Car insurance underwriters look at many factors — such as age, gender, and location — when determining the risk a driver poses. To help you understand what you can expect to pay, we break down the average cost of car insurance by age and state, and other factors that may push your premiums higher or lower.
What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average car insurance premium per vehicle is $1,204, or $100.33 per month. The rate you’ll end up paying will depend on various factors such as your driving history, age, gender, and the age and make of your vehicle. If you’re currently paying much more than average, don’t switch car insurance without first talking to your carrier.
If you need to brush up on the difference between premiums and deductibles, check out our roundup of common car insurance terms.
Average Car Insurance Rates by Age and State
One thing is consistent: The older you are, the less you’ll pay for car insurance, all else being equal. As you’ll see in the table, location also plays a large role in setting premiums, though the pattern isn’t as clear. One variable that should not affect your premium: whether you get your insurance through a brick-and-mortar office or online insurance company.
Below is the annual average cost of car insurance by age in every state. For monthly cost, divide the annual amount by 12.
|16 years||25 years||45 years||65 years|
|District of Columbia||$3,581||$813||$693||$714|
Data courtesy of Quadrant Information Services
Recommended: How to Get Car Insurance
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
There are a few factors that are within your control when it comes to insurance rates, and many that aren’t. The major factors include:
• Your driving history
• Age and model or your vehicle
• Number of drivers on your insurance policy
• Discounts you can take advantage of with your insurer
• Your deductible
• Type of coverage
For a deep dive into the process of selecting a carrier, see our story on how to get car insurance.
Recommended: How to Lower Car Insurance
How Age Affects Your Car Insurance Rates
Car insurance companies use your age to estimate driving risk. Statistically, younger and new drivers tend to get into accidents more frequently than older and experienced drivers. Once you hit 65, however, you’re again considered a risky driver because you become more likely to get into a car accident and be injured.
That said, age isn’t the only factor that affects your car insurance rates.
Age vs Location
Your location typically has as much of an effect as your age on car insurance premiums.
Age vs Vehicle Type
In most cases, vehicle type will affect younger drivers more than older or more experienced drivers. If your car is of higher value or has a higher likelihood of being stolen, your premiums may be higher.
Age vs Gender
While gender does have an effect on rates, not all states allow insurance companies to use this as a determining factor. For states that do, men generally pay more compared to women, with greater disparities among younger drivers.
Age vs Driving Record
Your driving record will affect your premium more than your age. If you have negative marks on your driving record, you’ll see your rates go up, especially for serious violations like a DUI.
Age vs Credit Score
In many states, companies aren’t allowed to use your credit score when determining your premiums. If you live in a state that factors in credit score, that usually won’t have as much of an effect as your age.
In states where credit score is used, some insurance companies will rerun your credit check and discount your rate if your score has improved. However, they won’t normally increase your premium if your score has gone down.
Recommended: How Much Does Insurance Go Up After an Accident?
How Gender Affects Your Car Insurance Rates
Many insurance companies consider your gender when setting your premium. According to data analysis from the U.S. Department of Transportation, men are found more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes, especially younger men. Because of this risk, premiums are usually higher for men than women.
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List of No-fault States
No-fault insurance laws mandate that every driver involved in an accident must file a claim with their insurance company, no matter who was at fault. Plus, all drivers need to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their minimum insurance coverage. PIP typically covers medical bills and lost wages due to an accident.
The 13 states and territories that have no-fault laws are:
• Puerto Rico
• New Jersey
• New York
• North Dakota
Minimum Coverage Requirement Laws
Each state has its own minimum car insurance requirements. When purchasing a policy, you’ll need to meet those requirements. Most insurance carriers know what these are and will help you choose coverage that meets them.
While you’ll most likely need bodily injury liability and property damage as part of your insurance requirements, the coverage amount may differ. Some states also require PIP coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
For more on different coverage requirements, see our guide to how much car insurance you really need.
Ways to Save with Auto Insurance Discounts
Many insurance companies, in an effort to attract customers, offer discounts to qualifying drivers. A common discount is the “multiline,” where you are able to lower your car insurance premiums by bundling multiple policies. Other discounts include paying for your premium in full upfront, signing up for electronic delivery, and safe driver discounts. Contact your insurance company to see what they offer.
Bundling discounts are a good reason to schedule regular personal insurance planning sessions to review all of your coverage and find the best deals.
Understanding the factors that affect insurance premiums can help drivers anticipate costs and budget for this necessary expense. The biggest factors affecting car insurance premiums are age and location. Some factors, like vehicle make and gender, are more of an issue for younger drivers. Knowing which factors are within your control may help you lower your premiums. Maintaining a clean driving record and asking about discounts are two ways to keep premiums down.
A great way to find the going rates for car insurance in your area is to shop around online. SoFi auto insurance helps you compare companies within minutes, saving you time and hassle.
How much does the average American pay for car insurance per month?
How much does the average American pay for car insurance per month?
The average American pays $100.33 per month for a car insurance premium.
At what age is car insurance most expensive?
Around age 16. Typically, car insurance for first-time drivers is the most expensive.
Is insurance cheaper once you are 25?
The older you are, the more your insurance premiums tend to drop because you’re perceived as a more experienced driver. Of course, premiums also depend on other factors such as your driving history and vehicle type.
Photo credit: iStock/Tatyana Kochkina
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