It’s often said that a clean driving record is key to affordable car insurance, and based on Bankrate’s research on average car insurance rates from Quadrant Information Services, that statement rings true. A good driver with a clean driving record pays an average rate of $1,674 per year for full coverage car insurance, while a driver involved in an at-fault accident pays $2,311. Because car insurance companies value drivers who prove themselves to be low-risk, it can be advantageous to shop around to make sure you get a good deal on the best car insurance.
- Being involved in at-fault accidents or receiving moving violation tickets can affect your car insurance rates and qualifying for a good driver discount.
- Car insurance companies each have their own rating methods so shopping around with multiple carriers can ensure you find the cheapest car insurance policy.
- If you feel that you have optimized your car insurance policy for all discounts and savings opportunities, consider participating in a telematics program to potentially save even more.
Car insurance for good drivers
There are many factors that impact your car insurance rates that car insurance companies review. These can include a driver’s ZIP code and credit score (in most states), as well as the type of vehicle and annual mileage. But the most important factor might be your driving record, car insurance companies use that to determine your risk level.
Having multiple at-fault accidents or a history of tickets can be a disqualification for most good driver discounts and even add a surcharge on the policy, depending on the incident and how recently it took place. To get a sense of how beneficial a clean driving record is, below is a table showing average rates for both male and female drivers from Quadrant Information Services, and how incidents can affect car insurance premiums:
Average annual full coverage car insurance premiums by driving record
|Clean driving record||Accident||Speeding ticket||DUI|
*Some states do not allow gender to be used as a rating factor when calculating insurance premiums.
Best car insurance companies for good drivers
Requesting an insurance quote from more than one carrier can be well worth it to help you find the best car insurance company. Because each car insurance company has their own method for calculating auto insurance rates, premiums for the same driver and vehicle can vary. By analyzing average car insurance rates from multiple insurance companies, it’s clear that even for drivers with clean driving records, premiums can fluctuate from company to company.
Average annual full coverage car insurance premiums by company
|Clean driving record||Accident||Speeding ticket||DUI|
*USAA is only available to military, veterans and eligible family members.
Additional ways for good drivers to save on car insurance
There are many ways to save money on car insurance beyond having a clean driving record. While some of the most popular strategies are listed below, each car insurance company might offer unique opportunities to save, so it can’t hurt to inquire further while requesting quotes.
- Discounts: Some discounts are offered by most car insurance companies, such as the good driver discount and good student discount, but the definition and savings amount can vary. One of the most significant discounts not related to driving record is the multiple policy discount, which you may qualify for if you bundle your home (or renters) insurance and auto insurance at the same company. Older drivers can inquire about defensive driving discounts, which they may be able to earn after taking a state-approved course.
- Telematics programs: Even though car insurance is already a very personalized process, there are some limitations. With usage-based telematics programs, it’s possible to earn discounts and rewards specifically for your own safe driving habits and practices. Some, like Nationwide’s SmartRide, Progressive’s Snapshot and USAA’s SafePilot, are intended only for customers who are currently insured with that particular company, but Allstate’s Drivewise is available to anyone where available.
- Shop around: As seen in the table above, average premiums vary for each carrier, even if the driver, vehicle and policy information is the same. If you have recently had a major life event, such as marriage, purchased a new home or even now have a teen driver, these are great opportunities to shop around and see if a different carrier is right for you.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance for high-risk drivers?
Finding the cheapest car insurance can take time, and high-risk drivers may need to do a little extra research. Some carriers may add a surcharge to the policy that increases the base premium for a few years or potentially deny coverage. In these situations, you may want to consider high-risk auto insurance carriers. It is still worthwhile to shop around and speak to a licensed insurance agent to see what options are available to you.
How much car insurance is required?
Every state has different minimum requirements for auto insurance. However, this typically only includes liability coverage that goes towards the other party if you are involved in an at-fault accident. In most cases, drivers may want to consider additional coverage options like comprehensive coverage and collision coverage to protect their vehicle.
What if I am involved in an at-fault accident or received a ticket?
Sometimes life happens and an accident is unavoidable despite our best efforts. Certain insurance claims, like an at-fault accident or a ticket, have the potential to increase your premiums and remove certain discounts. When shopping for car insurance, you can ask about accident forgiveness and look into your state regulations to see if there’s a way to remove a ticket from your record if it is your first.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.