The Average Cost of Car Insurance

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How much is car insurance for the average American? What’s the average car insurance rate by age and gender?

We pulled data from several of the top sources for car insurance data to get the answers. Some results were exactly as we expected — for example, teens pay much more for car insurance.

There were plenty of surprises as well, like the fact that a low credit score is almost as bad for your insurance rate as driving under the influence (DUI).

Keep reading for all the latest information on the average cost of auto insurance.

Key findings

The average cost of car insurance is $1,569 for a one-year policy with full coverage.
Teens have the most expensive car insurance rates by a wide margin, with policies that cost over twice as much as those of any other age group.

Car insurance rates are lowest for drivers in their 50s.

Rates are higher for young male drivers than young female drivers, but there’s minimal difference by gender for drivers 25 and older.
Hybrids are the most expensive type of car to insure, followed by sedans.
Michigan has the highest car insurance rates with an average cost of $3,096 per year, over $700 more than second-place Louisiana.
USAA is the carrier with the cheapest car insurance rates at $885 per year.
Driving under the influence causes an average rate hike of 75%.
Drivers with bad credit pay 71% more than those with good credit, except in the few states that don’t allow carriers to use credit scores when calculating rates.
The different types of car insurance
Before we get into the average cost of car insurance, we need to go over the types of auto insurance available.

There are four basic types of car insurance coverage:

Property damage liability coverage: Covers damage caused to another person’s property when the policyholder is at fault for an accident.
Bodily injury liability coverage: Covers medical costs incurred by another person when the policyholder is at fault for an accident.
Collision coverage: Covers damage to the policyholder’s vehicle when they’re at fault for an accident.
Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to the policyholder’s vehicle that wasn’t caused by an accident, such as theft and weather.
All but two states (New Hampshire and Virginia) require drivers to have liability insurance. In the two states that don’t require it, drivers must be able to pay for property damage and bodily injury resulting from a car accident. For most drivers, liability insurance is still the most sensible option even in states that don’t require it.

The minimum amount of liability insurance that’s legally required varies by state and is often referred called a minimum coverage policy. For example, minimum coverage in one state could be at least $10,000 in property damage liability and $25,000 in bodily injury liability.

If a policy has all four types of coverage described above, that’s a full coverage policy. These policies can vary considerably in features and pricing depending on what the driver wants.

Average cost of car insurance: $1,569 per year
The average car insurance rate is $1,569 per year for full coverage based on data from Coverage.com, Insure.com, The Zebra State of Auto Insurance 2019, and U.S. News.

Breaking it down, the average car insurance cost per month is about $131. If you’re looking for a ballpark estimate of car insurance costs, plan on that.

Minimum coverage is much cheaper, with an average yearly cost of $545, according to Coverage 

Car insurance prices tend to increase over time. The Zebra found that the average auto insurance premium has gone up 29.6% since 2011. However, this can vary considerably from year to year. In 2013, the average premium amount decreased by 6.3%. Other years have seen increases of as much as 6.9%.

Average cost of car insurance by age Age range Average annual rate (full coverage) Teens $5,023 20s $1,989 30s $1,532 40s $1,474 50s $1,365 60s $1,384 70s $1,611 80s $1,880
Data source: The Zebra (2020).

Insurance rates for younger drivers can be very expensive, as they’re more likely to be involved in accidents. That’s primarily due to a lack of road experience and because they’re more prone to reckless behaviors.

Drivers who maintain a clean driving record will see their car insurance cost drop quickly. The average premium for a 16-year-old driver is $6,600 per year, but it’s under $2,500 by the time drivers reach their 20s.

Average cost of car insurance by gender
The conventional wisdom is that male drivers pay more than female drivers for car insurance. That isn’t entirely true.

Among younger drivers, The Zebra found the average auto insurance cost is higher for males. Teenage male drivers pay 14% more than female drivers, on average. And male drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 pay 8% more than female drivers of the same age.

At 25 and older, there’s no longer a notable difference in auto insurance policy rates. Here’s how much each gender pays when comparing rates for experienced drivers:

Gender Average annual rate (full coverage) Female $1,480 Male $1,470
The Zebra (2020).

Seven states have prohibited carriers from using gender to determine car insurance rates. More will likely join them, especially as many states now allow residents to choose nonbinary gender designations.

If you feel like you’re paying more because of your gender, be sure to get a variety of car insurance quotes to find the best one for you.

Average cost of car insurance by type of car Vehicle type Average annual rate (full coverage) Hybrid $2,343 Sedan $2,242 SUV $1,868 Truck $1,741 Van $1,602
Data source: Insure.com and The Zebra (2020).

Vans cost less to insure than any other type of vehicle and are $640 cheaper per year than sedans.

Hybrids may save drivers money at the pump, but they’re more expensive to insure. That’s because they have higher repair costs.

In case you’re wondering how much Tesla insurance costs, Insure.com found the average rate is $3,110. The Tesla Model S was also the 10th-most-expensive vehicle to insure on The Zebra’s list, at an average rate of $3,476.

Average cost of car insurance by state State Average annual rate (full coverage) Average annual rate (minimum coverage) Alabama $1,450 $554 Alaska $1,275 $478 Arizona $1,470 $614 Arkansas $1,698 $608 California $1,868 $648 Colorado $1,757 $673 Connecticut $1,696 $816 Delaware $1,803 $922 District of Columbia $1,383 $633 Florida $2,309 $1,102 Georgia $1,609 $679 Hawaii $1,045 $411 Idaho $1,164 $394 Illinois $1,303 $464 Indiana $1,165 $438 Iowa $1,106 $304 Kansas $1,622 $483 Kentucky $2,208 $973 Louisiana $2,379 $983 Maine $935 $374 Maryland $1,415 $691 Massachusetts $1,463 $606 Michigan $3,096 $1,745 Minnesota $1,319 $534 Mississippi $1,587 $621 Missouri $1,736 $614 Montana $1,534 $455 Nebraska $1,370 $386 Nevada $1,974 $926 New Hampshire $1,037 $384 New Jersey $1,592 $820 New Mexico $1,334 $506 New York $1,704 $826 North Carolina $955 $405 North Dakota $1,379 $417 Ohio $1,047 $414 Oklahoma $1,787 $632 Oregon $1,463 $727 Pennsylvania $1,475 $514 Rhode Island $2,103 $1,002 South Carolina $1,414 $633 South Dakota $1,708 $385 Tennessee $1,570 $473 Texas $1,415 $576 Utah $1,306 $641 Vermont $1,156 $367 Virginia $1,005 $380 Washington $1,368 $669 West Virginia $1,536 $586 Wisconsin $1,181 $385 Wyoming $1,439 $339
Data source: The Zebra (2020).

Where drivers live has a huge impact on their car insurance rates — just ask anyone who has moved and seen their premiums go way up.

Michigan is by far the most expensive state for car insurance, with rates almost twice as high as the national average. Even minimum coverage in Michigan costs more than full coverage in all but 10 other states.

Maine has the best car insurance rates for full coverage policies at an average of $935. For minimum coverage, Iowa is the clear winner with an average of just $304.

Average cost of car insurance by insurance company Insurance company Cheapest rates for a medium level of coverage USAA $885 Geico $1,168 State Farm $1,234 Travelers $1,267 Progressive $1,373 American Family $1,391 Farmers $1,682 Nationwide $1,864 Allstate $1,880
Data source: U.S. News (2020).

This shows why it’s so important for drivers to compare auto insurance rates from different carriers. Choosing the right insurance company could amount to hundreds of dollars in savings.

USAA has traditionally gotten high marks for the quality and pricing of its car insurance policies, and it has the lowest rates on average. This carrier is only available to members of the military (active or veterans) and eligible family members.

How driving record affects car insurance rates Negative item on driving record Average premium increase Speeding ticket 22% Accident 43% Driving under the influence (DUI) 75% Bad credit 71%
Data source: U.S. News.

Auto insurance is much more expensive for consumers who don’t have clean driving records. A single ticket, accident, or DUI can lead to a big rate hike.

Insurance carriers also use credit scores to determine rates, except in a handful of states that have banned this. Since drivers with bad credit are more likely to file insurance claims, they get charged more.

The shocking part is how much more. A bad credit score will cost a driver almost as much as a DUI.

We also have data on how much rates increase on average with the most popular car insurance providers.

Carrier Cheapest rates for a medium level of coverage Speeding ticket Accident DUI Bad credit USAA $885 $1,041 (+17.6%) $1,229 (+38.9%) $1,683 (+90.2%) $1,653 (+86.8%) Geico $1,168 $1,510 (+29.3%) $1,802 (+54.3%) $2,958 (+153.3%) $1,855 (+58.9%) State Farm $1,234 $1,375 (+11.4%) $1,487 (+20.5%) $1,681 (+36.2%) $2,745 (+122.4%) Travelers $1,267 $1,721 (+35.8%) $1,842 (+45.4%) $2,430 (+91.8%) $2,095 (+65.4%) Progressive $1,373 $1,803 (+31.3%) $2,324 (+69.3%) $1,793 (+30.6%) $2,308 (+68.1%) American Family $1,391 $1,497 (+7.6%) $1,684 (+21.1%) $1,726 (+24.1%) $2,277 (+63.7%) Farmers $1,682 $2,099 (+24.8%) $2,446 (+45.4%) $2,640 (+57.0%) $2,669 (+58.7%) Nationwide $1,864 $2,263 (+21.4%) $2,766 (+48.4%) $4,011 (+115.2%) $2,549 (+36.7%) Allstate $1,880 $2,212 (+17.7%) $2,673 (+42.2%) $3,252 (+73.0%) $3,025 (+60.9%)
Data source: U.S. News.

Different carriers weigh negative items in different ways. State Farm is much more lenient with rate increases after a speeding ticket, accident, or DUI. But it’s also much stricter for drivers with bad credit.

Geico and Nationwide, on the other hand, don’t charge drivers with bad credit as much, but their rates skyrocket if a driver has a DUI.

How many uninsured motorists are on the road?
While the number of uninsured motorists has been going down over the past decade, there are still a lot out there.

An Insurance Research Council study found that 13% of motorists were uninsured in 2015. Some states were significantly higher than average, with almost 27% of Florida drivers having no auto insurance.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage provides extra coverage if drivers are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or someone who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.

A regular expense for every driver
While many factors aren’t under drivers’ control, there are several ways for them to get lower auto insurance costs.

They can choose insurance companies that offer lower prices and adjust coverages depending on whether they want more protection or a cheaper plan, for example. They can also work on improving credit to qualify for the best possible rates. Every driver should get multiple auto insurance quotes.

And, of course, drivers control how they drive, which is often the most important factor in the cost of their car insurance policy. The ones who follow the rules of the road and avoid accidents benefit in the long run by scoring cheaper insurance.

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