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Car insurance: Get the right policy for you

Everything you need to know about shopping for car insurance — including how to save money on your policy.

Car insurance covers costs if you’re ever in a car accident. Say you back out of your driveway without looking and cause a crash — your car insurance will step in to pay for damage to the other driver’s car, or to pay for their medical bills if they were hurt. 

Car insurance can also cover damage to your own car, either from a collision or another type of danger, like hail, fire, falling objects, and theft. It can even help pay for towing if you’re stranded by the side of the road, or for a rental car if yours is in the shop after an accident.

A minimum amount of auto insurance is legally required in almost every state, but most drivers need more coverage than just their state’s requirements.

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What car insurance coverage do I need?

Every auto insurance policy is made up of different types of coverage to protect you in any scenario. A typical full coverage policy includes:

Bodily injury liability

For when you rear-end another driver and give them whiplash

Property damage liability

For when you damage another car (or any other piece of property)

Personal injury protection

Covers your own medical expenses after an accident

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

For when you’re t-boned by an uninsured driver

Comprehensive

When your car is damaged, but not by a collision

Collision

Covers your car after a collision, even one you've caused

Bodily injury liability

For when you rear-end another driver and give them whiplash

Property damage liability

For when you damage another car (or any other piece of property)

Personal injury protection

Covers your own medical expenses after an accident

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

For when you’re t-boned by an uninsured driver

Comprehensive

When your car is damaged, but not by a collision

Collision

Covers your car after a collision, even one you've caused

Most states require a minimum amount of coverage, but won’t make you buy all six types of coverage.

It’s a good idea to have all of them, though, to ensure that you’re protected in every situation and aren’t left footing the bill if you’re ever in an accident (whether it’s your fault or not).

What should you expect to pay for car insurance?

According to a 2021 analysis of car insurance rates by Policygenius, the average cost of a car insurance policy in the U.S. is $1,652 a year. But rates can vary widely depending on factors like driving history and type of car.

Your insurance company matters, too — you can submit the exact same profile to three different companies and get three very different prices. That’s why you should always compare quotes from different companies so you’re not overpaying for coverage.

At Policygenius, we’re an insurance marketplace — we’ll help you compare quotes from top companies and choose the best coverage for your car and for your wallet.

Here’s what determines your car insurance rates:

  • Your address: Accident rates, population density, and repair costs in your neighborhood will all go into calculating your premiums.

  • Your coverage: More types of coverage and higher limits means more protection, but it also means higher premiums.

  • Your age: Younger, less experienced drivers (under 25) are more likely to get in accidents and file claims, so they often pay the most for car insurance.

  • Your car: The make and model of car you drive will affect your insurance rates. Luxury cars with expensive parts cost more to insure than a budget daily driver, and cars with certain safety features can get you a lower rate.

  • Your credit score: Drivers with poor credit scores may have more trouble finding affordable coverage than drivers with higher credit scores.

  • Your driving history: Recent accidents and driving violations will raise a red flag on your profile, while having a squeaky clean record can earn you extra savings.

  • Your insurance history: Recent claims on your record or gaps where you were uninsured will mean higher rates.

Genius tip

Car insurance quotes are free – you don’t start paying until you sign your policy. That means you can get as many quotes as you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Car insurance rates by state

Auto insurance costs vary widely by state. The most expensive state for car insurance is Florida, where the average annual cost of a policy is $2,914.

North Carolina was the least expensive state for car insurance, with an average annual premium of $1,009.

The average rate for car insurance in every state in the U.S.

StateAverage annual cost
Alabama$1,726
Alaska$1,345
Arizona$1,565
Arkansas$1,772
California$1,857
Colorado$1,751
Connecticut$1,790
Delaware$2,110
District of Columbia$1,796
Florida$2,914
Georgia$1,710
Hawaii$1,200
Idaho$1,109
Illinois$1,403
Indiana$1,219
Iowa$1,152
Kansas$1,604
Kentucky$2,158
Louisiana$2,906
Maine$1,147
Maryland$1,798
Massachusetts$1,614
Michigan$2,377
Minnesota$1,418
Mississippi$1,674
Missouri$1,568
Montana$1,888
Nebraska$1,735
Nevada$2,137
New Hampshire$1,224
New Jersey$2,259
New Mexico$1,480
New York$2,172
North Carolina$1,009
North Dakota$1,397
Ohio$1,038
Oklahoma$1,928
Oregon$1,461
Pennsylvania$1,605
Rhode Island$1,860
South Carolina$1,864
South Dakota$1,618
Tennessee$1,329
Texas$1,840
Utah$1,503
Vermont$1,124
Virginia$1,314
Washington$1,651
West Virginia$1,681
Wisconsin$1,062
Wyoming$1,398

Average rates for male and female drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.

→ Learn more about car insurance costs

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Car insurance rates by age and gender

Your car insurance rates vary based on factors like age and gender. Most insurance companies consider teens or inexperienced drivers “high-risk,” and may charge higher rates as a result.

Men often pay slightly higher rates than women — although some states have passed laws banning insurance companies from using gender to determine rates.

A chart showing average annual car insurance rates by age and gender

AgeGenderAverage annual cost
16Female$6,351
Male$7,207
18Female$4,594
Male$5,268
21Female$2,548
Male$2,867
25Female$1,875
Male$1,983
30Female$1,694
Male$1,717
35Female$1,651
Male$1,657
45Female$1,583
Male$1,582
55Female$1,456
Male$1,469
60Female$1,440
Male$1,458
65Female$1,480
Male$1,507
70Female$1,566
Male$1,604

Average car insurance rates for each ZIP code in all 50 state and Washington, D.C.

Cheapest car insurance company in every state

Some insurance companies simply charge less for coverage than others, that’s why it’s so important to compare quotes before you buy a policy.

Here are the cheapest companies in every state for full coverage car insurance, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to liability.

StateCompanyCost
AlabamaGEICO$977
AlaskaUSAA$930
ArizonaRoot$747
ArkansasUSAA$962
CaliforniaWawanesa$1,110
ColoradoAmerican National$811
ConnecticutGEICO$756
DelawareState Farm$1,152
District of ColumbiaGEICO$1,025
FloridaGEICO$1,432
GeorgiaAuto-Owners Insurance$858
HawaiiGEICO$785
IdahoAmerican National$498
IllinoisFAIA$712
IndianaUSAA$706
IowaState Farm$719
KansasUSAA$912
KentuckyGEICO$1,019
LouisianaUSAA$1,486
MaineGEICO$571
MarylandUSAA$806
MassachusettsGEICO$1,067
MichiganGEICO$1,059
MinnesotaWestern Agriculture$964
MississippiUSAA$856
MissouriUSAA$741
MontanaUSAA$856
NebraskaAuto-Owners Insurance$1,036
NevadaGEICO$1,043
New HampshireUSAA$676
New JerseyGEICO$1,078
New MexicoUSAA$907
New YorkMain Street America$1,033
North CarolinaGEICO$736
North DakotaUSAA$786
OhioUSAA$711
OklahomaUSAA$949
OregonState Farm$843
PennsylvaniaErie$1,018
Rhode IslandState Farm$983
South CarolinaAmerican National$683
South DakotaKemper$1,128
TennesseeState Farm$755
TexasTexas Farm Bureau$1,036
UtahGEICO$856
VermontState Farm$666
VirginiaUSAA$776
WashingtonUSAA$1,033
West VirginiaUSAA$869
WisconsinUSAA$680
WyomingAmerican National$763

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries.

→ Learn more about choosing a car insurance company

Find the cheapest car insurance quotes with Policygenius

  • Apply online. Answer a few quick questions and you’re well on your way to finding the most accurate rates available.

  • Choose from dozens of companies. Comparing policies is the best way to find affordable insurance. Find top-rated companies in one place at Policygenius and save yourself some clicks (and money).

  • Get help from real-life people. Need a human touch? Our in-house experts can guide you through the process and get you the best deal – for free.

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Frequently asked questions

Why did my car insurance rates go up?

Your rates may have gone up because you had an accident, filed a claim, or added a new driver to your policy. Sometimes, your rates may rise because of changes in the industry. Remember, if you’re not happy with the cost of your car insurance, it never hurts to shop around for new coverage.

Who has the cheapest car insurance?

Since auto insurance rates are so personalized, the cheapest car insurance company might be different for every driver. That’s why it’s so important to shop around and compare quotes from different companies before you settle on a policy.

What age does car insurance go down?

Younger, inexperienced drivers pay more for car insurance because they’re riskier to insure. But rates for teen drivers drop over time until age 25, as long as they avoid accidents.

Does getting a car insurance quote affect my credit?

When you apply for car insurance, insurance companies will do a “soft inquiry” into your credit, which won’t affect your credit score or show up when future lenders check your credit. Credit score does matter when it comes to car insurance, though, and drivers with poor credit will see higher rates.