Car insurance calculator: Free cost estimator (2022)

Estimate the cost to insure your car with the Policygenius free auto insurance calculator.

Andrew HurstAnna Swartz

By

Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

&Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Expert reviewed

Expert reviewed

This article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.

Learn more about oureditorial review process.

By

Britta M. Moss

Britta M. Moss

Property & casualty claim consultant and expert witness

Britta M. Moss, CPCU, SCLA, AIC-M, has over 25 years of insurance industry experience. In her work as a property and casualty claim consultant, she provides consultation and expert witness services in claim handling standards, practices, and norms.  She has been retained by law firms representing plaintiffs and those representing insurer defendants involved in disputes or litigation regarding coverage analysis, investigation, liability determination, damage evaluation, negotiation and settlement.  She is a graduate of The Ohio State University. 

Updated|4 min read

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Getting estimates before you buy car insurance is an easy way to make sure you don’t pay more than you have to for coverage. Lots of factors affect what you pay for car insurance coverage, including your location, age, driving history, and more.

Policygenius has saved drivers an average of $435 per year on their car insurance. You can use our free calculator to get a car insurance estimate and buy coverage in minutes.

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Methodology

Our car insurance calculator is powered by more than one million car insurance rates from more than 120 companies from across every ZIP code in every state in the country.

These average rates, which are provided by Quadrant Information Services, are for a full-coverage car insurance policy with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $50,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible
  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, policies include additional coverages that are required by the state or insurance provider. Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. The rates and car insurance estimates shown by our calculator are samples of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.

How to calculate car insurance coverage

As long as you’ve got some basic details at the ready, it's easy to get estimates for car insurance. Before you buy a car insurance policy, make sure you take these steps to get the most accurate estimates:

  1. Understand your coverage options

  2. Decide how much you want to pay

  3. Get estimates from multiple companies

1. Understand your coverage options

A car insurance policy is made up of different types of coverage that offer different types of protection. Depending on where you live, some may be required while others are always optional.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage (BIL): Pays for injuries to the other driver or their passengers if you’re responsible for an accident.

  • Property damage liability coverage (PDL): Covers damage to the other driver’s car after an at-fault accident. Also covers other property damage you’re responsible for, like if you crash into someone’s fence.

  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection (UI/UM): Pays for your own injuries or property damage if you’re hit by a driver without insurance (or without enough insurance to cover the accident).

  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers the cost of damage not caused by a car accident, like damage from extreme weather, falling objects, theft, vandalism, or animals..

  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your own car after an at-fault accident.

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Pays for your own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at-fault (PIP is required in no-fault states)..

These types of car insurance coverage typically make up what’s called a full-coverage policy, but there are other coverage add-ons you may want to consider, including  roadside assistance, new car replacement, and rental car reimbursement coverage. 

→ Read more about what types of coverage a regular insurance policy includes

2. Decide how much you want to pay

A car insurance premium is just the amount you pay for coverage. The more coverage you buy, the more expensive your car insurance estimates will be.

For example, if you only buy enough insurance to meet your state's minimum requirements, your estimated insurance cost may be an average of 66% (or $1,184 per year) cheaper than a full-coverage policy that includes higher limits of liability coverage and comprehensive and collision protection. 

We recommend getting as much liability coverage as you can afford, along with comprehensive and collision coverage. While getting fully covered means your insurance estimates will be higher, it's the best way to avoid paying for expensive medical bills and property damage out of pocket after a serious car accident. 

Set an amount you’re comfortable paying per month or per year so you can shop around for the company that offers you the most coverage at the cheapest rates.

3. Get estimates from multiple companies

Once you have an idea of how much coverage you need and what you can afford to pay for car insurance, you can get estimates for rates in your area. To get the best insurance rates from a car insurance estimator, you should know your: 

  • Address, including city and state

  • Birthdates for every driver in your household

  • Driver's license numbers

  • Social Security Numbers

  • The make, model, and VIN for every vehicle you want on the policy

  • Your current coverage limits (if you already have insurance)

It's also a good idea to research the insurance companies with the lowest rates to make sure they don't have poor customer service or limited coverage options. When you've found the best company for your needs, you can purchase a policy.

Highlights from some of our favorite companies

Geico Logo

GEICO

Rating: 4.6/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $99/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $33/month

State Farm Logo

State Farm

Rating: 3.8/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $98/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $40/month

Travelers Logo

Travelers

Rating: 4.3/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $125/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $57/month

Nationwide Logo P&C

Nationwide

Rating: 3.8/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $123/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $52/month

Progressive logo

Progressive

Rating: 4.1/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $148/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $61/month

Allstate

Allstate

Rating: 4.0/5 ★

Cost for full coverage: $165/month

Cost for minimum coverage: $62/month

How we rated car insurance companies

Our company ratings are based on each insurance provider’s cost, availability, customer experience and satisfaction, and strength of coverage and how it stacks up against competitors. Our own Policygenius agents, with years of experience working with real car insurance shoppers, also provided insight.

We assigned a value to each measurement based on importance, then found the weighted average of these values for each company. We ranked the highest performing companies for different types of drivers by their final score. Our rating system breaks down like this:

  • Customer experience and satisfaction (29%), combining ratings from a number of well-known third-party quality reviewers, including J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction study.
  • Ease-of-use (29%), evaluating companies on how easy it is to get covered and make a claim.
  • Coverage options (24%), totaling up the number of coverage options and perks, and the strength of coverage.
  • Cost (12%), comparing the costs of a full-coverage policy relative to average.
  • Financial security (6%), using A.M. Best’s credit rating scores.

Try our free calculator and see how much you can save

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Calculating how much car insurance you need

You need at least the amount of car insurance coverage that’s required by law — but what else do you need in a policy? 

Most drivers need what’s called full-coverage car insurance, which is a policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverages. We also recommend getting as much liability coverage as you can afford.

A solid full-coverage policy might look like:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,00 per person, $300,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability coverage: $100,000 per accident

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

Genius tip

Remember: Getting as much liability coverage as you can afford means you won’t have to pay expensive bills out of pocket after a crash.

If you live in a no-fault state, you’ll also be required to get personal injury protection (PIP), which pays for your medical bills after an accident. 

A typical full-coverage policy at our recommended limits costs $1,827 a year. But there are other add-ons that can raise your rates, so set your budget a little higher if you want things like roadside assistance, gap insurance, or new car replacement coverage.

→ Learn more about how much car insurance you need

How car insurance is calculated in every state

Every state aside from New Hampshire, and Virginia requires drivers to have liability coverage. When you’re calculating how much insurance you need, start with the amount of coverage your state requires.

But state minimums aren’t the only thing that affect car insurance costs.

The number of uninsured drivers in your area, local crime rates, and the number of accidents where you live can all affect what you’ll pay for car insurance.

Try our free calculator and see how much you can save

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Since it’s impossible to predict exactly what you’ll pay for car insurance without entering at least some personal information, the best way to get a reliable estimate is by comparing quotes from different companies.

Here's how much insurance you need (by law) in every state:

What affects your car insurance cost estimates

While the average driver pays $1,652 per year for car insurance, every driver will see different estimates for car insurance depending on a range of factors. Some of the details that can help you estimate how much your car insurance will be are:

  • Where you live: Drivers in one state may pay hundreds of dollars more for auto insurance coverage than drivers in another. Even your ZIP code matters when it comes to insurance.

  • Age: All car insurance calculators ask for your age before you can get an estimate. Car insurance companies charge older drivers much less than younger, more inexperienced drivers. If you're younger than 25, your insurance will be more expensive.  

  • Drivers in your household: Even if you're not a teenager yourself, your insurance rates will be much more expensive if you have a newly licensed driver in your house — or a driver with poor credit, or a history of accidents and violations.

  • Credit history: Insurance companies use your credit score to predict whether you're likely to make a claim. If you have a poor credit history, you’ll get significantly higher estimates for auto insurance than if you had good — or even average — credit.

  • Past claims: If you've made any recent claims for damage, whether they were for damage to your own car or to someone else's, a car insurance estimator will show you a more expensive quote. 

  • Accidents and traffic violations: Along with past claims, any recent accidents, traffic violations, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other marks on your driving record will make your car insurance more expensive.

  • Coverage limits: More protection means any estimates you get will go up. Some types of insurance, like PIP and comprehensive and collision coverage, are more expensive to add than others. 

  • Deductible amount: On a full-coverage policy, your deductible amounts for comprehensive and collision affect your estimated car insurance costs. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, but you shouldn't set your deductibles too high — or you won't be able to use your coverage.

  • Your vehicle: You may see higher insurance estimates for newer vehicles. This is partly because newer cars have added safety features that make accidents less likely, but cost more to repair.

→ Read about how much insurance costs for different drivers

How to get lower insurance estimates for your car

If you find that car insurance calculators are giving you high estimates for the amount of coverage you want, there are a few ways that you can bring down your rates and still get the protection you need. 

  1. Compare rates from multiple companies: By getting quotes from more than one company before you buy, you can make sure that you're getting the best and cheapest rates in your area.

  2. Check for insurance discounts: Nearly every insurance company will offer you at least a few ways to save on coverage. Some discounts are relatively easy to qualify for, including switching to paperless billing, requesting a quote online, and paying your premiums electronically.

  3. Avoid accidents and traffic violations: While you're likely to get higher premiums from insurance rate estimators if you have an accident or ticket on your record, your rates will get more affordable over time as long as you remain a safe driver.

  4. Improve your credit: While improving your credit score can take months, or even years, your insurance estimates will be lower if you  pay down outstanding debts and credit card balances.

  5. Bundle coverage: When you get car insurance and home insurance from the same company, you can often get significant discounts on both — savings of up to 20% with some insurance companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which company has the cheapest car insurance estimates?

GEICO typically has the cheapest estimates for most people. USAA offers the most affordable insurance overall, but the insurer only sells coverage to active or retired members of the military and their families.

How do you get an insurance estimate before you buy a car?

You can still get insurance estimates for a car you don't own yet. You can get an estimate as long as you have your address and the car's make and model. While the quote you get won't be exact, it will give you an idea of what you could pay for coverage. Then, once you know the exact car you’re buying, you can add the VIN and exact details and buy your policy for the day you want to take your new vehicle home.

What do you need to check car insurance prices online?

You only need a few details in order to check car insurance prices online. To get insurance estimates, you'll need to know the names and Social Security Numbers of everyone in your household, license numbers, your car's model and VIN number, and the amount of coverage you want.

Do car insurance estimators show yearly or monthly prices?

It depends. Car insurance estimators often display rates on a monthly or bi-annual basis. Fortunately, if you're looking for estimates for your annual cost of car insurance, it's not hard to convert monthly or six-month rates into annual premiums.

Average savings of $435/yr (auto insurance): Savings are determined by calculating the average difference between the lowest and second lowest auto insurance policy estimates provided to shoppers with two or more estimates between 06/01/2020 and 05/18/2021. Potential savings are based on a composite of multiple different contracts and insurers. Not all policies in this calculation are available in all states, and availability may be based on eligibility. Savings may vary by policy amount and location.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Expert reviewer

Property & casualty claim consultant and expert witness

Britta M. Moss

Property & casualty claim consultant and expert witness

gray linkedin icon link

Britta M. Moss, CPCU, SCLA, AIC-M, has over 25 years of insurance industry experience. In her work as a property and casualty claim consultant, she provides consultation and expert witness services in claim handling standards, practices, and norms.  She has been retained by law firms representing plaintiffs and those representing insurer defendants involved in disputes or litigation regarding coverage analysis, investigation, liability determination, damage evaluation, negotiation and settlement.  She is a graduate of The Ohio State University. 

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