Auto insurance statistics and facts 2021

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Important auto insurance statistics

  • According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), U.S. car insurance costs are on the rise, with a 5% increase in rates observed from 2017 to 2018.
  • IBISWorld estimated that the auto insurance industry was worth $311 billion in 2019 alone.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predicts that U.S. motor vehicle crashes in 2010 cost almost $1 trillion in losses.
  • 2015 was the deadliest year since 2008, with over 35,000 Americans killed on the road, based on NHTSA findings.
  • That same year, pedestrian and cyclist roadway deaths hit a two-decade high.
  • Teen drivers are nearly three times as likely to get into a fatal car accident than older drivers, according to findings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Experts also estimate that a motor vehicle-related injury occurs every 10 seconds.
  • The NHTSA estimates about 10 million or more crashes go unreported each year.

Auto insurance statistics 2021

Bankrate’s study of the average annual cost of auto insurance in the U.S. shows a rate of $1,674 per year for full coverage, accounting for about 2.44% of the average U.S. annual household income. Based on the report:

  • If your credit score decreases, your premium can increase by $1,351 for an average annual premium of $3,025.
  • A speeding ticket can increase your premium by $355 for a total average premium of $2,029 per year.
  • If you are involved in a car crash, your insurance premium can increase by $731 for a total of $2,405 per year.
  • A lapse in coverage can cost you $187 for an average annual premium of $1,861.
  • A DUI conviction can increase your policy by $1,662 for a total of $3,336 per year.
  • If you add a teen driver to your policy, you add an average of $1,883 to your policy for a total annual premium of $3,557.

Auto insurance is required for drivers in 49 states and Washington, D.C. New Hampshire is the only state without a compulsory insurance liability law. If a driver meets the minimum financial obligations in New Hampshire, then they may be able to drive without an active auto insurance policy.

Auto insurance claims statistics

Car insurance claims are commonly the result of several factors, as indicated by the III:

Risk factors in 2018 fatal crashes | Insurance Information Institute

Risk factor Number of fatal crashes Percentage of fatal crashes
Speeding or racing 8,596 16.7%
Influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication 5,175 10.1%
Distracted driving 2,688 5.2%
Drowsy, asleep, fatigued, ill, or blacked out 1,221 2.4%
No reason reported 16,012 31.1%
Unknown 9.167 17.8%

Here is an in-depth look at these factors and how they may impact drivers and the companies who insure them from a financial perspective.

Drinking and driving

  • An alcohol-related crash is a fatal motor vehicle accident involving a driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
  • There were 10,497 people killed in 2016 from alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
  • Of those fatal traffic crashes in 2016, 28% died as a result of alcohol-impaired accidents.

Speeding

  • According to the NHTSA, speed-related crashes cost a total of $40.4 billion each year.
  • It also reports that there was a 4% increase in fatal speed-related accidents between 2015 and 2016, accounting for the loss of over 10,100 lives in 2016 alone.
  • In 29% of 2013’s fatal crashes, speed was a contributing factor.

Running red lights

  • Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that drivers running red lights in 2019 resulted in more than 846 deaths per year and an estimated 143,000 injuries.
    • More than half of those deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists, or the occupants of the other vehicles involved in a crash with a vehicle running a red light.

Drowsy driving

  • Drowsy driving is to blame for more than 100,000 motor-vehicle crashes.
  • It also causes about 71,000 non-fatal injuries and over 1,500 deaths annually.
  • Experts estimate that drowsy driving costs the U.S. $12.5 billion.
  • In a three-year study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving was involved in up to 9.5% of accidents.
  • Worse, about 37% of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once.

Distracted driving

  • According to the NHTSA, 2,841 people died from distracted driving in 2018.
  • That same year, 6,200 pedestrians were killed in a 28-year record high.
  • In 2017, about 42% of high school students said they sent an email or text while driving.
  • In 2016, distracted driving killed 3,450 people and resulted in 391,000 injuries.

The III analyzed ISO data to determine the average claim impact by type of auto insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury – $15,443
  • Collision claim – $3,144
  • Comprehensive claim – $1,621
  • Property damage – $3,231

Furthermore, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 79% of all claimed economic losses in auto claims in 2017 went to cover a multitude of medical expenses.
On the bright side, data indicates the number of injuries is gradually declining over time.

Number of injuries from auto accidents | Insurance Research Council

Year Total injuries
2003 2.89 million
2004 2.79 million
2006 2.54 million
2008 2.35 million
2009 2.22 million
2010 2.24 million
2011 2.21 million
2012 2.36 million
2013 2.31 million

Numbers like these raise the question of who is paying for all of these losses, especially when considering the issue from an insurance perspective. Data from the NHTSA suggests that it is not an even split.

Who pays for insurance claims? | NHTSA

Percentage of all motor vehicle crash costs
Private insurers 50%
Individual crash victims 26%
Third parties, charities, and health care providers 14%
Federal revenues 6%
State and local municipalities 3%

With insurance providers covering the bulk of these expenses, U.S. drivers have seen insurance premiums slowly creep up in keeping with the ongoing costs associated with these accidents. This is evident with historical data from the III below, as well as a glimpse at rates from this year.

Average annual cost of auto insurance | Insurance Information Institute

Year Average cost Percent change, year-to-year
2009 $786.65 -0.5%
2010 $789.29 0.3%
2011 $795.01 0.7%
2012 $812.40 2.2%
2013 $841.06 3.5%
2014 $869.47 3.4%
2015 $896.66 3.1%
2016 $945.02 5.4%
2017 $1,006.33 6.5%
2018 $1,056.55 5.0%

Today in 2021, the average cost of car insurance is $1,674 per year for full coverage, according to rate data from Quadrant Information Services.

Auto insurance statistics state by state

Where you live has a significant impact on what you will pay for car insurance. The table below shows average annual car insurance rates by state for full coverage.

Based on average annual rates, Maine and Ohio fall well below the national average. Comparatively, Florida, New York and Louisiana tend to see the highest rates.

Average annual full coverage rates by state | Bankrate.com

State Average annual cost
Alabama $1,513
Alaska $1,388
Arizona $1,517
Arkansas $1,749
California $1,974
Colorado $1,720
Connecticut $1,782
Delaware $1,730
District of Columbia $1,810
Florida $2,587
Georgia $1,746
Hawaii $1,234
Idaho $1,055
Illinois $1,400
Indiana $1,187
Iowa $1,122
Kansas $1,567
Kentucky $1,850
Louisiana $2,351
Maine $831
Maryland $1,787
Massachusetts $1,399
Michigan $2,105
Minnesota $1,622
Mississippi $1,719
Missouri $1,955
Montana $1,365
Nebraska $1,329
Nevada $1,903
New Hampshire $1,137
New Jersey $1,763
New Mexico $1,374
New York $2,498
North Carolina $1,378
North Dakota $1,211
Ohio $998
Oklahoma $1,741
Oregon $1,281
Pennsylvania $1,372
Rhode Island $2,066
South Carolina $1,568
South Dakota $1,597
Tennessee $1,281
Texas $1,974
Utah $1,301
Vermont $1,123
Virginia $1,136
Washington $1,305
West Virginia $1,631
Wisconsin $1,049
Wyoming $1,335

Percentage of uninsured drivers by state

Insurance premiums can vary from state to state for several reasons, but one major factor that often contributes to auto insurance costs is the number of uninsured drivers. In fact, the IRC credits the economic downturn as a leading reason for uninsured drivers. The Financial Responsibility and Insurance Committee of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators reports that 82% of uninsured drivers either cannot afford insurance or do not have a vehicle that is inoperable or in use.

An accident with an uninsured driver can be especially detrimental because of the potential unaffordability of out-of-pocket costs for repairs, injuries or damages, and yet, uninsured drivers are prevalent throughout the U.S.

According to the IRC, about one in eight drivers were uninsured in 2014. About 27% of Florida drivers were uninsured in 2015 according to the III, although the highest percentage is observed in Mississippi — nearly 30% of drivers in this state are uninsured.

2021 most expensive cities/states for auto insurance

Our 2021 Bankrate annual report shows that certain areas of the country still continue to face much more expensive premiums than other regions.

Of the costliest metropolitan areas, Miami has the highest premiums with an average annual premium of $3,143 per year. Detroit, Tampa, New York and Orlando also face above-average premiums.

Most expensive metropolitan areas | Bankrate.com

Rank (out of 25) Metro Area Average annual premium
25 Miami $3,143
24 Detroit $3,181
23 Tampa $2,700
22 New York $3,478
21 Orlando $2,251

2021 least expensive cities/states for auto insurance

Some cities are more affordable for the average cost of car insurance. Boston is the cheapest metropolitan area based on quoted premiums, but Seattle, Washington, D.C, San Francisco and Portland all have the cheapest car insurance rates when compared to the percentage of total income they represent.

Least expensive metropolitan areas | Bankrate.com

Rank Metro Area Average annual premium
1. Boston $1,325
2. Seattle $1,328
3. Washington, D.C. $1,659
4. San Francisco $2,140
5. Portland $1,469

Auto insurance industry statistics

Given various risk factors and average annual claim costs, you might wonder what the impact is to auto insurance providers. These statistics reflect the state of the auto insurance industry:

  • The CDC reports that 2010 costs for medical care and productivity losses accounted for almost $100 billion (almost $500 for every licensed driver in the country).
  • Between 2008 and 2017, insurance payments increased by 31% for bodily injury claims and 26% for personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault claims.

Insurance market trends (millions) | NAIC

2017 2018 2019
Direct property and casualty insurers 467,724 460,038 466,170

There are some car insurance companies that are more popular than others either by virtue of market share and availability, competitive rates or high customer satisfaction levels. Companies like State Farm, Berkshire Hathaway, and Progressive all represent the greatest market share, with Allstate and USAA in close pursuit, according to the III.

Largest auto insurance providers, by market share | Insurance Information Institute

Rank Company Direct premiums written Market share
1. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance $40,878,781 16.1%
2. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. $34,892,004 13.8%
3. Progressive Corporation $31,025,772 12.2%
4. Allstate Corporation $23,626,743 9.3%
5. USAA Insurance Group $15,231,169 6.0%
6. Liberty Mutual $11,701,811 4.6%
7. Farmers Insurance Group of Companies $10,533,343 4.2%
8. Nationwide Mutual Group $6,245,588 2.5%
9. American Family Insurance Group $5,776,711 2.3%
10. Travelers Companies Inc. $4,903,033 1.9%

Auto insurance statistics by age

Age has historically been one of the most significant factors that car insurance providers use to determine the cost of insurance. Research continues to show that age is a driving factor in many fatalities, losses and damages associated with motor vehicle accidents. Below are common factors associated with younger, less-experienced drivers:

  • Teen drivers are three times more likely than older drivers to get into a fatal car accident. Factors include inexperience behind the wheel, distracted driving, lack of seatbelt use and risky behaviors behind the wheel.
  • Handheld cell phone use is highest among drivers aged 16 to 24.
  • Teen drivers typically face more expensive premiums to offset the higher risk.
  • Insurance premiums usually begin to drop by age 25 for responsible drivers.
  • Insurance prices tend to increase again by age 70 for senior drivers, who can be more prone to vehicle crashes than middle-aged drivers.

Auto insurance statistics by gender

Auto insurance premiums can also be affected by gender. Not all states are able to use your gender when calculating insurance rates, however. In states like California and Michigan, it is illegal for auto insurance companies to use your gender as a factor when determining your insurance rates.

However, research shows that gender can be a predictor of driver behavior.

  • IIHS research shows that men tend to engage in riskier behaviors behind the wheel than women.
  • Men are typically involved in more motor accidents than women.
  • Accidents involving male drivers tend to be more serious than those accidents with female drivers.
  • 2013 data shows that speeding was a factor in 35% of all fatal accidents involving male drivers between the ages of 15 to 25 years old and 21 to 24 years old.

Car insurance for teen drivers can be very expensive but even more so for male 16-year-old drivers who pay about $500 more than their female counterparts. Even as male drivers get older, they still marginally higher car insurance premiums than women, on average, as shown below.

Average annual full coverage premium by gender and age | Bankrate.com

Age Males Females
16-year old $2,783 $2,280
17-year old $2,485 $2,015
18-year old $5,727 $4,983
19-year old $4,434 $3,831
21-year old $3,149 $2,787
22-year old $2,828 $2,495
23-year old $2,675 $2,394
24-year old $2,535 $2,282
25-year old $2,181 $2,036
30-year old $1,869 $1,832
35-year old $1,813 $1,790
40-year old $1,648 $1,701
50-year old $1,463 $1,439
60-year old $1,421 $1,389
70-year old $1,564 $1,505

To obtain affordable car insurance, experts recommend the best thing you can do is shop and compare quotes. Each car insurance company may have different coverage and discounts options for your policy that can save you quite a bit on your premium each month.