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In this article, we’ll explore how average car insurance rates by age and state can fluctuate. We’ll also take a look at which of the best car insurance companies offer good discounts on car insurance by age and compare them side-by-side.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. Many factors affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Average Car Insurance Rates By Age
Auto insurance rates start high when you get your license as a teen driver. They tend to decrease through your 20s when you maintain a good driving record. After you retire, the average cost of car insurance can start to pick up a bit. Rates for older drivers in their 80s get a bit more expensive again.
So why do average car insurance rates by age vary so much? Basically, it’s all about risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for 6.5 percent of the population in 2017 but represented 8 percent of the total cost of car accident injuries. The risk of an accident is highest among brand-new drivers as well. Sixteen-year-olds are 50 percent more likely to crash than 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds.
When an insured driver gets into an accident, it’s the auto insurance company that cuts the check. That’s why insurance companies charge more for high-risk drivers, which includes young drivers. You might be the most cautious 16-year-old driver around, but you’ll still have high rates because of your age.
Below is a chart that compares crash data and yearly average car insurance rates by age. The rate data comes from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and it accounts for any accident that was reported to the police.
The average premium data comes from the Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance report. The prices are for policies with 50/100/50 liability coverage limits and a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage.
|Age Group||Crashes per 100 Million Miles Driven||Fatal Crashes||Average Yearly Premium||Average Monthly Premium|
Typically, middle-aged drivers between the ages of 30 and 65 find the best car insurance rates on average. As drivers age, they can start to experience problems with vision and cognitive abilities, which are important for driving safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 85-year-old men are 40 percent more likely to get into an accident than 75-year-old men.
Looking at the table above, you can see that there is a direct correlation between the crash rate for an age group and that age group’s average insurance premium. You can also see that the fatal crash rate for drivers above the age of 80 is almost the same as the rate for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Average Car Insurance Rates By Provider
To help you compare average rates by provider, we’ve included average annual cost estimates for full coverage policies from some major insurance companies below. These costs are based on a 35-year-old driver with a clean record and good credit:
|Car Insurance Company||Monthly Rate Estimate For 24 Year Olds||Monthly Rate Estimate For 35 Year Olds|
Auto Insurance Provider Comparison By Driver Age
The table below compares available discounts for students and seniors from a few major car insurance providers. Keep in mind, you might find better rates through another company that doesn’t have a specific student or senior discount.
|Discounts for Teens/New Drivers||Discounts for Students||Senior Discount||Defensive Driver Discount for Seniors||Motor1 Rating|
|AAA Auto Insurance||7%||14%||-||10%||4.1|
|Erie Auto Insurance||20%||-||-||-||4.5|
*The Hartford is only available to members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). However, policyholders can add younger drivers to their policy and get discounts.
Average Car Insurance Rates And Cheapest Provider In Each State
Because auto coverage rates vary so much from state to state, the provider that offers the cheapest car insurance in one state may not offer the cheapest coverage in your state. In the table below, you can find the cheapest provider for each state and an annual rate estimate. You’ll also see the average cost of insurance in that state to help you compare. The table also includes rates for Washington, D.C.
These rate estimates apply to 35-year-old drivers with good driving records and credit.
|State||Average Monthly Cost||Cheapest Provider||Cheapest Provider Monthly Cost|
|North Carolina||$106||Erie Insurance||$77|
|Texas||$172||Texas Farm Bureau||$84|
As you can see, average car insurance costs vary widely by state. Idahoans pay the least for car insurance, while drivers in Michigan shell out the big bucks for coverage. Remember, these are just averages. If you live in downtown Des Moines, your premium will probably be more than the state average. On the other hand, if you live in upstate New York, your car insurance policy will likely cost less than the state average.
Within states, car insurance premiums can vary widely city by city. For example, California has a few of the most expensive cities for car insurance, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. But, the state isn’t one of the most expensive overall.
Minimum Coverage Requirements
Most states have financial responsibility laws that require drivers to carry minimum car insurance coverage. You can only forego coverage in two states – Virginia and New Hampshire – but you are still financially responsible for the damage that you cause.
Other states may allow you to purchase a surety bond or deposit money into an account with the DMV, but compensation for other drivers ultimately comes out of your pocket under those circumstances.
It’s also important to know that state minimum coverages probably won’t protect you in the case of a catastrophic accident. Just one bad accident can financially ruin a driver without enough coverage. The Insurance Information Institute recommends you carry coverage of 100/300/100.
Also, no state requires collision or comprehensive car insurance. It’s a good idea to carry these to protect against damage to your car. About 70 percent of drivers choose to add these options and get full coverage.
List Of No-Fault States
Some states have no-fault insurance systems. In a no-fault system, drivers seek medical compensation from their own insurance companies no matter who caused the accident. No-fault states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) to cover medical expenses. In some situations, a no-fault system can drive up insurance costs.
No-fault states include:
What Other Factors Affect Car Insurance Rates?
Your age and your home state aren’t the only things that affect your rates. Insurers use a variety of factors to determine the cost of your premiums. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Driving record: If you have a clean driving record, you’ll find much better rates than if you’ve had any recent accidents or traffic violations like speeding tickets.
- Vehicle usage: You’re at risk every time you get on the road, so the more you drive, the more likely it is you’ll have an accident. Some insurers may offer discounted rates if you don’t use your car much. Others offer usage-based insurance that may save you money.
- Vehicle type: Insurers factor the likelihood of a vehicle being stolen or damaged as well as the cost of that vehicle into your premiums. If your car is one that has a likelihood of being stolen, you may have to pay more for insurance.
- Credit history: Some states have made laws that prevent insurers from using your credit score as part of your rates calculation. But in others, having bad credit could cause the cost of your insurance premiums to rise dramatically.
- Gender: Not every state allows insurers to use the gender listed on your driver’s license as a determining factor in your premiums. But in ones that do, female drivers typically pay a little less for insurance than male drivers.
- Auto insurance coverage: Of course, how much insurance and what kind of insurance coverage you buy has a direct effect on how much you pay. Policies that only meet state minimum coverage requirements will be the cheapest. Additional coverage will cost more.
Why Do Car Insurance Rates Change?
Looking at average car insurance rates by age and state makes you wonder, what else affects rates? The answer is that auto insurance rates can change for many reasons.
The most common cause of a rate increase is filing a claim. An at-fault accident can raise your rate as much as 50 percent over the next three years. If you were convicted of a DUI or perpetrated a hit-and-run, your rates will go up even more.
However, you don’t have to be in an accident to experience rising rates. Overall, car insurance tends to get more expensive as time goes on.
Cars with smart technology and advanced safety features cost more to repair, and an influx of these vehicles can drive up local rates. Also, if your state has a spell of natural disasters, rates will increase to cover the increase in comprehensive auto claims.
Since premiums can be expensive, you might assume that car insurance companies are just getting rich off of what they charge drivers. However, auto insurance losses and expenses actually exceeded written premiums in the industry from 2008 to 2015.
More Ways To Save On Auto Insurance
You can’t control your age, and you probably don’t want to move states just to save on car insurance. Fortunately, there are a number of other discounts that you might be able to capitalize on right now. Here are a few of them:
- Good driver: Many companies give you the biggest discount for having a good driving history.
- Multi-policy: Also called bundling, you can get lower rates for holding more than one insurance policy with the same company.
- Multi-car: The same thing goes for insuring multiple cars with one company.
Homeowner: If you own a home, you could get a homeowner discount from a number of providers.
- Loyalty: Get a discount for sticking with the same company for multiple years. Here’s a secret: You can always compare rates each term to see if you’re getting the best price, even with your loyalty discount.
- Usage-based: Programs like Progressive car insurance’s Snapshot track your driving habits and can issue discounts based on good driving. However, some can also raise your rates if it turns out you’re not a good driver.
- Financial stability: Some companies give you a discount for having a good credit score.
When searching for a quote, it’s a good idea to call the insurance company and ask if there are any more discounts that apply to you. Sometimes, online quote forms might not account for your unique situation.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
No matter your age, some car insurance companies will charge you more than others. That’s why it’s so important to compare car insurance between multiple providers.
Geico Insurance: 4.6 Stars
Our team rates Geico Best Overall for its combination of low prices, extensive coverage options, and extra perks. People of all ages tend to find affordable rates from Geico.
Geico has an A++ financial rating from AM Best, which means it’s able to handle its claims obligations easily. The company also offers mechanical breakdown insurance, which acts as an extended warranty for many parts of your vehicle.
Read our full Geico review to learn more.
State Farm Insurance: 4.6 Stars
We rate State Farm 4.6 out of 5.0 stars and find it’s the best option for young drivers and students in particular. That’s because State Farm offers the best student discount in the industry of up to 25 percent.
State Farm drivers can also take advantage of the Steer Clear® program. It’s an educational app that improves driving skills and can award more discounts. Like Geico, State Farm has a financial rating of A++.
To learn more, read our full State Farm Insurance review.
Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.