Auto insurance statistics and facts

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Like it or not, auto insurance is a fact of life. The average American pays $1,674 a year or about $140 a month on auto insurance. Nearly 215 million drivers carry car insurance in the U.S, and the industry as a whole is worth about $311 billion as of 2019, according to IBISWorld.

In this article:

Key auto insurance statistics
What impacts auto insurance rates?
What types of auto insurance claims are filed?
Why do people get in collisions?
Percentage of uninsured drivers by state
Auto insurance costs by state
Most expensive states for auto insurance
Least expensive states for auto insurance
Auto insurance industry statistics
Auto insurance statistics by age
Auto insurance statistics by gender

Key auto insurance statistics

How much is auto insurance?

  • The average auto insurance premium is $1,674 a year or about $140 a month.
  • About 2.44% of the average household income is spent on auto insurance.
  • Auto insurance rates are on the rise. According to the NAIC, a 5% increase was observed between 2017 and 2018.
  • Nearly 215 million drivers carry car insurance in the U.S., according to Review42.
  • 12.6% of drivers on the road are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council.
  • The auto insurance industry is worth about $311 billion, as of 2019 data from IBISWorld.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost almost $1 trillion in losses a year, according to NHTSA 2010 data.
  • 10 million or more crashes go unreported each year, according to the NHTSA.

What impacts auto insurance rates?

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 premium 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 rate for a total annual premium of $3,557.

What types of auto insurance claims are filed?

The four categories of auto insurance claims are bodily injury, property damage, collision, and comprehensive. Bodily injury and property damage claims are about liability or the policyholder’s responsibility to others for property damage or bodily injury. Collision and comprehensive cover damage and theft to the policyholder’s car.

Which auto insurance claims are most expensive?

Unsurprisingly, bodily injury claims are the most expensive, at an average of $15,862 per loss, followed by property damage at $3,630, collision at $3,247, and comprehensive at least expensive at $1,659.

Cost of auto insurance claims by type

Year Bodily injury Property damage Collision Comprehensive
2010 $14,406 $2,881 $2,778 $1,476
2011 $14,848 $2,958 $2,861 $1,490
2012 $14,690 $3,073 $2,950 $1,585
2013 $15,441 $3,231 $3,144 $1,621
2014 $15,384 $3,516 $3,169 $1,572
2015 $16,046 $3,791 $3,377 $1,679
2016 $16,149 $3,969 $3,442 $1,747
2017 $16,075 $4,064 $3,423 $1,811
2018 $17,164 $4,295 $3,578 $1,832
2019 $18,417 $4,525 $3,750 $1,780
Average $15,862 $3,630 $3,247 $1,659

Source: iii

Which auto insurance claims are most common?

From a frequency standpoint, collision claims are most commonly filed at an average of 5.9 claims per 100 year of insured coverage on a vehicle. The second most frequent claims are property damage at 3.4, comprehensive at 2.8, and, least frequent, bodily injury at 1 claim per 100 car years.

Frequency of auto insurance claims by type

Year Bodily injury Property damage Collision Comprehensive
2010 0.91 3.53 5.69 2.62
2011 0.92 3.56 5.75 2.79
2012 0.95 3.50 5.57 2.62
2013 0.95 3.55 5.71 2.57
2014 0.97 3.41 5.93 2.79
2015 1.00 3.41 6.01 2.72
2016 1.05 3.44 6.13 2.76
2017 1.11 3.46 6.14 2.86
2018 1.10 3.32 6.13 3.02
2019 1.07 3.18 6.13 3.25
Average 1.00 3.44 5.92 2.80

Source: iii

Why do people get in collisions?

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%

How common are collisions?

Furthermore, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 79% of all claimed economic losses in auto claims in 2017 covered a multitude of medical expenses.

On the bright side, data indicates the number of injuries is gradually declining over time.

Total Crashes Fatal Crashes Injury Crashes Property Damage Only Crashes
2017 6,452,000 34,247 1,889,000 4,530,000
2018 6,735,000 33,919 1,894,000 4,807,000
2019 6,756,000 33,224 1,916,000 4,806,000

Who pays for insurance claims?

Numbers like these raise the question of who is paying for 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

Responsible Party 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 and a glimpse at rates from this year.

Average annual cost of auto insurance | Insurance Information Institute

Year Percent change, year-to-year
2009 -0.5%
2010 0.3%
2011 0.7%
2012 2.2%
2013 3.5%
2014 3.4%
2015 3.1%
2016 5.4%
2017 6.5%
2018 5.0%

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

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 uninsured drivers. 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 operable 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. 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.

Auto insurance costs by state

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, they may drive without an active auto insurance policy.

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 $1,623
Alaska $1,559
Arizona $1,547
Arkansas $1,914
California $2,065
Colorado $2,016
Connecticut $1,845
Delaware $1,775
Florida $2,364
Georgia $1,982
Hawaii $1,127
Idaho $1,045
Illinois $1,485
Indiana $1,254
Iowa $1,260
Kansas $1,698
Kentucky $2,128
Louisiana $2,724
Maine $965
Maryland $1,877
Massachusetts $1,223
Michigan $2,309
Minnesota $1,643
Mississippi $1,782
Missouri $1,661
Montana $1,737
Nebraska $1,531
Nevada $2,245
New Hampshire $1,275
New Jersey $1,757
New Mexico $1,419
New York $2,321
North Carolina $1,325
North Dakota $1,264
Ohio $1,034
Oklahoma $1,873
Oregon $1,346
Pennsylvania $1,476
Rhode Island $2,018
South Carolina $1,512
South Dakota $1,642
Tennessee $1,338
Texas $1,823
Utah $1,306
Vermont $1,207
Virginia $1,304
Washington $1,176
Washington, D.C. $1,855
West Virginia $1,499
Wisconsin $1,186
Wyoming $1,495

Most expensive states for auto insurance

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

Louisiana has the highest premiums of the costliest states, with an average annual cost of $2,724 per year. The New Orleans metropolitan area is even higher, with an average premium of $4,234 per year.

Rank State Average annual premium
1. Louisiana $2,724
2. Florida $2,364
3. New York $2,321
4. Michigan $2,309
5. Nevada $2,245

Least expensive states for auto insurance

Some cities are more affordable for the average cost of car insurance. Maine has the cheapest quote premium at $965 per year, followed closely by Ohio, Idaho, Hawaii and Washington.

Rank State Average annual premium
50. Maine $965
49. Ohio $1,034
48. Idaho $1,045
47. Hawaii $1,127
46. Washington $1,176

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 (nearly $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

Some car insurance companies are more popular than others due to market share and availability, competitive rates or higher customer satisfaction. According to the iii, companies like State Farm, Berkshire Hathaway (parent company of Geico and others), and Progressive all represent the most significant 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 insurance costs. Research continues to show that age is a driving factor in many fatalities, losses and damages associated with motor vehicle accidents. Below are common statistics 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.

Auto insurance statistics by gender

Auto insurance premiums can also be affected by gender. Not all states can 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.

  • Men tend to engage in riskier behaviors behind the wheel than women, according to IIHS research.
  • Men are typically involved in more motor accidents than women.
  • Accidents involving male drivers tend to be more serious than accidents with female drivers.
  • Speeding is a factor in 35% of all fatal accidents involving male drivers between 15 and 25.

Car insurance for teen drivers can be costly, but it is 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 have 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

Experts suggest that the best thing you can do is shop and compare quotes to obtain affordable car insurance. 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.