Every driver is required to have some form of car insurance, but the amounts vary based on state requirements. By getting a car insurance estimate, you can get a good idea of how much car insurance costs and find the best provider for your needs. We have already researched the best car insurance companies, and now we will look at the factors that affect your rates.
If you want to save even more, it helps to compare multiple car insurance quotes to find the best fit for you and your car.
What Are Average Car Insurance Rates?
Based on our cost research, the average 35-year-old driver pays $1,732 per year for full coverage car insurance. And while this number may be helpful to keep in mind, it can be hard to gain any valuable information from just this figure. This is because car insurance rates vary widely and are influenced by many factors, including:
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your driving history
- Your location
- Your vehicle type
- Your credit score
- Your coverage amount
It’s not accurate to just use a car insurance estimator and simply assume that’s what your car insurance policy will cost. The only way to get an idea of how much car insurance will cost you is to reach out to insurance providers for free quotes.
We’ll take a deep dive into each of the factors that influence auto insurance rates below.
Car Insurance Calculator: Age
If you have a young driver on your insurance policy, you already know the effect it has on your premium. Insurers penalize inexperienced drivers because of the increased risk. Adding a teen driver to your policy will likely cause a rate increase between 44 and 58 percent. On average, the insurance rate for a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 is $2,999, while a 20- to 24-year-old would only pay around $2,040.
Of course, you don’t want to put your teen on an individual policy, because that only makes the price jump higher.
Instead, you want to focus on teaching your teen to drive well. Taking a driving course might help to lower the cost of auto insurance coverage, as will having good grades in school. Purchasing a vehicle with anti-theft and driver-assist features can also help to keep premiums low.
For the most part, coverage options are cheaper for drivers between the ages of 30 and 65. After this, seniors will begin to see premiums start to increase because of the heightened risk of accidents.
Car Insurance Rates By Age
According to our cost estimates, 35-year-old drivers pay about $1,732 for car insurance annually, while 24-year-olds pay about $2,363 per year.
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Car Insurance Calculator: Marital Status
Statistically speaking, married couples pose a lower risk to insurance providers than single drivers, those who are divorced, and those who have been widowed. Some studies suggest that married couples are half as likely to be injured in a car accident. While there is a lot of speculation regarding what makes married drivers safer, nothing has been proven.
Some people believe that they drive less, while others assume that married people are more stable. Whatever the reasoning, insurance companies tend to offer lower premiums.
In states that recognize same-sex couples, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, you can also qualify for a lower premium from many of the top providers.
Just because newlyweds can combine auto insurance policies doesn’t mean they always should. If you both have clean driving records, you will likely save more money. However, if one of you has a spotty driving history or DUI in the past, the entire policy might be penalized, costing you more overall.
Car Insurance Calculator: Driving History
If you are an inexperienced driver, you are going to receive some of the highest rates, no matter what your age is. The longer you’ve had a driver’s license, the better. The best combination is to be an experienced driver with a clean record and safe driving habits. In fact, most insurance companies provide a safe driver discount to anyone with a spotless record, which can lower rates significantly.
If you’ve been in an accident or received a speeding ticket, you naturally become a liability to the insurer, as you’re considered high-risk. Drunk driving incidents might cause your auto insurance provider to drop you altogether. If you can’t get typical car insurance coverage, you will have to look for alternative providers that cost significantly more.
Car Insurance Rates By Driving Record
Here’s how a driving record can affect car insurance rates according to our rate estimates.
|Driving Record||Annual Car Insurance Cost||Monthly Car Insurance Cost|
Car Insurance Calculator: Location
Your car insurance costs are determined by not only the state in which you live, but also the area. That’s why you must enter zip codes anytime you use a car insurance estimator.
Living in a highly populated area increases congestion, insurance claims, and accidents. These additional risks cause your rates to rise higher than if you live in a rural location. Car insurance companies are also going to look at the number of stolen cars in your area, as well as vandalism cases and fraudulent claims.
For some people, simply changing your zip code can save you a ton of money. You can play with these factors using a car insurance calculator to see what the savings would be for you.
Drivers also find different insurance costs in different cities. For example, a 35-year-old in Las Vegas may pay $2,500 or more for car insurance, while a driver of the same age in Reno may pay about $1,600.
Car Insurance Calculator: Vehicle Type
Auto insurance companies examine the vehicles involved in the most accidents and which ones produce the most substantial injuries. Both of these factors come into play with your premiums. The provider will also examine how much your car costs, the expense of repairing it, and if the model is stolen often. All of these factors increase the collision coverage and comprehensive insurance coverage costs.
If you plan to drive an exotic sports car, you will have to find a provider willing to cover it. The best thing to do is to examine your options before you sign the financing paperwork.
Knowing whether your vehicle is the cheapest to insure or one of the most expensive is critical to understand before the sale. A car insurance estimator is simple to use and will give you the information you need to make an educated decision.
Car Insurance Calculator: Credit Score
Credit score is used to determine rates in all states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, and Michigan. Insurance providers use credit scores to determine a driver’s risk level. The lower the credit score, the more likely a person is deemed to file a claim in the future.
Policy premiums go down significantly the better your credit history is. Aside from the rate, you might also face surcharges for poor credit or be forced to pay for the entire policy in full.
|Credit Rating||Annual Car Insurance Cost||Monthly Car Insurance Cost|
Car Insurance Calculator: Coverage Amount
If you want cheap car insurance, the easiest way to lower the bill is to adjust your coverage type and coverage amounts. Each state mandates its own required coverage. These liability limits determine how much insurance you must carry by law. However, drivers can also purchase personal injury protection, medical payments, underinsured/uninsured motorist, and collision coverages, plus more.
Most state laws require a particular amount of liability insurance, broken down between property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage. Others require some level of coverage for medical payments as well. If you get a bare-bones insurance policy, you will only pay for what the state requires. While this reduces the cost of car insurance, you are still liable for any damage you cause beyond those limits.
Furthermore, liability coverage doesn’t take care of your vehicle for an at-fault accident, theft, or vandalism. If your vehicle is a total loss, you would want to make sure you had the money to replace it. Claims can quickly turn into hundreds of thousands of dollars if multiple vehicles are involved, so make sure you have the coverage to protect yourself.
Collision and comprehensive coverage both come with a chosen deductible. If you opt for a higher deductible, you will pay more out of pocket during a claim, but your insurance rates will be lower. Before deciding on your auto policy, weigh the pros and cons of a full coverage policy versus minimum coverage.
You also have to factor in the optional coverage you add to your insurance policy. Coverage such as gap insurance, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement will all add to your premium.
How To Get A Car Insurance Estimate
It’s not difficult to use a car insurance estimator. Most companies provide a simple car insurance estimator tool on their website, so you won’t even need to speak with anyone. We recommend getting multiple auto insurance quotes and comparing policies. As you can see, average rates vary significantly from driver to driver. You can save money by merely taking a few minutes to see what’s available.
Top Companies For Car Insurance Quotes
When you want the best price for coverage, we recommend using a car insurance estimator to compare rates. If you’re not sure which providers to get quotes from, we recommend checking out USAA and Geico.
USAA: Best For Military
Not only does USAA maintain an A++ financial rating from AM Best, but it regularly scores at the top of J.D. Power studies including the 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM, 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM, and the 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM. The downside to USAA is that the policies are only available to military personnel, veterans, and their family members.
If you qualify, you can sign up for liability protections, comprehensive and collision insurance, and these add-on coverages:
- Roadside assistance: This additional plan covers emergency towing, gas delivery, flat tire repair, and lockout services.
- Accident forgiveness: In select states, USAA will not raise your rates after one accident with this coverage.
- Rental reimbursement: You can receive money toward a rental vehicle during a covered claim.
- Other financial products: USAA offers more than just car insurance. You can find additional insurance products for your motorcycle, home, boat, pet, life, and more.
Customers can’t say enough good things about USAA. Here’s one example:
“They have always done the right thing by me, even when it wasn’t in USAA’s best interest. I have long said that if you have to be in an accident, pray the other driver has USAA insurance.”
– Matt H. via the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
To learn more, read our full USAA car insurance review.
Geico: Best Overall
Another highly recommended insurer is Geico. The company regularly offers some of the lowest rates while also providing exceptional customer service. As we look at the three studies performed by J.D. Power, we once again see good results for Geico.
The company also has an A+ rating from the BBB, which is no small feat. Sure, there are complaints from customers, but you will find that with any provider you choose.
What you can expect from Geico is a standard list of insurance coverage options, along with these optional plans:
- Roadside assistance: Receive the help required for towing, fuel delivery, jump-starts, flat tires, lockouts, and more.
- Rental car coverage: If you need a vehicle while yours is in the shop for a covered repair, Geico provides a specified amount of reimbursement for your transportation requirements.
- Accident forgiveness: Your current rate remains in place after an at-fault accident with this coverage.
- Glass coverage: You can choose full glass protection that covers automotive glass damage after road debris hits it, a storm occurs, or other incidents.
- Protection for belongings: If your car is broken into, you can receive extra compensation for anything that was stolen from inside.
It also doesn’t take much effort to find positive customer reviews from existing Geico policyholders.
“I’ve been a customer of Geico for close to 20 years. My kids have had a few accidents and they have been extremely professional and I have zero complaints about the claims they handled. Their service has been outstanding.”
– Kenneth A. via BBB
To learn more, read our full Geico car insurance review.
Compare Your Car Insurance Estimate To Quotes
The only way to know how much you will pay for car insurance is to get free auto insurance quotes from various companies. Try out the free car insurance estimator tool below to see where you stand and find the cheapest car insurance for you.
Frequently Asked Questions: Car Insurance Estimates
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.