How Much Is Car Insurance?
If you drive a car, it’s vital that you get a good insurance plan. But first-time drivers usually have one big question: How much will their car insurance cost?
Unfortunately, this question is harder to answer than you might imagine. The kinds of coverage you purchase and the limits of that coverage can define the cost. And other factors (ranging from age to your driving record) may impact that cost.
But with our helpful guide, you will better understand how much car insurance is likely to cost and the different factors that may drive those costs higher or lower.
Car Insurance: Average Cost
The rest of our guide is going to look at different factors that affect your car insurance costs. But before we go any further, it’s important to explore the average cost of automobile insurance.
According to research by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost of automobile insurance in the United States is $1,134 per year. In terms of how much this will cost each month, you can expect to pay an average of $95.
Some of the factors that affect the price are within your control (such as your driving record). And some are outside of your control (some states have more expensive insurance than others).
But the single best way for you to control your car insurance costs is to choose the right kind of coverage.
Average Costs for Different Kinds of Coverage
The average cost above helped reveal what the average consumer is paying for insurance. But there are different kinds of insurance coverage, and these have their own average costs to consider.
That same report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that consumers paid an average of $611.12 per year for liability insurance. Collision coverage has an average cost of $363.08. And comprehensive coverage has an average price of $159.72.
Of course, beyond the minimums required by your state, you may choose to take on more or less coverage and select insurance plans with higher or lower limits. This plays a significant role in determining what your monthly costs will be.
Costs Vary From State to State
We touched on this earlier, but it’s important to know that insurance costs may vary from state to state. And there are several different reasons why these costs may be higher or lower for your state than you were expecting.
The primary reason is that different states have their own minimum requirements for insurance coverage. States with a higher minimum coverage will almost always have higher rates than states with lower minimum coverage.
States also have a great degree of control over things like which car features or driver behaviors may result in a discount. Later, our guide will touch on how to find your own insurance discounts.
Finally, insurance companies look at a variety of different factors before setting their rates. And if your state happens to have densely populated cities, high crime rates, or consistent bad weather (all of which correlate to more people filing claims), your insurance cost will be higher.
The Cheapest and Most Expensive States for Car Insurance
We touched on the fact that some states are more expensive than others, and some states are cheaper. And that brings us to the obvious question: Which states have the most affordable insurance and which have the priciest insurance?
Maine has the cheapest car insurance at $764.94. And at $1,637.57, Louisiana has the most expensive car insurance.
Factors Affecting Your Insurance Cost
So far, we have focused on average costs when looking at the price of car insurance. But every insurance plan for every driver is unique. And there are different factors about your life and your driving record that can affect your specific cost.
For example, carriers typically review your last five years of driving. If you have a relatively clean record, you are considered a safe driver and eligible for a lower cost. But if you have many moving violations in the past few years, you are considered a risky driver, and your prices may actually go up.
Unfortunately, age is a factor in the cost of car insurance. Insurance rates are higher for young drivers and don’t really begin to taper off until the driver is 25. The high price for younger drivers is one of the reasons parents dread their child reaching driving age!
Gender is another factor. Statistically speaking, men get in more car accidents than women and typically must pay a higher premium.
Single men have it worse than married men, though. Single people are also likelier to get in a wreck and must pay a higher premium than their married counterparts.
While it is forbidden in some states, insurance companies in other states may use your credit score to determine your insurance cost. On the bright side, you can take measures to improve your credit and then request a lower rate.
Where you live and how far you drive are other vital factors. Those who live in risky areas where a lot of crime occurs will pay a higher insurance rate. And those who have to regularly drive long distances (such as driving for a travel-intensive job) will have a higher premium.
The car you drive also affects your car insurance costs. As you might expect, it is typically pricier to insure an expensive car than a cheaper car.
The final factor is how much insurance coverage you actually want. By going above the minimum coverage requirements and possibly taking on optional coverage (such as gap insurance), you will certainly end up paying a higher cost.
Getting an Insurance Discount
Earlier, we mentioned that insurance discounts could effectively lower your monthly car insurance costs. But how can you get a good deal?
We already touched on being a safe driver in the eyes of your insurance company. If you have a clean driving record for the last five years (or more), you should ask directly for a safe driver discount.
In some cases, installing certain safety features on your car may result in a discount. If your vehicle is harder to break into because of anti-theft devices, the insurance company may be able to offer discounted rates.
Sometimes, your local community organizations may offer unexpected discounts. Everything from membership to certain fraternities and sororities to excellent performance in school has the potential for an insurance discount.
Finally, the insurance carrier may offer special options that result in discounted rates. This includes bundling different insurance policies together and paying annually (AKA paying in advance) rather than month to month.
The Downside of Filing
Sadly, filing an insurance claim is a surefire way to increase your insurance rates. And if you were at fault, the increase may be very high, with some drivers paying an extra 50% from what they previously paid.
This is why some drivers avoid filing a claim if the incident was very minor. Otherwise, the increased monthly costs after filing a claim may easily outweigh your losses!
Now you have a better idea of what your car insurance will cost. But what if you could get a specific number with the click of a button?
We offer online quotes to help drivers save money every single month. To find out how low your rate may be, start a quote today!