What is the average cost of car insurance?
Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
Car insurance is important because it reduces your financial risk on the road. Like any bill, you want to keep it low while still getting what you need. We’ll walk through the average costs of car insurance, what factors influence your car insurance and what you might be able to do to save money.
Average cost of car insurance
There are many factors that determine the average car insurance cost, one of them is the state where you live. The national average cost of car insurance in 2020 is $1,555. But at the state level, this number differs quite a bit.
Florida, for example, is currently the most expensive state to drive with an average premium of $2,587 for full coverage, whereas the cheapest is Maine, with $831 as the average for full coverage.
Full coverage car insurance rates
Aside from your location, car insurance prices also depend on your driving history and your age. Here are a few national average car insurance prices for full coverage based on other factors besides states:
- $1,555 per year for a good driver with good credit
- $1,863 per year after a speeding ticket
- $2,125 per year after an accident
- $3,777 per year for a married couple with a teen driver
Minimum coverage car insurance rates
Here are the averages for minimum coverage:
- $545 per year for good driver with good credit
- $680 per year after a speeding ticket
- $810 per year after an accident
How much does car insurance cost in my state?
The cost of car insurance changes by state due to the different risk level each state poses for drivers. Some states are prone to natural disasters or higher levels of property crime, and these factors affect the cost of insurance.
To get a sense of how much car insurance will cost in your state, the Quadrant data in this article explores averages from 2020 based on a sample driver profile.
|State||Full Coverage||State Minimum Liability|
|District of Columbia||$1,675||$678|
Most expensive states for auto insurance
The top 3 states for the most expensive full coverage auto insurance are:
- New York
There are many location-based factors that affect car insurance and each company has its own formula for calculating rates, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why these states have the highest rates. But local crime statistics and the likelihood of natural disasters can play a significant role in the cost of insurance.
If we look at the price of full coverage policies, the top 10 states with the most expensive car insurance are about 37% more costly than the national average.
|State||Full coverage||Minimum coverage|
Least expensive states for auto insurance
The top 3 states for the least expensive full coverage auto insurance are:
These states reflect lower-risk for drivers compared to other places in the U.S. for overall population density, crime and accident rates, among other factors. Lower risk to insurers is reflected in lower premiums.
For a full coverage policy, the cheapest states are about 30% less costly than the national average.
|State||Full coverage||Minimum coverage|
Average car insurance rates by company
Each car insurance company has its own formula for how to determine insurance rates. Because the formula is unique to the car insurance company, each company will have its own average prices.
Based on our research, here are the average costs of full coverage and minimum coverage car insurance for each major provider.
|Company||Full coverage||Minimum coverage|
Average car insurance rates after a speeding ticket
Other factors that can have an impact on your rate is your driving record. When you get a speeding ticket, your car insurance company will consider you a higher risk to insure. Because of this, you will see an increase in the cost of your premium.
If you are able to maintain a clean driving record for an extended amount of time after you receive a speeding ticket, you may be able to qualify for a lower premium again, depending on the insurer.
The table below shows the average difference between the cost of insurance for a driver with a clean record and the cost of insurance for a driver with one speeding ticket. As indicated in the table below, the cost of insurance goes up by 20 percent or more after a speeding ticket.
|Average premium with clean record||Average premium with speeding ticket||Difference|
Average car insurance rates after an accident
After you get in a car accident, your insurance premium will also go up, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Providers view drivers who are in accidents as a much higher risk to insure. If it’s your first accident recorded by the insurer, your provider might provide accident forgiveness and keep your premium the same.
The table below shows the cost of insurance for a driver with a clean record versus the cost of insurance for a driver who’s been in an accident. Because car accidents are considered a major factor in determining risk, insurance prices increase by 30 percent or more, on average.
|Average annual premium with clean driving history||Average annual premium with one at-fault accident||Difference|
Average car insurance costs by gender
Statically, male drivers are more likely to get in a car accident than female drivers. But surprisingly, this is only marginally reflected in insurance rates.
The table below shows the difference between the average cost of car insurance for males and females. Note that having a clean driving record is the most significant difference in cost, rather than gender. When it comes to adult drivers, gender is almost a non-discrepancy. However, as we’ll see in the next section, gender plays a much bigger role in statistics with teen drivers.
Average car insurance costs for good and bad credit
If you reside in any state other than California, Massachusetts or Hawaii, your credit score is often evaluated to determine auto insurance rates. Because your credit score is an indicator of your financial health and the way you handle your money, it is typically taken into consideration to determine the risk you pose to insurers. In the 47 states where credit score evaluation is allowed, auto insurers have the liberty to increase or lower your premium rate based on good, average or poor credit.
If you have higher rates due to a poor credit standing, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to improve your situation. Building good credit is fairly straightforward: make your credit card, mortgage and insurance payments on time, don’t use too much of your available credit and keep new lines of credit to a minimum. Doing the opposite of these – missing payments, maxing out your available credit and opening too many new lines of credit in a short time – affects your credit score negatively, resulting in poor credit.
The top three states in which your full coverage rates increase the most with poor credit are:
- South Carolina
As indicated in the table below, having poor credit can result in auto insurance rates higher by 55% compared to the national average for full coverage, at $1,555 a year.
|Credit tier||Full coverage||Minimum coverage|
Average cost of car insurance for young drivers
Several key factors cause car insurance premiums for young drivers to be significantly higher than the 30-year-old national average. Insurance providers view drivers between 18- and 25-years-old as high risk because they have less experience on the road, and are more likely to get into accidents.
According to the table below, an 18-year-old will pay roughly $5,335 a year for full coverage insurance, which is nearly 2.5x the national average. In contrast, a 25-year-old can expect to pay around $2,036 yearly, which is just 31% more than the national average.
Being added to their parents’ insurance policy is typically the most affordable way to obtain car insurance for teen drivers, although it does increase the premium of the parent’s rate by an average of 130%.
Leveraging discounts, practicing safe driving habits and filing no claims are some of the ways to lower your premium rates as a young driver as rates decrease naturally with time.
|Age||Full coverage rate||Annual difference|
Average cost of adding a teen driver
Teen drivers cost much more to insure than older drivers. Statistics for car accidents among teens is much higher than those for older age groups. Car insurance providers price policies accordingly, so if you add a teen driver to your existing car insurance, expect the premium to go up significantly, even before taking into account the addition of another car.
The average cost of a car insurance policy that includes a teen driver increases about 130% compared to the same insurance policy without a teen driver. Additionally, male teens are an average of 30% more expensive than female teens to insure.
What are the average costs for each coverage type?
The cost of car insurance depends on what type of coverage you have. According to 2017 data from the Insurance Information Institute, the national average for each coverage type is:
- Bodily injury with property damage liability: $611
- Personal injury protection: An extra $50-$150 a year
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $6 a month
- Comprehensive: $160 a year
- Collision: $363 a year
Again, the numbers for your state will be different, and your individual factors will also change what these numbers will be for you.
How much will auto insurance cost for me?
Car insurance rates are not the same for everyone and depend on the state you live in, your age, gender, driving record and type of vehicle you own, among other factors. Without a personalized quote from an insurance company, it is often hard to predict how much you might have to pay to insure your car.
However, the ease of shopping for and comparing quotes online presents a huge benefit when buying car insurance. Many insurance providers offer an online quote tool to calculate your rate, and those that don’t usually have a dedicated phone number where a customer service agent will give you a quote on the spot.
When looking for the cheapest rates, make sure you are not compromising on coverage. Comparison of insurance companies should not be based on price alone, but also on coverage options and customer service. When it comes to insuring your vehicle, it may be best to pay a little extra for the protection you need against unforeseen damages and costs.
What are the factors that impact my car insurance cost?
Typical insurance cost is influenced by the following factors:
- Credit score: A low credit score has been shown to be indicative of a higher level of risk when driving. Drivers with lower credit scores pay higher premiums. Working on your credit score by paying down debt and paying bills on time will help lower what you pay for auto insurance.
- Car type: Some cars are indicative of driving behavior while others are safer to drive and score better in crash tests. Another variable within this factor is the cost to replace your car should it be totaled. If you want to pay less for auto insurance, consider purchasing a car that insurers consider safe and sound.
- Age: Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 pay more for insurance because they are more inexperienced, meaning they have more speeding tickets and accidents than other age ranges. If you’re between these ages, this is one variable you can’t do anything about.
- ZIP code: Some areas have higher rates of accidents and theft, and insurance premiums must reflect this if companies are to remain profitable. While moving just to lower rates is likely impractical, this factor is one to consider if you’re moving for other reasons.
- Marital status: Married couples pay lower premiums than people who are unmarried. If you recently got married, don’t forget to tell your insurance provider. It may give you a discount.
- Driving record: Numerous speeding tickets, records of accidents or any type of reckless driving or DUI charge on your record affects what you will pay. Stay safe and drive the speed limit.
- Gender: Depending on your age, you might pay more or less based on your gender. Women often pay more than men, but men under 25 have higher rates.
- How much you drive: Your yearly mileage affects your premium. The more often you drive, the more often you will be in a scenario where you might have to file a claim.
- The amount of coverage: Liability coverage is cheaper than comprehensive. What policy you choose, therefore, affects how much you pay each month. However, you should always pay for as much insurance as you can comfortably afford so you have financial protection if anything happens.
- Past gaps in coverage: Drivers without coverage are considered riskier drivers than others. Even if you have insurance now, if a company sees you spent some time driving without it, you’ll have a higher premium than others. Always make sure you have an insurance provider.
Car insurance companies take each of the above factors into account to determine what drivers will pay for protection because all of them suggest a certain level of risk. Algorithms are kept secret within each provider, but drivers can lower their premiums by changing factors they have a reasonable amount of control over.
You can also take some active steps to make you look less risky, such as taking a driving safety course.
Many things determine how much you pay for car insurance. Some things you have control over, while others you don’t. Drive safely and be smart when you’re on the road, and your premium will reflect your good behavior.
Coverage Utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states, using the top 15 carriers by premiums written by state. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30 year male and female with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage details:
- $100k bodily injury liability per person
- $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
- $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
- $500 collision coverage deductible
- $500 comprehensive coverage deductible
Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.
For the teen driver, the quotes were based around a middle-aged, married couple with the above full coverage parameters adding either a male or female 16 yr old driver to their insurance policy.
An accident was defined as an at-fault accident with $3k in property damage. A speeding incident was defined as speeding 16-20 MPH over the limit.
These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only – your own quotes may be different.