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Car Insurance for 2020 & More; Ultimate Guide to Saving

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Finally, you have selected the vehicle you want to purchase.

Now it is time for the less exciting part.

That is, to get car insurance.

Car insurance can be inconvenient and expensive, but in order to protect your vehicle and follow the state-mandated rules, it’s necessary.

Without car insurance, you could forfeit your vehicle on the spot in some states.

Finding an affordable premium can be fairly easy if you have a little bit of knowledge and a few tips.

What we’ve done is presented car insurance data to you in a few different ways.

This is to present factors which either raise your premium or better – lower it!

If you need to skip to a certain portion of the article, there is a table of contents down a little and to the right.

Car Insurance 101

Auto insurance companies are going to use “factors” to determine your premium.

Car insurance factors, age, driving record, location, vehicle, mileage, marital status, gender, and credit. Note: Illustrated above are the primary factors insurers use to decide how much you will pay for car insurance. Some count more than others and depends on the company. This is why you get a different rate from one company to the next. Though your driving profile hasn’t changed.

Some factors count more than others.

The following factors are:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Driving history
  • Your vehicle
  • Credit history
  • How far you drive
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Deductibles

How Your Age Affects Car Insurance

Car insurance is going to depend greatly on your age.

Your driver profile is going to change throughout your lifespan too.

Which is another important to reason to compare auto insurance at various times throughout your life to get the best value.

Below are illustrations showing the cost of car insurance throughout a lifetime of driving with a full coverage policy.

Age161822253545556575
Comp & Collision Coverage$3,194$2,468$1,512$1,286$987$890$792$769$1,004
Liability$2,200$1,985$843$691$613$595$570$612$726
Total Cost$5,394$4,453$2,355$1,977$1,600$1,485$1,362$1,381$1,730

As you can see, the cost of auto insurance is expensive for teen and young drivers.

Then it begins to lower until the age of 65 or so.

Price of liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage from 16 to 75 years of age.Note: The cost of coverage for teen drivers is always high no matter the driver profile. Once a driver is at the age of 25 do premiums begin to go down significantly. From 35 to about 60 years of age are when premiums will be the lowest for most drivers. Around the age of 65 will premiums begin to rise in price.

Over the course of your lifetime, from 18 to 75 years of age, you can spend upwards of $100,000+ on auto insurance.

Teenage Drivers

If you are a teenage driver, you know car insurance is expensive.

Many teen drivers pay more than double compared to a 30-year old.

Price of liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage for a teen driver from Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive.

Parents have added teens to their policy only to see it double too.

Illustrated below is a comparison of rates for teen drivers from various auto insurance companies. 

CompanyPremium
Farmers$5,122
Allstate$4,876
Liberty Mutual$4,732
Nationwide$4,234
Progressive$3,987

Insurance companies consider teen drivers the riskiest because of the lack of driving experience.

There are only a few things you can do. Which is to keep a clean driving record, take driver safety courses, and shop around for lower rates.

There are some insurers which offer discounts to teens for maintaining good grades in school.

Young Adult Drivers

The age of 25 is when young adults are likely to see a decrease in auto insurance. It’s probably not as low as you would like, however.

Many drivers this age are likely to be married, own a home, and have better credit.

Auto Insurance premium by price from Farmers, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive for 25-year old.

All these are helpful to lower your car insurance.

Illustrated are five vehicle insurance companies and the average cost to insure a 25-year-old driver with full coverage.

CompanyPremium
Farmers$2,034
Allstate$1,975
Liberty Mutual$1,922
Nationwide$1,862
Progressive$1,769

Senior Drivers

From the age of 30 to approximately 55 the cost of car insurance doesn’t fluctuate much.

You may see a slight decrease in your premium from 45 to 55 years of age, assuming you keep a good driving record.

Auto insurance premium cost for senior drivers from Farmers, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive.

On the other hand, as you reach the age of 60 to 65 your auto insurance rate begins to increase. Even when you have a clean driving record.

Insurers weigh senior drivers as having more risk while driving on the road.

Illustrated are five companies with the average rate for senior drivers.

CompanyPremium
Farmers$1,576
Allstate$1,532
Liberty Mutual$1,489
Nationwide$1,403
Progressive$1,349

Location & Car Insurance

Your location is going to have one of the biggest impacts on your auto insurance premium.

The insurance industry is regulated at the state level.

Therefore the state will mandate regulations and in turn can increase or decrease car insurance.

If you live in a high crime or a region that is prone to floods, hurricanes, etc your premium price will be reflected by this.

If you live in a city where the roads are in poor condition and a lot of claims are filed, you will pay with a higher premium too.

Illustrated is the price of an average car insurance premium from state to state with full coverage:

StateAnnual PremiumStateAnnual Premium
Alabama$1,877Montana$2,206
Alaska$1,598
Nebraska$1,732
Arizona$2,643Nevada$2,648
Arkansas$2,052New Hampshire$1,922
California$1,953New Jersey$2,318
Colorado$2,498New Mexico$2,100
Connecticut$2,512New York$2,532
Delaware$2,059North Carolina$2,498
Florida$2,712North Dakota$1,655
Georgia$2,500Ohio$1,640
Hawaii$1,455Oklahoma$2,262
Idaho$1,501Oregon$2,200
Illinois$2,185Pennsylvania$2,100
Indiana$1,488Rhode Island$2,821
Iowa$1,472South Carolina$2,015
Kansas$2,022South Dakota$2,282
Kentucky$2,665Tennessee$1,861
Louisiana$2,721Texas$2,423
Maine$1,268Utah$2,411
Maryland$1,983Vermont$1,700
Massachusetts$1,860Virginia$1,409
Michigan$3,982Washington$1,622
Minnesota$2,134West Virginia$2,095
Mississippi$1,994Wisconsin$1,550
Missouri$2,417Wyoming$1,832

Not only will your premium vary by price from state to state, the city you live is going to be reflected in your final price you pay.

Below is illustrated the average cost of premium in major cities in the United States.

Cost of auto insurance in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia by price.Note: Location is a major factor for insurers to decide the cost of your premium. A premium can fluctuate by 40% or more depending on the city you reside. For example, the cost of an average premium in Houston is $1,087 while the cost in New York is $1,769 per year for full coverage.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, such as Florida or Louisiana, it could be difficult to find a competitive rate.

Driving History & Car Insurance

Probably the biggest factor used by insurance companies to decide your premium is your driving history.

A poor driving history can skyrocket your premium.

Depending on the violation, you can pay from 30% to 100% more than the normal cost.

It can be very difficult to find an affordable premium with poor driving history.

The probability of finding an insurer which won’t raise your rates after a violation is slim.

However, the amount your premium is raised varies from insurer to insurer. 

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is serious traffic violation.

Your premium can increase by 30% or more.

Illustrated is the cost of a premium for a reckless driving violation before and after:

CompanyPremiumReckless Driving
Farmers$1,576$2,045
Allstate$1,532$1,987
Liberty Mutual$1,489$1,865
Nationwide$1,403$1,932
Progressive$1,349$1,814

Car Insurance after DUI

Besides an at-fault accident, a DUI is the most serious traffic offense you can receive.

A DUI can set you back nearly $1,500 per year depending on your age.

In most states a DUI will stay on your record for three years. Some states it can stay on your insurance record for ten years.

Before and after cost of DUI from Farmers, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive.Note: A driving under the influence (DUI) violation is one of the worst violation you can get as a driver. As illustrated, the cost of premium can nearly double in price. The price of a premium for each insurer clustered near $1,500 per year. After a DUI violation the price clustered near $3,000 per year.

There are some instances where a car insurance company may drop you.

If this happens, you will have to find an insurer which specializes in “high-risk” auto insurance.

Illustrated is the before and after cost of a DUI violation.

CompanyPremiumDUI
Farmers$1,576$3,054
Allstate$1,532$3,107
Liberty Mutual$1,489$2,943
Nationwide$1,403$2,831
Progressive$1,349$2,581

Car Insurance & At-fault Accident

An at-fault accident can set you back nearly $1,000 per year for the next three years or so.

Depending on the insurer, this could cost you nearly $3,000 in extra premiums over three years.

If you have a premium, or looking for one, expect to pay 40% to 60% more than if you didn’t have the violation on your record.

Illustrated is the before and after cost of an at-fault accident:

CompanyPremiumAt-Fault Accident
Farmers$1,576$2,439
Allstate$1,532$2,379
Liberty Mutual$1,489$2,026
Nationwide$1,403$1,879
Progressive$1,349$1,803

Your Vehicle & Car Insurance

The type of vehicle you drive is another major factor car insurance companies use to decide your premium.

Insuring a luxury vehicle or a large truck is going to cost more to insure than a small compact car.

The reason is insurers know it costs more to replace parts on expensive vehicles.

Cost of car insurance for Honda Odyssey, Subaru Outback, GMC Canyon, Jaguar F-type, and BMW 750I.Note: The more sporty and expensive the vehicle the more it will cost to insure it. The Honda Odyssey, Subaru Outback, and GMC Canyon all priced from $1,300 to $1,500 per year for full coverage. While the expensive Jaguar F-Type and BMW 750I priced at $3,187 and $2,992 respectfully.

In essence, the more it costs to replace your vehicle, the more it costs to insure.

When you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, it is smart to get car insurance quotes before purchasing so you have an idea what it will cost to insure it.

For some drivers, the cost to insure expensive vehicles is not worth the investment and prefer to buy a less expensive automobile.

Illustrated is the premium cost of typical “everyday” and luxury vehicles:

VehiclePremium
Honda Odyssey LX$1,309
Subaru Outback 2.5i$1,349
GMC Canyon SL$1,503
Jaguar F-Type SVR$3,187
BMW 750I$2,992

Credit Scores & Car Insurance

Your credit score is going to be another factor insurers decide how much you pay for auto insurance.

While it is not related to your driving, insurers use your credit to determine your responsibility.

Poor credit could indicate a lack of responsibility, while excellent credit could indicate the opposite.

Price of an auto insurance policy with poor and excellent credit from 21st Century, Auto-Owners, Elephant, and MetLife.Note: Your credit score is going to reflected in the price of your premium in most states. The difference between poor and excellent credit is over 30% for each insurer illustrated. Three states do not allow the use of credit scores when insurers determine a premium. They are California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

If you are shopping for auto insurance, it is a good idea to check your credit score.

It is important to realize if you credit score decreases insurers can hike your rates.

This is good reason to pay your creditors on time.

On the flip side, if your credit score increases you may want to ask your insurer if you can get a break from high premiums. 

Illustrated is the cost of a car insurance policy with poor to excellent credit from various insurers:

CompanyPoor (300-579)DifferenceExcellent (800-850)
21st Century$2,32824%$1,865
Ameriprise$2,51254%$1,621
Auto-Owners$2,53035%$1,874
Elephant$2,24345%$1,538
Erie$2,16553%$1,400
Farmers$1,95447%$1,327
Good2go$3,23166%$1,943
Grange$2,08727%$1,638
Liberty Mutual$1,76937%$1,285
Mercury$2,09574%$1,200
MetLife$1,89646%$1,298

Depending on the insurer, the difference between poor and excellent credit can vary from 24% to 74%.

Mileage

How many miles you drive per year is a minor factor auto insurance companies use to decide your rate.

The typical mileage used for a quote is 12,000 per year.

If you drive more than 20,000 miles a year, you would be considered high mileage.

If you drive less than 7,500 you are low mileage.

Cost of premium from 7,500 to 30,000 miles per year driven. Note: How much you drive is a factor insurers use to decide your premium price. On the other hand, the maximum premium reduction is 5% if you were driving 30,000 per year and reduced it to 7,500 miles per year. In all other cases, car mileage was found to be no more than a 2% reduction.

The good news about mileage is it doesn’t affect your final premium by much.

With all metrics being equal, there’s a 5% difference in price between a low and high mileage driver.

Below is a table of a car insurance premium with 10,000 to 30,000 annual miles:

Annual mileagePremium
10,000 - 15,000 miles$1,532
15,000 - 20,000 miles $1,548
20,000 - 25,000 miles$1,579
25,000 - 30,000 miles$1,610

Even though mileage is part of factors used to decide your premium, after a study of quotes, reducing your mileage will not make a big reduction in your final cost. 

Gender

Gender is going to make a difference in your car insurance premium.

For men, particularly at a young age, their premiums are significantly higher than their female counterparts.

Insurers see young men as high risk drivers since they are less experienced and likely to take more risks than older drivers. 

However, no matter the gender, young drivers, male or female, pay exorbitantly high car insurance premiums.

Car insurance premiums for male and female drivers from 21 to 45 years of age.Note: At a young age, males are going to pay nearly 14% more for an auto policy than their female counterparts. After the age of 40, the price difference among genders is negligible, or less than 1%. In many instances, males will pay slightly less for a premium after the age of 45.

Though a young male driver’s auto insurance is high, females are beginning to catch males in recent times.

Why?

Statistics show more females are driving and they are more likely to file claims.

In turn, their rates are increasing.

For drivers from 35 years of age and up, gender makes a negligible difference in the price of auto insurance.

In fact, after the age of 40, men begin to see a decline in their premiums compared against women assuming all other metrics are equal. 

Below is the cost of a premium compared from 21 to 45 years of age and by male and female:

AgeFemale MaleDifference
21$2,782$3,27214%
25$2,054$2,29811%
30$1,598$1,7217%
45$1,174$1,1981%

Marital Status

Your relationship status is going to make a difference on how much you pay for car insurance in many states.

Married drivers are seen as more responsible and less likely to take risks than their unmarried counterparts.

With some insurers the cost of premium isn’t different between married or unmarried couples.

States with biggest discount on car insurance when married.Note: In many states the “marriage” discount is significant. Vermont and New Hampshire offer 23% and 18% discounts respectfully for married couples. Alabama, New Mexico, and Rhode Island offer 16% discounts. The average is 5% for many states.

Most of time being married is a discount on your premium.

How much of discount?

It’s from 0% in Hawaii and Massachusetts to 23% in Vermont.

Below is illustrated the percentage discount for married couples state by state.

You can enter the state in the search bar to find it.

StateMarriage Discount
Alabama16%
Alaska14%
Arizona15%
Arkansas12%
California10%
Colorado9%
Connecticut12%
Delaware8%
Florida6%
Georgia15%
Hawaii0%
Idaho13%
Illinois15%
Indiana10%
Iowa12%
Kansas11%
Kentucky14%
Louisiana10%
Maine14%
Maryland15%
Massachusetts
0%
Michigan2%
Minnesota14%
Mississippi15%
Missouri13%
Montana0%
Nebraska10%
Nevada12%
New Hampshire18%
New Jersey12%
New Mexico
16%
New York12%
North Carolina
0%
North Dakota15%
Ohio15%
Oklahoma9%
Oregon12%
Pennsylvania12%
Rhode Island
16%
South Carolina
11%
South Dakota12%
Tennessee12%
Texas7%
Utah14%
Vermont23%
Virginia15%
Washington13%
Washington D.C.12%
West Virginia
15%
Wisconsin13%
Wyoming10%

Source: Quadrant Information Systems via CarInsurance.com

Deductibles

A deductible is what you are going to pay after an accident and while filing a claim.

If you have a $500 deductible, you will pay that amount, while the remainder is covered by your insurance company.

For example, you hit a sign and damaged the rear end of your vehicle.

The cost of damage is estimated at $2,500.

If you have a $500 deductible, you pay that amount, while your insurer would cover the other $2,000.

Price of premium with a $250 and $1,000 deductible from Progressive, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, and Farmers.Note: Raising your deductible is an easy way to lower the cost of your premium while maintaining coverage. This strategy is good for many drivers since you could be swayed from making a claim if your deductible $500 or more.

The deductible only applies to certain coverage which are:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Uninsured motorist property damage

There are no deductibles for liability coverage.

The liability coverage (sometimes called minimum coverage) of your policy are not held to deductible limitations.

The most common deductible amounts are $100, $250, $500, and $1,000.

The higher your deductible, the lower your comprehensive and collision premium is.

What many drivers do is raise their deductible to lower their premium.

This is a good strategy since the higher your deductible the less likely you will file a claim.

Below are coverage amounts from various companies with different deductibles.

Company$100 Deductible$250 Deductible$500$1,000
Farmers$1,859$1,695$1,576$1,432
Allstate$1,839$1,658$1,532$1,348
Liberty Mutual$1,752$1,562$1,489$1,273
Nationwide$1,707$1,518$1,403$1,215
Progressive$1,641$1,429$1,349$1,140

As you can see from the illustrations, raising your deductible can save you nearly $400 per year with some companies. 

Comprehensive Deductible

Comprehensive coverage, also referred to as “other than collision” provides protection from damage that results from theft, weather-related accidents, vandalism, and animals.

The cost of repairs will be covered, minus your deductible, no matter who is at fault.

Collision Deductible

When most people think of car insurance they probably think of collision.

Collision provides protection against another object, such as a car, stop sign or garage door.

The cost of repairs will be covered, minus your deductible, regardless of fault. 

Uninsured Property Damage Coverage

Uninsured property damage is going to provide protection to your vehicle if you are in a no-fault accident with an uninsured driver.

Or the driver has limits on liability coverage which are not enough to cover all damages caused to your vehicle.

Many times your insurer can recoup the deductible via the other driver.