounts are savings for being a good student, using seat belts, and driving a car that’s no more than three model years old. Many of these discounts offer savings of up to 15 to 25 percent. That’s why we’ve named Geico Best for Discounts in our industry review.
We also like the fact that Geico offers mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI). This sets the company apart from its competitors and provides protection similar to that of an extended warranty.
How We Rate Insurers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
- Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
- Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
*Data accurate at time of publication.