Car insurance is not always cheap, but most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of coverage. In the United States, the average cost of minimum coverage car insurance is $565 per year, and full coverage car insurance is $1,674 per year. However, the cost varies significantly based on location and personal factors, like your age and credit score.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to provide up-to-date rates for minimum coverage and full coverage car insurance to give you an idea of how coverage affects your car insurance premiums.
Coverages are available at different options, and your coverage requirements will depend on your personal situation and comfort level. You may have an older vehicle that is not financed and feel comfortable with the minimum insurance limits required by your state. Or you may carry full coverage that offers more robust insurance coverage in the event of a claim.
Average car insurance cost by state
The average annual premium varies by location. Different states have different rates, and even your ZIP code can influence your costs. Premiums are affected by local factors, including traffic and accidents in the area and the crime rate.
Below is the average cost for car insurance in each state.
|State||Full coverage premium||Minimum coverage premium|
|District of Columbia||$1,855||$704|
Average car insurance cost by company
The cost of car insurance varies from carrier to carrier. Although some providers are known for offering cheaper rates, their coverage options may also be less than other providers who offer more expensive rates on average.
To find the best car insurance company, get quotes from different providers to compare rates and features.
|Insurance provider||Full coverage premium||Minimum coverage premium|
When deciding on the amount of coverage you want, you can opt for liability coverage that meets your state’s minimum standards, or you can select different options that give you more coverage.
Liability coverage pays for damages and injuries you cause to others but does not cover repairing your vehicle from a covered claim. Full coverage includes coverage to your vehicle in addition to paying for the damages or injuries you cause to others from an at-fault accident. You may also be able to add “optional” coverages, like roadside assistance or rental reimbursement coverage to help transport your vehicle if it breaks down or if you need a rental car while yours is being repaired from a covered claim.
Auto insurance laws vary from state to state, so check state guidelines and speak to an insurance agent when shopping for car insurance.
Average cost of car insurance by age
Age is perhaps one of the biggest factors for how much you will pay for car insurance. On average, young drivers generally pay more for insurance than older drivers, although rates can begin to creep up again as drivers approach 80 years of age.
It all boils down to experience and risk. Teenage drivers have crash rates that are almost four times that of more experienced drivers. Insurance companies are aware of the fact that teens and young drivers — as well as the elderly — are more likely to get in an accident, so the car insurance costs that these drivers pay are typically higher to compensate for the greater risk.
An 18-year-old driver, for example, pays an average rate of over 2.5 times as much per year for full coverage insurance as a 25-year old driver. Teenage drivers can offset increased rates in some cases, like if they are added to their parents’ policies because they may be able to take advantage of multi-car discounts and vehicle usage discounts.
|Average full coverage premium||Average minimum coverage premium|
*Combined 2021 rate for teen + parents on parents’ auto insurance policy
Average cost of car insurance by driving record
In addition to location, company and age, your driving record also helps determine how much you will pay for car insurance. When you have an accident, receive a speeding ticket or are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, insurance companies surmise that you might be more likely to cause an accident in the future, and your premium is adjusted accordingly. For example, the average full coverage premium increases over $1,200 per year after a DUI conviction, but only by about $200 annually for a speeding ticket.
More serious incidents and violations, such as accidents involving injuries and DUI charges, often result in more serious insurance repercussions. A company may significantly raise your premium or may even choose not to renew your policy. If you have a DUI, have caused a serious accident or have another major violation like an excessive speeding ticket, you may need to look for high-risk car insurance.
|Average full coverage premium||Average minimum coverage premium|
|Clean driving record||$1,674||$563|
Average cost of car insurance for men and women
Gender also plays a role in the cost of auto insurance, with men typically being more expensive to insure than women. Men generally engage in riskier driving behaviors than women, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt and speeding, all of which can lead to more severe accidents.
The difference in insurance rates is more pronounced with younger drivers, with 18-year-old men paying $744 per year more than 18-year-old women for full coverage. The combination of young drivers being more inexperienced and men being generally riskier means that they are often among the most expensive drivers to insure. By the time drivers reach their 40s and beyond, the average cost difference between the genders drops below $100 per year for full coverage.
Additional factors that determine your rate
Car insurance providers look at a variety of factors when determining the cost of your car insurance. Some of these factors include:
- Car type: The type of car you drive can impact the cost of your car insurance policy because it is based, in part, on the value of your car. If you have a brand new, expensive sports car, it will cost more to replace or repair it, so your premium will likely cost more. On the other hand, if you have an older car, you may pay less. The premium can also vary based on the vehicle’s safety, theft ratings and mileage.
- Coverage selections: Your car insurance coverage options have a significant effect on your rate. If you select higher liability limits, choose lower deductible levels or take advantage of optional coverages, your rates will likely be higher.
- Credit score: The statistics show that drivers with poor credit file more claims, and more expensive claims, than drivers with good credit. This means that, in general, the better your credit, the lower your premium. Your insurance credit tier is determined by each car insurance provider and is based on a variety of factors; it will likely not exactly match the scores from Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. The table below showcases how credit can affect your annual full coverage car insurance premium.
How to save money on car insurance
Most car insurance carriers provide discounts that can lower the cost of your insurance premium. The exact discounts vary among insurance providers, but there are a handful of standard auto insurance discounts. When you buy an insurance policy, make sure to ask an agent about all the savings available to you. Here are some of the most common insurance discounts:
- Safe driver discounts: Most car insurance providers offer safe driver discounts for drivers who have completed an eligible safety course within the past couple of years.
- Claims-free: Drivers who have no claims on their record from the past several years usually qualify for savings.
- Multi-car discounts: If your household has multiple vehicles, consider placing them all on one insurance policy to qualify for a multi-car discount.
- Bundling insurance policies: You can often reduce your car insurance premium when you bundle your car insurance policy with a life or home insurance policy.
- Good student discounts: Many insurance carriers offer discounts for young drivers with good grades in school. Typically, full-time students under the age of 25 who maintain a B average or better are eligible for this discount. You will likely need to provide academic evidence in the form of an up-to-date grade report or a form signed by a school administrator.
- Paying in full: If you can afford to pay your annual car insurance premium in full, you may save money. Many insurance companies provide a discount for those drivers willing to pay upfront because it is more convenient and requires less processing for them.
- Safety features: If your car has common safety features, like airbags, an anti-theft device or anti-lock brakes, some auto insurance companies will apply a discount to your policy.
Frequently asked questions
What discounts are available for car insurance?
There are a lot of discounts available for car insurance. Some examples are taking a safe driving course, bundling your insurance policies, having an anti-theft device in your car and paying your premium in full. Ask your carrier about the auto insurance discounts it offers to see how you can qualify.
Is full coverage insurance worth it?
Full coverage may be worth it, depending on your circumstances. If you drive often, have a car loan or if your car is still relatively new, you may want to consider full coverage insurance. Although it is generally more expensive than minimum coverage, there is the added benefit of having more robust coverage available to you in the event of an insurance claim. Most insurance companies offer a range of coverage levels, from state minimum required limits and up to half a million dollars in bodily injury coverage per accident, and possibly even higher. Car insurance is often able to be customized to your unique needs.
How can I find the best rate for my car insurance premium?
To find the best car insurance rate, shop around for personalized quotes from different auto insurance providers. By comparing quotes from different providers, you will be able to choose the coverage you need at an affordable price.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.
*2021 Rates for 16-year-old are based on a driver of this age added to their parents’ policy
**2020 Rates for driving record are based on standard driver profile but with a single accident, speeding ticket or DUI conviction applied
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