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Average Car Insurance Costs in 2021

Car insurance in America costs $133 per month, on average, but your rate may be very different. Here’s a look at what you should expect to pay.
Jan. 27, 2021
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The national average cost of car insurance is $1,592 per year, according to NerdWallet’s 2021 rate analysis.

That works out to an average car insurance rate of about $133 per month.

But that’s just for a good driver with good credit — rates vary widely depending on your history. National average car insurance rates are:

  • $1,592 for a good driver with good credit.
  • $2,439 after an at-fault wreck.
  • $2,812 for a good driver with poor credit.
  • $3,114 after a DUI.

These rates are for full coverage insurance, which includes liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist protection and any additional state-mandated coverage. Unless otherwise stated, our sample drivers had a clean driving record and credit in the “good tier” as reported to the insurer.

For minimum required coverage, national average car insurance rates are:

  • $565 for a good driver with good credit.
  • $884 after an at-fault wreck.
  • $984 for a good driver with poor credit.
  • $1,152 after a DUI.

That’s about $47 per month for a 40-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record, ranging up to $96 per month for a driver with a recent DUI for minimum coverage car insurance.

But averages don’t say much about your own car insurance rates. A number of personal factors, both within and outside of your control, inch rates up or down until your price is totally personalized.

How much does car insurance cost in my state?

Where you live can have an enormous impact on auto insurance rates, because each state has different regulations for auto insurance. Average prices in the most expensive states are at least two times higher than those in the cheapest ones.

How much insurance you have matters, too: Full coverage car insurance is more than double the price of minimum coverage, on average, according to our analysis.

Here’s what our state-by-state analysis of 2021 car insurance rates shows for drivers with good credit and no recent accidents:

  • Maine is the cheapest state for full coverage car insurance with an annual average rate of $963, followed by Ohio and Idaho.
  • Louisiana is the most expensive state for full coverage auto insurance at $2,762 per year on average, followed by Michigan and Kentucky.
  • Iowa is the cheapest state for minimum required coverage, at an annual average car insurance rate of $255, followed by South Dakota and Idaho.
  • For minimum required coverage, Michigan is the most expensive state at $1,128 per year, on average, followed by New York and Louisiana.

» MORE: Minimum required car insurance in every state

Average car insurance costs for full and minimum coverage by state

StateFull coverageMinimum coverageAnnual difference
Alabama$1,501$474$1,027
Alaska$1,521$417$1,104
Arizona$1,536$567$968
Arkansas$1,883$495$1,388
California$1,911$617$1,294
Colorado$2,012$528$1,484
Connecticut$1,791$841$950
Delaware$1,733$823$910
Florida$2,321$685$1,636
Georgia$1,820$757$1,063
Hawaii$1,049$326$723
Idaho$998$320$678
Illinois$1,397$468$929
Indiana$1,179$383$796
Iowa$1,151$255$896
Kansas$1,600$464$1,136
Kentucky$2,363$790$1,574
Louisiana$2,762$895$1,867
Maine$963$372$591
Maryland$1,872$860$1,011
Massachusetts$1,100$431$669
Michigan$2,387$1,128$1,259
Minnesota$1,418$559$859
Mississippi$1,636$498$1,138
Missouri$1,526$484$1,043
Montana$1,726$362$1,364
Nebraska$1,376$365$1,010
Nevada$2,161$839$1,322
New Hampshire$1,169$429$740
New Jersey$1,860$851$1,009
New Mexico$1,418$390$1,028
New York$2,131$1,070$1,061
North Carolina$1,212$410$801
North Dakota$1,195$352$843
Ohio$989$351$638
Oklahoma$1,748$451$1,297
Oregon$1,358$670$688
Pennsylvania$1,406$431$974
Rhode Island$2,043$842$1,201
South Carolina$1,652$606$1,046
South Dakota$1,455$301$1,154
Tennessee$1,298$400$898
Texas$1,610$560$1,050
Utah$1,390$577$813
Vermont$1,123$338$785
Virginia$1,248$478$771
Washington$1,234$457$777
Washington, D.C.$1,880$736$1,144
West Virginia$1,605$517$1,088
Wisconsin$1,160$361$799
Wyoming$1,369$335$1,035

“Full coverage” isn’t a type of policy you can select from a list, but generally includes comprehensive and collision insurance on top of any additional state-mandated coverage types, such as liability insurance. The policies we analyze also include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Average car insurance costs by company

Every car insurance company sets rates based on dozens of factors, including your driving history, location, vehicle and demographics. They’re making an educated guess about how likely you are to file a claim in the future and setting your price accordingly.

Each insurer treats each factor differently. If you have poor credit, one insurer might charge you 10% more for the policy, while another would charge 40% more. A discount for being claim-free in recent years might earn you a 20% discount with one company and 5% at another.

All this results in very different rates from one person to the next. This is why the company that gives your friend super-low rates might not be the cheapest for you.

Here are annual rates for many of the nation’s largest insurers, for full and minimum coverage.

Average car insurance costs from large companies

CompanyFullMinimum
Erie$1,191$466
NJM$1,221$458
Geico$1,268$380
Auto-Owners$1,277$378
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance$1,361$514
American National$1,432$495
Amica$1,447$615
Travelers$1,464$526
State Farm$1,491$489
Progressive$1,562$550
Shelter$1,718$771
Chubb$1,769$577
Farmers$1,830$477
Auto Club of So-Cal AAA$1,888$670
Allstate$2,381$656
USAA*$1,169$759
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

Bear in mind that state regulations heavily affect prices, and some of these companies are primarily available in “cheap” or “expensive” states for auto insurance. We can get rates from many of the largest carriers in a state, so many smaller insurers aren’t included due to a lack of pricing data.

Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our analysis because it does not provide average rates.

Average car insurance rates after an at-fault accident

After an accident, average auto insurance prices for an at-fault driver are:

  • $2,439 per year for full coverage.
  • $884 per year for minimum coverage.

On average, car insurance rates are 50% higher for a driver who has caused a wreck than for one who hasn’t.

How much an at-fault crash raises average car insurance costs

Type of policyClean recordOne at-fault accident
Full coverage$1,592$2,439
Minimum coverage$565$884

State to state, rate increases after an accident tend to stay in the 30% to 60% range, with notable exceptions in California, Massachusetts and North Carolina, where rates increase after an accident by more than 70%, on average. In California, that translates to an extra $1,049 a year in car insurance premiums.

How much your rates will rise also depends on the severity of damage and whether you have accident forgiveness on your policy or any “good driver” discounts you stand to lose. The hypothetical accident in our analysis was relatively minor, resulting in $10,000 worth of property damage and no injuries. Accidents resulting in medical costs can be very expensive and result in even steeper rate increases.

It’s important to shop for the cheapest insurer after an accident, because each company considers factors like a crash differently in setting prices. Our analysis found that American Family increases car insurance rates by about 11% on average after a wreck, while rates at The Hartford and 21st Century more than double.

Causing an accident can raise your auto insurance costs for three to five years afterward, depending on the carrier. This is why it’s wise to shop for car insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversary of your wreck to see if you can get a better deal.

» MORE: How much car insurance rates go up after an accident

Average car insurance costs for good and bad credit

Having bad credit has a surprisingly large impact on auto insurance rates in most states. On average, car insurance rates for drivers with poor credit are more than 75% higher than for people with good credit.

Average car insurance rates for a driver with poor credit are:

  • $2,812 per year for full coverage.
  • $984 per year for minimum coverage.

Average auto insurance rates for good and bad credit

Type of policyGood creditPoor credit
Full coverage$1,592$2,812
Minimum coverage$565$984

Insurers use a “credit-based insurance score,” similar to a regular credit score, to help set rates in most states. The insurance score uses all the same factors as a regular credit score — things like on-time payments and delinquencies — but weighs them differently. Insurance companies point to data linking poor credit to more frequent insurance claims to justify the higher prices to state regulators.  

California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington don’t allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.

The score’s impact on your premium depends on where you live and which car insurance company you choose.

In contrast, average rates more than double in nine states: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina and Utah.

Some companies are more forgiving of bad credit than others, so it’s worthwhile to shop for quotes while you’re trying to build your credit. For example, here’s what we found for a 40-year-old buying full coverage:

  • The Hanover’s rates for a driver with bad credit in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan and New Hampshire are more than triple its rates for someone with good credit.
  • At the other extreme, National General’s rates in North Carolina are only $1 a month higher for a driver with poor credit than for one with good credit.

Average car insurance rates after a DUI

Getting caught drinking and driving will mean significantly higher prices for car insurance. On average, auto insurance rates go up about 87% for a driver with a recent DUI, NerdWallet’s analysis found.

For a 40-year-old driver, average car insurance rates after a DUI are:

  • $3,114 per year for full coverage.
  • $1,152 per year for minimum coverage.

How much a DUI raises average car insurance costs

Type of policyClean recordRecent DUI
Full coverage$1,592$3,114
Minimum coverage$565$1,152

Our analysis found an average increase of at least $500 a year for full coverage car insurance after a DUI in every state, and in California and Michigan, the average increase is more than $3,000 a year.

Shopping around for the cheapest car insurance after a DUI can lessen the blow. Among the largest companies in our analysis, average annual rates for full coverage car insurance after a DUI ranged from $809 at American National to $8,589 at Encompass, a difference of more than $7,780 a year between companies.

Switching to your state’s minimum required insurance coverage is another way to lower the cost. For minimum coverage, we found average annual rates ranging from $292 at American National to $4,248 at Auto Club Group, a AAA insurance carrier. However, if you have a loan on your car, or it’s leased, you may be required to keep collision and comprehensive coverage.

Average car insurance rates for young drivers

Insurers see less experienced drivers as a bigger risk and typically charge them heftier prices. Insurers may categorize young drivers as anyone 16 to 25 years old, or sometimes even anyone under 30 years old. For our analysis, we analyzed rates for 20- and 25-year-old drivers.

On average, car insurance rates are more than $1,700 a year higher for a 20-year-old driver than a 40-year-old, our analysis found. As you age, rates tend to go down. Rates are about $300 a year higher on average for a 25-year-old driver than a 40-year-old.

Average auto insurance costs for a 20-year-old driver

For a 20-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record, average car insurance rates are:

  • $3,331 for full coverage.
  • $1,198 for minimum required coverage.

But young drivers with blemished credit or a less-than-perfect driving history are likely to shell out more for car insurance.

Driver profileFull coverageMinimum coverage
Good driver with good credit$3,331$1,198
One at-fault crash$4,666$1,716
One DUI$5,975$2,248
Poor credit$6,078$2,183

Average auto insurance costs for a 25-year-old driver

For a 25-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record, average car insurance rates are:

  • $2,799 for full coverage.
  • $1,010 for minimum required coverage.
Driver profileFull coverageMinimum coverage
Good driver with good credit$2,799$1,010
One at-fault crash$3,956$1,409
One DUI$5,032$1,833
Poor credit$4,998$1,780

Average auto insurance costs for young drivers by company

Knowing average rates gives you an idea of what to expect, but it’s only a starting point for a young driver looking for affordable car insurance. Rates can vary by hundreds of dollars a year, depending on where you live and which insurer you choose. Here are average rates for the largest auto insurance companies (except Liberty Mutual, which we can’t get rates for) for 20- and 25-year-old drivers buying a policy with full coverage.

Company20-year-olds25-year-olds
Allstate$4,405$2,811
American Family$2,657$1,688
Farmers$3,762$2,051
Geico$2,650$1,815
Nationwide$3,098$1,912
Progressive$3,680$2,115
State Farm$4,391$2,488
Travelers$3,067$1,646
USAA$2,807$1,869
*USAA is available only to active military members, veterans and their families.

Check with several companies to find the best possible rate and be sure to ask about car insurance discounts for young drivers.

Average car insurance costs by gender

On average, car insurance costs differ little by gender compared with differences we see by company, state, credit score and driving history. That doesn’t mean that a cost difference due to your gender would be insignificant, only that it’s not a pricing factor well-illustrated by national statistics.

Gender-based pricing is banned by law in seven states: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

In states where the practice is allowed, we averaged rates for men and women separately and found that on average:

  • At age 25, men pay about $98 more than women per year.
  • At age 40, women pay about $4 more than men per year.

» MORE: Find cheap car insurance for women

Average cost of car insurance by vehicle

In other analyses, we used a 3-year-old Toyota Camry (the most popular sedan in America by sales in recent years) to show how rates vary by personal history and demographics. But the make and model of your vehicle will certainly affect rates.

Insurers charge more to cover certain cars, including:

  • Sports cars, which have higher top speeds. People tend to drive them faster, increasing the likelihood of a wreck or traffic violation. If you get a speeding ticket, insurers think you’ll be more likely to cause an accident, which increases rates further.
  • Luxury cars because they tend to have expensive parts and details that are costlier to replace if damaged in a crash.
  • Electric vehicles, which have more expensive engine parts to replace, especially the batteries, which can cost thousands each.
  • Cars that are stolen often, which tend to have higher rates for comprehensive insurance, which pays out when your car is stolen or damaged by something non-traffic-related, such as floods, fire and vandalism. Comprehensive insurance is typically optional unless you have a loan or lease.

To see how rates differ depending on your vehicle, we looked at average car insurance rates for the 25 most popular vehicles based on sales in a separate analysis from 2021. As you can see below, the Camry is far from the cheapest model. That honor goes to the Subaru Outback for an average car insurance cost of $1,392 per year.

Make and modelAverage annual insurance premium
1. Subaru Outback$1,392
2. Jeep Wrangler$1,416
3. Honda CR-V$1,439
4. Subaru Forester$1,465
5. Ford Escape$1,476
6. Ford F-150$1,505
7. Chevrolet Equinox$1,511
8. Jeep Cherokee$1,521
9. Toyota Tacoma$1,527
10. Toyota RAV4$1,555
11. Nissan Rogue$1,585
12. Grand Cherokee$1,592
13. Dodge Ram 1500$1,615
14. GMC Sierra 1500$1,622
15. Ford Explorer$1,641
16. Honda Accord$1,667
17. Hyundai Elantra$1,673
18. Toyota Corolla$1,701
19. Toyota Camry$1,704
20. Honda Civic$1,720
21. Chevrolet Silverado 1500$1,724
22. Nissan Sentra$1,724
23. Toyota Highlander$1,773
24. Nissan Altima$1,781
25. Tesla Model 3$2,215

You can see that as you go down the list, the average price typically changes by only a few dollars per year, but between the Outback and the Nissan Altima, there’s an annual difference of $389, on average. That works out to about $32 per month, perhaps not enough to persuade someone with their heart set on an Altima to buy an Outback instead.

What other factors affect my car insurance cost?

After all these rates and pricing factors, it could be hard to figure out what other factors affect your insurance rates. Here are some of them:

  • More specific location data such as your ZIP code or city.
  • Your occupation, in many states.
  • Your previous insurance company. If it was a nonstandard insurer specializing in high-risk drivers, you might see higher insurance rates with some companies.
  • Continuous insurance coverage. Companies charge more for drivers with lapses in coverage.
  • Annual mileage driven per car.
  • Your marital status. Single people — even widows, widowers and divorced folks — tend to have higher insurance rates.
  • Whether you own your home (and whether you bundle home insurance with auto).
  • How much education you’ve completed.
  • Additional coverage options you choose, such as new-car replacement coverage and gap coverage.
  • Discounts you’re eligible for, which vary widely by company.
  • Whom you live with. Some companies won’t allow you to exclude people such as roommates or nondriving adults from your policy.

How to get cheap car insurance

By now you may have concluded that average car insurance costs have little to do with your own — this is true. No matter how many averages you look at, the same disclaimer holds true: “Your own rates will be different.”

But you can still find the best cheap insurance for you by shopping around for rates every year and every time something major happens in your life, including marriage, a new job, moving or buying a new car. Additionally, if you’ve had a recent at-fault accident, DUI or other traffic violation, be sure to shop in the month after the third and fifth anniversaries of the incident.

If you’re ready to shop, you can check out the cheapest companies in your own state for several driver profiles.

Average Rates Methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. We examined rates for 40-year-old men and women for all ZIP codes in any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our rates analysis due to a lack of publicly available information.

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers. These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect only the minimum coverage required by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit. In states where credit isn’t taken into account, we only used rates for “good” credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.

We used a 2018 Toyota Camry LE in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

25 Most Popular Vehicles Methodology

NerdWallet averaged insurance estimates from the largest insurers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates were for 40-year-old male and female drivers with good credit, no tickets or violations, and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. Some policies include additional coverages at the insurer’s discretion. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Vehicles listed were the 25 top-selling models in the U.S. in 2019, according to data collected by Kelley Blue Book. Starting MSRP and insurance rates are for 2020 models.

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