Average cost of car insurance

Average cost of car insurance

The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $179 per month, and it can vary based on factors such as company, state, and car type.

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Do you ever get the feeling you’re paying too much for car insurance? Knowing the average cost of car insurance for your state and driving history can help answer this nagging question

Your personal car insurance cost will vary based on several factors, such as your driving history, location, coverage you select, and car make and model. We break down how these factors may affect your rates below.

Keep reading to see the average cost of car insurance for:

  • Your state.
  • The largest insurance companies.
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident.
  • Good and poor credit.
  • Having a DUI.
  • Young drivers.
  • Your gender.
  • The car you drive.

How much is car insurance?

According to this extensive research, the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $2,014 per year. Minimum coverage, on the other hand, has an average annual cost of $622. However, car insurance is like a fingerprint.

Although your circumstances may seem similar, your personalized rating factors will cause your premium to vary from that of friends, family and the national average.

Still, knowing the average cost of car insurance might give you the information you need to ensure you’re paying a competitive rate. 

Here are national average car insurance costs based on credit history, driving history, and breadth of insurance coverage:

Driving and credit historyAverage annual cost of full coverageAverage annual cost of minimum coverage
Good driver with good credit$2,148$685
Good driver with poor credit$3,455$1,118
Driver with an at-fault accident and good credit$3,164$1,044
Driver with a recent DUI and good credit$3,933$1,403

As you can see, average costs for full coverage insurance are generally more than twice as high as minimum coverage, according to our analysis.

But averages don’t say much about your own car insurance costs. Several personal factors, within and outside your control, ultimately impact the final price.

NerdWallet can’t anticipate which factors apply to you, so we used a specific driver profile throughout this article (unless stated otherwise):

  • 35 years old.
  • Good driver. Defined as a person with a clean driving record, meaning no accidents, DUIs or other traffic violations.
  • Good credit. Drivers with a good credit rating. Insurers use a credit-based insurance score, which is similar to your regular credit score, to calculate rates in most states. Although they aren’t the same, your credit score can be a good indicator of your credit-based insurance score.

Key insights from car insurance rates analysis:

  • Full coverage car insurance costs an average of $2,014 per year, while minimum coverage is $622 per year. On a monthly basis, full coverage averages $168, with minimum coverage averaging $52 per month.
  • Geico, Erie and USAA offer some of the cheapest full coverage car insurance, but are not all available to all drivers.
  • Auto-Owners, Geico and USAA offer the cheapest minimum coverage car insurance among companies we analyzed, on average.
  • Although men tend to pay more for car insurance than women, this is not the case for 50-year-old drivers. 50-year-old women pay, on average, $2 more a year for full coverage car insurance than 50-year-old men.
  • Some vehicles experience higher average insurance premiums than others because of MSRPs, safety features, repair costs, parts availability and other variable characteristics. For example, the average cost of full coverage insurance for a Tesla Model 3 is 60 percent higher than for a Subaru Outback.

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How much does car insurance cost in my state?

Where you live can have an enormous impact on the cost of car insurance because each state has different regulations.

Here are the cheapest states for full coverage auto insurance:

  1. Maine: $1,323 a year, or about $110 a month, on average.
  2. Idaho: $1,349 a year, or about $112 a month, on average.
  3. Vermont: $1,376 a year, or about $115 a month, on average.
  4. Massachusetts: $1,394 a year, or about $116 a month, on average.
  5. Ohio: $1,423 a year, or about $119 a month, on average.

These are the most expensive states for full coverage auto insurance:

  1. Florida: $3,605 a year, or about $300 a month, on average.
  2. Louisiana: $3,399 a year, or about $283 a month, on average.
  3. Kentucky: $3,357 a year, or about $280 a month, on average.
  4. Rhode Island: $3,300 a year, or about $275 a month, on average.
  5. Michigan: $3,229 a year, or about $269 a month, on average.

Average annual car insurance costs for full and minimum coverage by state

StateFull coverageMinimum coverage
New Hampshire$1,557$494
New Jersey$2,809$1,146
New Mexico$2,127$576
New York$2,600$1,180
North Carolina$1,487$565
North Dakota$1,869$513
Rhode Island$3,300$1,272
South Carolina$2,715$965
South Dakota$1,593$318
Washington, D.C.$2,260$819
West Virginia$2,075$616

Average cost of car insurance by company

Every car insurance company sets rates based on dozens of factors, including your driving history, location, vehicle and demographics. They’re making an educated guess about how likely you are to file a claim and setting your price accordingly.

Each insurer treats each factor differently. If you have poor credit, one insurer might charge you 10% more for the policy, while another would charge 40% more. A discount for being claim-free in recent years might earn you a 20% discount with one company and 5% at another.

All this results in different prices from one person to the next. This is why the company that gives your friend a super-low premium might not be the cheapest for you.

What are the cheapest states for car insurance?

Drivers in Maine, Vermont, Idaho, New Hampshire and Massachusetts pay the cheapest annual full coverage car insurance rates in the nation, on average. Factors like cheaper cost of living, lower probability of accidents and claims, and less traffic congestion could contribute to these states’ lower average premiums.

  • Maine: $941 per year — 53 percent below national average
  • Vermont: $1,061 per year — 47 percent below national average
  • Idaho: $1,133 per year — 44 percent below national average
  • New Hampshire: $1,162 per year — 42 percent below national average
  • Massachusetts: $1,262 per year — 37 percent below national average

What are the most expensive states for car insurance?

Based on our research, drivers in Florida, New York, Louisiana, Nevada and Michigan have the highest average annual cost of full coverage car insurance. This could be due in part to frequent claims for common losses in these states, making drivers riskier to insure overall.

  • Florida: $3,183 per year — 58 percent above national average
  • New York: $3,139 per year — 56 percent above national average
  • Louisiana: $2,909 per year — 44 percent above national average
  • Nevada: $2,779 per year — 38 percent above national average
  • Michigan: $2,691 per year — 34 percent above national average

What else affects my car insurance cost?

There are additional factors you may need to consider that can affect insurance premiums. Here are some of them:

  • More specific location data such as your ZIP code or city.
  • Your occupation, in many states.
  • Your previous insurance company. If it was a nonstandard insurer specializing in high-risk drivers, you might see higher insurance rates with some companies.
  • Continuous insurance coverage. Companies charge more for drivers with lapses in coverage.
  • Annual mileage driven per car.
  • Your marital status. Some insurers believe married people drive more responsibly, which means single people — even widows, widowers and divorced folks — tend to have higher insurance rates.
  • Whether you own your home (and whether you bundle home insurance with auto).
  • How much education you’ve completed.
  • Additional coverage options you choose, such as new-car replacement coverage and gap coverage.
  • Discounts you’re eligible for, which vary widely by company.
  • Whom you live with. Some companies won’t allow you to exclude people such as roommates or nondriving adults from your policy.

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