Car Insurance

From information on major carriers to money-saving tips, you'll find smart car insurance basics here.

Car Insurance 101

What is car insurance?

Car insurance covers you in case you are at fault for an accident, and it can offer protection in case someone else is at fault and doesn’t have insurance. The minimum insurance coverage required by most states is called bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance.

Factors that go into your car insurance include your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive, where you live and what type of home you live in, as well as your credit history in some cases.

Discounts are often provided by insurance companies as a way of retaining their customers. Those discounts range from antilock brake discounts to senior driver discounts, and they can help you save money on your car insurance premiums.

Top car insurance companies

It's Auto Insurance 101’s job to do a little bit of research to see which is the best car insurance company for your needs. There are things to consider, such as what additional coverage you will need beyond just the minimum state coverage and what coverage your lender may require.

We’ve done some work to identify the cheapest car insurance companies and even compared the top insurance companies head-to-head to help you throughout your car insurance shopping journey.

Car insurance by state

Minimum requirements for car insurance will vary by state. In addition to the minimum requirements, the hazards and risks to your car will vary by state. For example, California has earthquakes to contend with, where Florida has hurricanes. These natural disasters cause different types of damage, thus carry different risks and premiums.

Check out more information about car insurance coverage in specific states:

Each of these states comes with a different set of hazards, so insurance costs will vary. As mentioned, it will vary on other factors as well, so be prepared for a change if you move from one state to another.

Types of car insurance coverage

In addition to the minimum standard coverage, there is additional coverage you can purchase, which may or may not be required by your lender. Some common types of auto coverage include:

  • Bodily injury liability: covers injury to another party in an accident
  • Collision: covers collision with another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive: covers anything that isn’t covered by collision
  • Property damage liability: covers property damage caused by your car

When comparing quotes, make sure you are comparing the right types of coverage and deductibles. This is critical to getting accurate representations of your potential savings.

Car Insurance Basics

Average cost of car insurance in Wisconsin

Wisconsin drivers pay an average of $1,186 annually for full coverage and $332 annually for minimum car insurance. Of course, premiums are influenced by a variety of factors, but the big four are which [...]

4 min read

Average cost of car insurance in Hawaii

If you are moving to the islands or thinking of switching carriers, knowing the average cost of car insurance in Hawaii could give you a good baseline when shopping for coverage. Hawaii car insurance rates [...]

4 min read

Average cost of car insurance in Vermont

The average annual Vermont car insurance rates are $1,207 for full coverage and $292 for minimum coverage. Many variables influence what drivers pay for auto insurance besides a car’s make and model, [...]

4 min read

Average cost of car insurance in Texas for 2021

Like most states in the U.S., Texas requires its drivers to carry an insurance policy on their vehicles. The average cost of car insurance in Texas is $524 annually for minimum coverage and $1,823 annually [...]

5 min read

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

  • Factors that affect car insurance rates

    If you own a vehicle, car insurance is mandatory. However, the rate you pay for car insurance is not. Auto insurance premiums are often the result of various elements – and fortunately, many of them [...]

    7 min read Apr 14, 2021
    man using phone to check car insurance rates
  • Best car insurance in California for 2021

    Before driving off the lot with your new wheels, you must purchase insurance that complies with California law. Finding the cheapest car insurance in California can depend on numerous rate factors, including [...]

    5 min read Apr 12, 2021
    happy couple driving in car on road trip
  • Best car insurance in Texas for 2021

    Texas has the second-highest number of licensed drivers in the country, nearly 15.9 million, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The 2019 Texas traffic statistics provided by the Texas Department [...]

    6 min read Apr 09, 2021
    downtown san antonio skyline
  • Best car insurance discounts

    Car insurance is required by law in almost every state. With a little time, you could find the best policy with multiple car insurance discounts for your own needs. Almost every major insurer offers multiple [...]

    13 min read Mar 24, 2021
    family driving in car with dog
  • Best car insurance in New Jersey for 2021

    With an average cost of car insurance of $1,738 per year, New Jersey residents pay a hefty fee for car insurance. If you’re in the market for car insurance, you’re probably looking for an affordable [...]

    5 min read Mar 11, 2021
    Young couple on a road trip in winter landscape
  • 6 Types of car insurance coverages

    Almost every driver in the United States is required by law to carry car insurance. After an accident, car insurance can protect you from financial devastation, pay to repair your vehicle and cover your [...]

    9 min read Mar 09, 2021
    different cars driving down the interstate
  • Best veterans and military car insurance of 2021

    If you’ve served in the military, you and your family are eligible for special military car insurance discounts. USAA is typically the most recommended provider for active and retired military personnel, [...]

    7 min read Feb 26, 2021
    A female soldier in her battle dress uniform (BDU) buckles her son into his seat.

The trusted source for financial information, used by

The New York Times
CNBC
AP
The Wall Street Journal
CNN
Forbes