Whether you are just getting your license or are a well-established driver, you may be asking yourself, "How much is car insurance in 2021?" There is a multitude of factors that go into determining an insurance premium, so to pull back the curtain, we looked into average car insurance payments based on driver age, gender, level of coverage, driving record, and more.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
You can either use the tool below to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes.
In this article:
- How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
- What Factors Affect Auto Insurance Rates?
- How Much Is Car Insurance For Different Ages And Genders?
- How Much Is Car Insurance In Different States?
- How Much Is Car Insurance If You Have A Poor Driving Record?
- Who Determines Minimum Required Coverage?
- Insurance Providers We Recommend
- Get The Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes
- FAQ: Average Car Insurance Costs
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
The national average car insurance payment in the United States is around $1,548 per year or $130 per month. However, your personal auto insurance rate depends on several factors, including coverage type, demographics, car specifics, driving habits, age, gender, and past infractions.
Before we really get into the factors that can affect a premium, let’s look at some average payments simply based on low or high levels of coverage. Usually, getting the minimum liability insurance is less expensive than a full coverage policy. However, it may be best to pay for more coverage rather than pay for high repair bills down the line.
Using data from U.S. News and World Report, here’s a quick comparison between some of the major insurance companies:
|Insurance Company||Low Coverage |
|Low Coverage |
|High Coverage |
|High Coverage |
|USAA Car Insurance||$842.63||$70.22||$946.02||$78.84|
|Geico Auto Insurance||$984.70||$82.06||$1,146.20||$95.52|
|State Farm Auto Insurance||$1,166.65||$97.22||$1,352.67||$112.72|
|Progressive Car Insurance||$1,222.50||$101.88||$1,411.31||$117.61|
|Farmers Auto Insurance||$1,456.07||$121.34||$1,627.44||$135.62|
|Nationwide Car Insurance||$1,494.22||$124.52||$1,573.98||$131.17|
|Allstate Auto Insurance||$1,678.31||$139.86||$1,876.14||$156.35|
What Factors Affect Auto Insurance Rates?
In addition to your state’s car insurance requirements and the level of coverage you’re looking for, most of the deciding factors fall into one of three categories: demographics, car specifics, and driving habits.
Driver Age and Gender: Insurance companies review each driver’s age and gender to determine rates since there are assumed accident risks associated with both. For example, young men usually receive higher quotes than young women because studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show more young men end up in accidents. In the same way, a study by the Consumer Federation of America found that older women crash more often than older men, meaning that average car insurance payments for older women can be slightly higher.
Marital Status: Believe it or not, married couples have fewer accidents than singles according to data featured on CNBC. Therefore, your marital status plays a role in your premium. With that being said, married rate reductions also depend on your driving history. Men with clean driving records can see rates dramatically reduce once they wed.
Location: Your geographic location impacts your car insurance payment, too. Insurance companies look at accident and crime rates close to your home to determine your potential risk. They also consider unemployment rates in your zip code to estimate your risk of an accident with an uninsured driver.
Credit Score: Most insurance companies take your credit score into consideration when determining how much you will pay for car insurance. In general, drivers with poor credit pay more compared to those with good credit.
Profession: Auto insurance companies sometimes adjust rates according to your job. For example, delivery drivers and journalists spend more time on the road, so these drivers are more likely to be in an accident. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some professionals are known to drive cautiously, so this lowers the average car insurance premiums per month for those drivers.
Car's Age: New cars cost more to replace in the event of a total loss, so collision coverage is more expensive.
Vehicle Safety Rating: Every vehicle on the market goes through the safety rating process. Vehicles with high safety ratings provide a lower chance of serious injuries, meaning your insurance company will have fewer medical bills to pay.
Size of Car: Since larger cars are generally safer in accidents, the cost of car insurance is less for larger vehicles. SUVs and minivans typically have lower premiums. Inversely, drivers whose cars have larger engines actually pay a higher insurance premium.
Driving History: Drivers involved in accidents almost always pay more than your average car insurance payment. Those who receive speeding tickets or make insurance claims also see rate increases, at least temporarily. Some insurance companies will even refuse coverage if your driving history is bad enough. Fortunately, infractions fall off your driving record over time, so eventually, your rates decrease. Check into your state’s driver's license point system to see how long violations impact your record.
Driving Activity: In addition to your driving record, some car insurance companies base your insurance payment on your activity behind the wheel. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to encounter an auto accident. If your car spends most of its time in a garage, then your rates may end up lower.
Your deductible can also affect how much your car insurance premium costs.
How Much Is Car Insurance For Different Ages And Genders?
As we mentioned, a driver’s age and gender can greatly affect average car insurance payments. Here’s a closer look:
|Age and Gender||USAA||Geico||State Farm||Progressive|
How Much Is Car Insurance In Different States?
Here are the top ten most expensive and least expensive states for car insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute:
|Most Expensive||Cost||Least Expensive||Cost|
|New Jersey||$1,385.61||North Carolina||$734.06|
As you can see, average car insurance rates by state vary widely. But remember, these numbers represent the average cost of car insurance in that state. Generally, individuals living in cities and urban areas will pay higher rates than drivers in rural areas since accidents are a lot more likely to happen with more cars on the road.
How Much Is Car Insurance If You Have A Poor Driving Record?
Let’s break down exactly how much an infraction can affect your annual premium:
|Insurance Company||Good Driver||1 Ticket||1 Accident||1 DUI|
Who Determines Minimum Required Coverage?
Each state has its own department that governs laws regarding vehicle registration requirements, including insurance coverage. Therefore, the minimum required car insurance coverage varies from state to state. These departments also decide how insurance companies assess risk and determine average car insurance rates for state residents.
With that being said, most states require that all drivers carry certain amounts of liability car insurance. Several states run a no-fault system, meaning drivers’ insurance companies are responsible for any injuries and property damage regardless of fault, so that affects required coverage too.
Insurance Providers We Recommend
As you can see, many factors impact the average cost of auto insurance. Because of this, rates vary drastically from person to person. This is why we recommend getting quotes from several insurance companies. The tool below can help with that.
With that being said, several of the above-listed companies offer competitive rates. We recently researched the best car insurance companies in the nation. Based on factors such as average car insurance payment, customer service ratings, and available benefits, here are our top four picks for insurers.
USAA: Best For Military
As you can see from the data, USAA car insurance has some of the lowest average rates in the industry by far. This, along with its great customer service, makes it one of our top choices for car insurance. However, USAA is only available to current and former military and their family members.
With that being said, if you or your loved one is a current or former military member, USAA is a no-brainer. Its low prices on both home and auto insurance, plus its wide variety of additional discount offerings, make it a great choice for young adults just starting out and seasoned drivers. Current military who live on base or are deployed overseas can receive discounts up to 60 percent.
USAA offers all of the basic types of car insurance, including:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Collision and comprehensive car insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection and medical payments
Additionally, USAA offers rideshare coverage and optional car replacement assistance coverage, which helps drivers in the event of a total loss. Customers also receive 24/7 roadside assistance and towing coverage with every insurance plan. To learn more about USAA, read our USAA insurance review.
Geico: Best Overall
Based on our research, Geico offers its customers some of the lowest average car insurance payments, not to mention excellent customer service. In our Geico auto insurance review, we found that the company also sets itself apart by providing a highly convenient website and mobile app for customers to handle their car insurance policies.
The provider offers all of the basic car insurance types, along with guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance, rideshare insurance, and mechanical breakdown insurance. Numerous discounts are available through Geico, including a multi-policy discount for customers who bundle home and auto insurance. In terms of claims, J.D. Power's U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study ranked Geico the eighth-best auto insurance company for claims satisfaction out of more than twenty major car insurance companies in 2021.
State Farm: Best For Students
If you would like the option of online services or a local agent, we found State Farm auto insurance to be one of the best car insurance choices for in-person interactions with more than 18,000 local agents. In our State Farm insurance review, we found that the provider offers basic types of coverage, GAP insurance, and rideshare auto insurance coverage in most states.
In addition to its network of local insurance agents, State Farm has convenient online options, including the Pocket Agent smartphone app. Customers can use this app – which has received positive reviews – to pay insurance premiums, file claims, and request roadside assistance.
Like USAA and Geico, State Farm offers numerous discounts. Most notably, the Drive Safe and Save incentive program collects driving data through your smartphone app and reports back to State Farm about your driving habits. Drivers receive an automatic 5-percent discount on the average car insurance payment just for enrolling.
Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers
Progressive car insurance is one of the most notable names in the car insurance industry. Like its competitors, Progressive offers liability, comprehensive insurance, collision, uninsured motorist, and medical payments coverage. Additionally, Progressive has numerous other types of vehicle insurance, including custom parts and equipment insurance, rideshare insurance, and insurance for motorcycles, scooters, and boats.
Although Progressive didn’t offer the lowest rates in the majority of our comparisons, the company’s extensive options for coverage and smooth quotes and claims processes make it one of our top choices. When obtaining a quote, customers can use the Name Your Price® tool to compare plans side-by-side and find the best coverage for their budget.
Progressive’s accident forgiveness program and lower rates for drivers who receive infractions make it a good option for customers who have less-than-stellar driving records. The provider also offers the Snapshot® program, which helps customers lower rates by demonstrating safe driving habits. Learn more about Progressive in our thorough Progressive insurance review.
Get The Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes
Getting quotes from insurance companies can be easy. Use the free tool below to compare prices from several providers at one time.
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.
Read our other insurance articles:
- How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
- Cheap Insurance, No Deposit
- Does Car Insurance Cover Theft?
- Month-To-Month Car Insurance
- Liability Auto Insurance
- How To Get The Most Money For A Car Accident
- High-Risk Auto Insurance’s Average Cost
- Metlife vs Geico
- Safeco vs Geico
- Cheapest Full Coverage Insurance