Getting multiple car insurance quotes is often the best way to find affordable rates. Depending on the auto insurer, you may receive policy quotes that differ by thousands of dollars.
To start comparing quotes online from insurers near you, enter your ZIP code below, or read on for more tips on finding cheap auto insurance quotes near you.
What is a car insurance quote?
- The estimated price of your auto insurance policy from a carrier, based on the personal information you provide
- A good predictor of your annual premium for any particular insurance company
However, your final rate can change once your carrier receives all the necessary information from you, including your vehicle type, driving history and other factors.
Why you should get free car insurance quotes online
Finding cheap auto insurance quotes doesn't have to be difficult.
ValuePenguin works with trusted national carriers to help you find the best rate quickly, simply and easily — for free.
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Here are some of the best reasons to start comparing quotes now.
How do car insurance quotes work?
Many factors go into determining your car insurance quote. We break down a few of the variables that insurance companies use to estimate your quotes.
How age affects car insurance quotes
Age is one of the most important variables insurers use to price car insurance quotes.
For auto insurance companies, age indicates driving experience and risk. Older drivers are typically perceived as less likely to be involved in an accident and file a claim.
Auto insurance quotes are usually most costly for younger and new drivers that have less experience on the road. Quotes will typically level off around 30 years old and increase much later in life when drivers become seniors, particularly after age 70. Seniors at this age are seen by insurers as slightly higher-risk drivers, but still not as high risk as new drivers in their teens and early twenties.
Annual full coverage car insurance quotes by age
How gender impacts automobile insurance quotes
Car insurance is typically more expensive for men relative to women. Differences in quotes are typically larger among younger, new drivers in their teens, and often the gap between men and women narrows significantly throughout their early to mid 20s.
Quote disparities are largely due to how insurers evaluate risk, as historical data has shown that young men more often engage in risky driving behavior than young women.
Some states and municipalities, however, prohibit carriers from using gender in the auto insurance quotation process. These include California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and parts of Michigan. Drivers of any gender should receive similar car insurance quotes in these locations, all else being equal.
Annual full coverage car insurance quotes by gender
How marital status affects auto insurance quotes
Single drivers typically pay more for auto insurance than married couples. Insurers tend to view married drivers as more financially stable and risk averse, and therefore charge them lower quotes than single drivers.
In the ten most populous U.S. states, single drivers tended to pay $110 more per year for auto insurance than married drivers. Among these, Georgia had the biggest difference in rates, with single drivers paying $207 more per year than married drivers
Notably, our analysis also found that insurers tend to treat divorced drivers the same as single drivers, pricing nearly equivalent quotes for these groups. Insurers were more varied in their approach to quoting widowed drivers. Typically, widowed drivers see some discount relative to single and divorced drivers but still pay slightly more than married drivers on average.
Annual full coverage car insurance quotes by marital status
How location influences vehicle insurance quotes
Car insurance is regulated at the state level, so auto insurance quotes often vary drastically depending on where you live.
Furthermore, accidents are more likely to happen in dense, urban areas, so drivers in large cities often get higher quotes than people in rural communities.
Annual full coverage car insurance quotes by state, from cheapest to most expensive
How credit score impacts car insurance quotes
Insurance companies often use drivers' credit scores to determine quotes. Drivers with excellent or good credit are typically seen as less risky to insure than drivers with poor or no credit. As a result, drivers with better credit tend to receive cheaper quotes relative to drivers with poor credit, all else being equal.
Our analysis found that for minimum coverage policies, drivers with good credit receive quotes that are 35% less expensive than those with poor credit.
Some states — California, Massachusetts and Hawaii — have banned the practice of using credit scores in determining insurance quotes, and a few others are considering adopting similar legislation. In these states, your credit score should not influence your auto quote.
Here we list the annual insurance quotes for 13 of the largest U.S. insurers to illustrate how having a good credit score can help you save on car insurance.
Annual minimum coverage car insurance quotes by credit score
|Insurer||Poor credit||Excellent credit||Difference|
|Farm Bureau Insurance||$436||$320||-27%|
|Auto-Owners Insurance Co||$649||$347||-46%|
How coverage types affect auto insurance quotes
When purchasing auto insurance, your quote will depend on the type of policy you select.
- A minimum coverage policy meets the minimum legal requirements for car insurance in any given state.
- A full coverage policy typically adds comprehensive and collision coverage, and therefore costs more. Full coverage, however, provides more protection for damage to your car.
The costs of both full and minimum coverage policies depend on several factors described below.
Nearly every state has some minimum coverage requirements for drivers to legally operate on the road. However, state requirements vary drastically from state to state.
- Most states require some form of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, though the actual coverage limits required can differ. The higher the coverage limits required, the more expensive the policy.
- Some states require some form of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, whose limits can also vary and affect quotes.
- A few states mandate some amount of personal injury protection (PIP), which can add to policy costs. Michigan, in fact, requires drivers to carry unlimited PIP coverage, and as a result, drivers in Michigan get more expensive car insurance quotes than in any other state.
Annual car insurance quotes for full and minimum coverage by state, from most expensive to cheapest
|Rank||State||Full coverage quote||Minimum coverage quote||Difference|
Insurers price premiums based on the risk or likelihood of claim filings. Typically, denser urban areas experience a higher frequency of car accidents and in turn, claim filings.
As a result, drivers in densely populated areas are likely to pay more for car insurance than those in less dense areas. Rhode Island and New Jersey, for example, are the only states with more than 1,000 residents per square mile, and both are in the top 10 for most expensive auto insurance quotes.
Local market and risk profiles
Because auto insurance is regulated at the state level, they often function as distinct insurance markets with different carriers operating across states.
Insurance companies all have their own proprietary mechanisms to assess risk, bundle coverage types and price auto insurance quotes, so some insurers cost more than others. The rates available to drivers depend on the insurers operating in their state.
Some states may statistically have higher risk profiles than others. If a state, or even a city within it, demonstrates a consistently high frequency of accidents and claim filings, insurers will increase quotes accordingly.
How vehicle type affects auto insurance quotes
Car insurance quotes can vary substantially depending on the type of vehicle you drive.
While higher-value cars are typically more expensive to insure, this trend is not always the case, as demonstrated below.
Here we list annual car insurance quotes for the Honda Civic EX — our sample car in the rest of our analysis — against some of the country's top-selling vehicles, including a pickup truck (Ford F-150), SUV (Toyota RAV4) and sedan (Toyota Camry).
Annual full coverage car insurance quotes by vehicle type
|Type||Model||Annual insurance quote||MSRP|
|Sedan||2015 Honda Civic EX||$2,991||N/A|
|Electric||2019 Tesla Model 3||$4,237||$35,000|
|Convertible||2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club||$3,131||$29,590|
|Sedan||2019 Ford F-150 XL||$2,898||$28,155|
|Minivan||2019 Dodge Grand Caravan GT||$3,163||$27,040|
|SUV||2019 Toyota RAV4 LE||$3,060||$25,650|
|Crossover||2019 Nissan Rogue S||$3,174||$25,020|
|Pick-up truck||2019 Toyota Camry L||$3,360||$24,095|
|Hybrid||2019 Kia Niro EX||$3,278||$23,490|
How different insurers price car insurance quotes
Different companies can offer the same driver drastically different car insurance quotes. This is among the most important reasons to compare auto insurance quotes when shopping.
Below, we offer an example of how insurers offer different annual rates for a 25-year-old sample motorist. Insurers will charge the same young driver a wide range of quotes.
Annual full coverage auto insurance quotes, by insurer
How have auto insurance quotes changed over the years?
Over the course of the past decade, insurers have steadily increased rates year after year, and several trends suggest that drivers could continue to pay more for car insurance in 2020 and beyond.
One major factor likely contributing to rate increases is profit loss. On average, the largest U.S. insurers have not experienced an underwriting profit for some time — even in spite of consistent rate increases. Insurers typically raise rates to offset losses. In the graph below, you can see the 10 largest U.S. insurers, on average, had year-on-year profit loss of 3.3% and in turn increased rates by 4.4%.
Several trends are contributing to insurer profit loss. These include:
- High frequency of natural disasters: Natural disasters and other climate-related incidents have created substantial losses for insurers over the past decade. Weather-related events like hurricanes Sandy, Michael, Florence and Irma collectively caused billions of dollars worth of damage and in turn insurance losses, as natural disasters are typically covered by comprehensive car insurance.
- Increase in fatal car crashes: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that fatal car accidents have steadily increased in the United States, from 30,202 in 2013 to 34,247 in 2017. While fatal accidents from distracted driving have somewhat tapered, the overall net increase in fatal crashes is alarming for road safety. More deadly accidents also lead to a higher frequency of insurer claim payouts and underwriting losses.
- Growing repair costs for vehicles: Automobiles are increasingly laden with sophisticated technology. While drivers can benefit from smart car technology, such transformations typically increase the value of cars and in turn the cost to repair them. Even previously inexpensive repairs like bumper damage can be more costly with new vehicle technology like rearview video systems. Insurers raise consumer premiums to mitigate the risk of higher claim payouts for smarter cars.
What does the future hold for car insurance quotes?
While accurately predicting rate increases is challenging, the trends identified above, especially insurer profit loss, are likely to continue and result in higher premiums for consumers. If these trends slow down, or even reverse, then auto insurance rates may hold steady or decrease.
Because predicting rate changes is difficult, the best way to save money on car insurance is to compare quotes from several insurers. Shopping around for coverage can help you ensure you're paying the cheapest rate possible.
How to get a quote online or with an agent
Whether you choose to get a quote online or through an agent, aim for at least three quotes from three different companies. The more quotes you get, the more options you have.
Getting an insurance quote online — called a direct quote — is probably the fastest and most convenient way to shop for auto insurance. Most of the national insurance companies will quote you a premium for your policy and even close the deal with you online.
You can also enter your ZIP code below to start comparing quotes now.
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Information needed for car insurance quotes
When requesting a quote or submitting a form for a quote online, you'll need to have some personal information about you as a motorist on hand. This is a list of the information you'll commonly be asked for when inquiring about a quote:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Current insurance information (if any)
- Marital status
- The make, model and year of the car you drive
- Whether you purchased the car new or used
- Your car's odometer reading / how much you drive in a year
- Vehicle license plate number
- Driver's license number
- Driving history (any claims, violations or accidents)
Choose a policy and the appropriate coverage limits
The type of auto insurance policy you choose — whether minimum or full coverage — will affect your quote, so it helps to have a general idea of which coverages you'd like before getting one.
We typically recommend all drivers consider purchasing full coverage car insurance, particularly if their vehicle is worth more than $2,000. Additionally, some drivers may need special coverages that increase the price of their auto quote. Gap insurance, for example, is an optional coverage that reimburses drivers financing their vehicle with an auto loan in the event of auto theft or a total loss.
Be sure to consider any unique circumstances that will influence the policy type and coverage options you select when getting a quote. You should also try to determine ahead of time what liability limits you'll select for the following standard coverages:
- Bodily injury liability reimburses medical expenses, emergency services, compensation of lost income and even funeral expenses to another driver for accidents in which you are at fault.
- Property damage liability covers repair and replacement costs of damage to homes, storefronts, vehicles and other property for accidents in which you are at fault.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) offers reimbursement for your own medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault in an accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist offers reimbursement for your bodily injury or property damage expenses for accidents in which the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Comparison shop to find your best rate
After you've gathered relevant personal and vehicle information and chosen your policy type and coverage selections, you're ready to get a quote. A quick and simple way to compare multiple car insurance quotes is to use our tool at the top of the page. You can start by entering your ZIP code.
As an alternative, many insurers offer their own free online quote tools you can access directly through their websites, or you might consider working with an insurance agent to help you with the process.
Should you get a quote online or with an agent?
Quotes can be obtained in several ways, such as in person, over the phone or online. Online (direct) quotes are typically the most convenient, but drivers who prefer a more personal touch may opt to work directly with an agent.
- You can also check quotes on the insurer's website for free. Some companies, such as Progressive, let you see competitors' rates side by side so you can find the best price.
- If you can't get a quote online, try calling an agent at the insurance company you're interested in. With agents, you can either get one company's quotes or quotes from multiple carriers.
Bottom line: Getting quotes online can be more convenient for drivers who prefer using the internet, while calling up an agent offers a direct point of contact for your auto policy.
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