Car insurance rates are on the rise across the country — 43% of insured drivers in the U.S. now report that they’re paying more for car insurance than they were a year ago, according to the 2023 Policygenius Car Insurance Affordability Survey. And along with rising rates comes mounting financial stress, as a significant portion of all insured drivers say they’re stressed about being able to afford car insurance.
That stress is leading many Americans to consider switching car insurance companies. A small number of drivers have even considered driving uninsured because of high rates, with 17% of drivers age 18 to 34 saying they’ve actually done so within the past year.
4 in 10 drivers are stressed about affording auto insurance
Overall, 43% of insured U.S. drivers polled reported that they were paying more for car insurance now than they were a year ago, and almost as many reported feeling stressed (40%) about being able to make their payments.
Among all age groups, 26% of these drivers said they were “somewhat” stressed about being able to afford their car insurance, and 15% identified as “very stressed” about affording auto insurance.
But among younger drivers (18 to 34), that number was much higher: In total, more than half (55%) said they were stressed about affording car insurance. Of that group, 31% reported feeling “somewhat” stressed about affording auto insurance and nearly a quarter (24%) said they were “very” stressed.
High rates have led some drivers to go without car insurance
Younger drivers (18 to 34) were also the most likely group to consider going without car insurance altogether because of the cost.
Among drivers in that age range, 28% said they had considered driving uninsured over the last 12 months because of the cost of car insurance, and 17% said they had actually driven uninsured during the same time period, opening themselves up to serious financial risk in the event of an accident.
Drivers age 55 and over were the least likely to consider doing without car insurance — 91% of drivers in that age group said they had “never” considered driving without insurance because of the cost.
A third of insured U.S. drivers are thinking about switching car insurance companies
With so many drivers reporting that their car insurance rates are higher than they were a year ago, it’s no surprise that 33% of drivers say they’ve considered switching car insurance companies in the past year because of high rates.
But only 15% of drivers say they actually switched providers because of high rates in the last 12 months, despite the fact that re-shopping for coverage at the end of every policy period is one of the best ways to save money on car insurance.
“Even though rates are going up in general, being smart about the way you shop can help save you money,” said Angelé Doakes, a licensed auto insurance expert and operations manager at Policygenius.
For example, since the car insurance industry changes along with cars, car insurance companies “may add new discounts for new safety features that vehicle manufacturers introduce, or remove discounts that no longer indicate a lower risk,” Doakes said. “Since these markets are ever-evolving, switching car insurance companies can wind up saving you money in the long run."
In total, a quarter of younger drivers said they had switched car insurance companies in the past 12 months because of high costs, making them the group that was both the most stressed about affording car insurance and the most likely to have changed companies.
By comparison, only 14% of drivers age 35 to 54 and 10% of drivers 55 and older said they had switched car insurance companies in the last year because of cost.
Policygenius commissioned YouGov to poll 2,780 American adults (aged 18+), 2,134 of whom confirmed having car insurance. The survey was carried out online from April 12 through April 14, 2023. The results have been weighted to represent all US adults. The margin of error was between +/- 1.1% and +/- 2.1% depending on the question. Percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number, so some totals may not add up to 100.