Determining how much your auto insurance will, or should, cost is complicated. Insurance companies use your driving history, age, gender, location, how much you drive and other factors when setting car insurance rates, and quotes can swing wildly from one provider to the next. Your rate also hinges on how much coverage you buy.
To give you an idea of how much car insurance costs, NerdWallet sampled rates in 10 states for 30-year-old drivers with clean records. We then averaged the three lowest quotes, shown below, and also listed the range of prices offered in each state from the largest insurers.
How much is car insurance?
|State||Average of three lowest annual quotes||Range of annual quotes from 10 large insurers|
|Arizona||$976||$842 to $2,392|
|California||$1,204||$970 to $1,783|
|Florida||$1,649||$1,155 to $6,010|
|Illinois||$1,096||$883 to $2,250|
|Minnesota||$1,212||$1,141 to $5,368|
|New Jersey||$2,162||$1,507 to $4,547|
|New York||$1,958||$1,437 to $3,586|
|Ohio||$841||$701 to $2,891|
|Texas||$1,320||$1,207 to $7,259|
|Utah||$984||$695 to $4,458|
» COMPARE: NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool
How car insurance companies determine how much you’ll pay
Here are some of the key pricing factors for auto insurance, some of which you can control and some of which you can’t.
Location: Where you live makes a big difference when it comes to auto insurance. If your state is a hot spot for theft of your particular car model, you’ll likely pay more for comprehensive coverage (which covers car theft). Weather also plays a role. Rates often skew higher in places where there tend to be claims due to winter storms and other natural disasters.
You could also face higher rates if your state has a high population density and thus a greater car-accident risk, such as in New York and New Jersey.
Coverage choices and state requirements: Almost every state requires auto insurance, but the minimum amount required varies. Some states mandate only bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. For example, in “no-fault insurance” states like Florida, where drivers make injury claims through their own insurers regardless of who caused the accident, you’ll need personal injury protection. The requirements imposed by your state play a role in how much you pay.
Any additional coverage options you choose will also raise your rate. We looked at rates for drivers with common optional coverages such as uninsured motorist protection, collision and comprehensive. But if you add more protection, such as roadside assistance or rental car reimbursement, or if you increase any of your coverage limits, you’ll trigger a higher car insurance quote.
Vehicle: Just as some cars are more expensive than others, some cost more to insure, especially when you’re buying collision and comprehensive coverage. We sampled rates for drivers with a 2012 Toyota Camry. If you drive a pricier car, the higher vehicle value will mean a higher rate.
Driving history and habits: We sampled rates for good drivers with clean records, but having at-fault accidents or moving violations means you’ll get charged more. Your daily commute length and annual mileage will also play a role in your rate.
Personal profile: Insurance companies consider much more than your driving history when determining your premiums. Sometimes factors outside your control affect your rate. For example, teen drivers are typically charged more because of their higher accident risk. Insurance companies may also take into account factors such as gender, marital status and credit (where permitted).
» MORE: How to save on car insurance
Shop around to find car insurance at a competitive price
If you’re worried about paying too much for car insurance, shop around. Comparing rates from several companies is the best way to see how your rate stacks up, and whether the grass is greener elsewhere.
Try NerdWallet’s comparison tool to view quotes and find the right coverage.
Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance site. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.