Auto Insurance Statistics and Facts

Auto Insurance Statistics and Facts

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Americans spend an average of $2,361 per year, or $197 per month, on car insurance. At the national level, this means the cost of auto insurance equals 3.9% of the typical household's income, though this number depends on how much coverage costs in each state. The combined net premiums across the entire country totaled $254 billion in 2020, up 51% from 2011.

Car insurance is getting more expensive, too. From 2016 to 2020, car insurance rates went up by an average of 4.5%, falling only in 2020 because of the pandemic. At the state level, there were no states where auto insurance rates became more affordable, on average.

Car insurance cost statistics

The average yearly cost of auto insurance is $2,361, and the monthly cost is $197. The average cost of bodily injury liability coverage is $538 per year, and the average cost of property damage liability is $274 per year. Drivers are almost always required to buy liability coverage to drive legally.

The most expensive part of full coverage car insurance is collision protection, which insurers usually require to be purchased along with comprehensive coverage. The average cost of auto collision coverage is $889 per year. With comprehensive coverage — which costs $363 — the premium for both forms of coverage comes to $1,252.

Average cost of car insurance, by state

While the average yearly car insurance payment is $2,361 across every state and the District of Columbia, the cost of coverage at the state level can vary significantly. For instance, in Michigan, car insurance costs 254% more per year than the national average.

In Maine, the cost of car insurance is 41% cheaper than average.

The cost of comprehensive and collision coverage also varies by state. The cheapest state for adding comprehensive and collision to a policy is Washington, where both forms of coverage cost a combined $767 per year.

Rank
State
Cost
Liability
Property damage
Collision
Comprehensive
1Michigan$8,362$574$63$2,269$992
2Louisiana$4,184$1,110$358$1,832$872
3Rhode Island$3,559$913$650$1,520$244
4Nevada$3,077$1,152$318$926$218
5Arizona$3,003$808$389$1,102$394
6Delaware$2,875$895$372$939$181
7Florida$2,851$739$375$584$224
8New Jersey$2,767$701$328$889$191
9Missouri$2,763$694$227$1,030$663
10New York$2,730$592$342$871$295
11Kentucky$2,699$675$306$810$363
12District of Columbia$2,680$760$384$1,122$286
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States ordered highest to lowest by cost.

In many states, lawmakers require drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP). This protection, also called at-fault car coverage, pays for injuries that result from a crash no matter which driver was responsible for the accident. On average, the yearly PIP premium is $158 — but it can be much higher depending on where the driver lives. For example, PIP requirements in Michigan are higher than in other states, and PIP costs $4,180 per year.

Cost of car insurance compared to income

The average yearly cost of auto insurance takes up different amounts of drivers' incomes depending on the state they live in. Because of differences in household income levels, the cost of coverage can take up a larger share of income in certain states, even when premiums are relatively low.

For example, Mississippi ranks 30th for most expensive premiums by state but ninth for car insurance premiums compared to income. New Jersey, on the other hand, has the eighth most expensive car insurance rates but ranks 29th for cost relative to income.

The cost of car insurance in Michigan totals nearly 15% of median household income, making it the state with the highest cost relative to income.

Rank
State
Percentage of income
1Michigan14.6%
2Louisiana8.5%
3Kentucky5.3%
4Rhode Island5.3%
5Florida5.1%
6Nevada5.1%
7Arizona5.1%
8Missouri5.0%
9Mississippi4.8%
10Arkansas4.5%
11Oklahoma4.5%
12New Mexico4.5%
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States listed by largest percentage of income taken up by insurance costs.

Car insurance rate increases by year

Car insurance rates have gone up in the last five years. Insurance premiums increased at an average rate of 4.5% from 2016 to 2020. In 2020, rates decreased for the only time in this five-year period, but only by 1% and largely due to the influence the COVID-19 pandemic had on the number of drivers on the road.

Physical damage coverage went up by just 0.4% from 2016 to 2020, falling twice in the last two years of complete data.

Data indicates that the cost of car insurance rose again in 2021. Partway through 2021, approved rate changes totaled an increase of 0.4% compared to the previous year. As drivers continue to return to the road at normal levels, consumers can expect premiums to continue to rise.

Year
Liability
Physical damage
20168.3%2.9%
20179.6%3.3%
20183.5%0.2%
20192.0%-1.6%
2020-1.0%-3.0%

Auto insurance rate statistics by state

While rates increased on average from 2016 to 2020, the cost of car insurance also increased in every state. Rates for liability coverage increased by 59.1% in Georgia during this period, the largest move upward of any state. Rates were most stable in Hawaii, where approved rate changes totaled 2.5%.

Rates for physical damage were more likely to fall. In five states, average rates for physical damage car insurance dropped from 2016 to 2020. These states were North Carolina, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Hawaii and New Jersey.

Rank
State
Liability
Physical damage
1Georgia59.1%5.7%
2Nevada56.5%6.8%
3South Carolina48.7%4.7%
4Michigan48.6%9.6%
5Colorado45.7%25.1%
6Utah42.3%12.4%
7Louisiana41.5%2.5%
8Arizona37.9%17.7%
9Florida36.5%8.0%
10New York36.4%12.5%
11Missouri35.4%11.0%
12Washington29.7%7.1%
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Average cumulative change from 2016 to 2020, table ordered by liability rate changes.Wyoming does not submit data

Biggest car insurance companies in the US

The largest car insurance provider in the country by both market share and premiums written for liability policies is State Farm. State Farm has a market share of 16.5% and wrote more than $16 billion in premiums in 2020. The value of the premiums State Farm wrote in 2020 was more than $105 million lower than in 2018.

Among the 10 largest auto insurance providers in the country, six insurers (Geico, Progressive, Allstate, USAA, Liberty Mutual and Travelers) increased the value of their direct written premiums from 2018 to 2020. Of these, Progressive had the largest increase in premiums written — an increase valued at more than $2.2 billion.

Rank
Group
Market share (%)
Direct premiums written (2020)
2019
2018
1State Farm16.5%$16,799,651,000$16,723,811,000$16,905,343,000
2Geico13.2%$13,405,423,000$13,786,233,000$12,882,533,000
3Progressive11.6%$11,834,111,000$11,058,837,000$9,588,258,000
4Allstate10.9%$11,078,003,000$11,254,010,000$10,628,796,000
5USAA6.9%$7,009,243,000$6,689,878,000$6,244,151,000
6Liberty Mutual4.8%$4,935,491,000$4,858,973,000$4,889,607,000
7Farmers4.7%$4,748,393,000$5,059,028,000$5,104,192,000
8Nationwide2.5%$2,530,360,000$2,649,232,000$2,806,846,000
9American Family Insurance2.0%$2,028,347,000$2,275,393,000$2,281,199,000
10Travelers1.9%$1,912,937,000$1,896,795,000$1,793,351,000

Premiums are for liability policies.

ValuePenguin also analyzed loss ratios — claims paid plus expenses divided by the value of written premiums — among the largest car insurance providers. Among the 10 largest providers, each improved its loss ratio compared to 2018. USAA's loss ratio improved the most, shrinking by 15.5 percentage points from 76.2% to 60.7%.

Rank
Group
Adjusted loss ratio (2020)
2019
2018
1State Farm62.4%68.7%63.2%
2Geico62.7%66.4%65.6%
3Progressive58.8%64.3%63.7%
4Allstate47.3%53.7%53.0%
5USAA60.7%74.5%76.2%
6Liberty Mutual47.0%56.5%53.4%
7Farmers51.5%60.6%56.6%
8Nationwide53.3%58.9%58.2%
9American Family Insurance55.2%63.8%68.7%
10Travelers50.8%59.5%58.7%

Auto insurance loss ratios, by state

The average cumulative loss ratio across all auto insurance companies from 2016 to 2020 was 68% for liability policies and 62% for physical damage. Loss ratios can vary by state, differing from each other and from the loss ratios recorded by the largest national insurers. A higher loss ratio may suggest that remaining profitable in a given state is more difficult than at a national level.

For liability coverage, loss ratios were highest from 2016 to 2020 in Michigan — by far. Insurers in the state posted an average loss ratio of 117.9% during this time period. Conversely, in West Virginia, insurers had a cumulative loss ratio of 53.4% for liability, the best of any state.

Insurance providers in Wyoming had the worst collective loss ratio for physical damage compared to those in any other state. In the state, the loss ratio from 2016 to 2020 was 82.3%. On the other hand, insurers in Hawaii had the best loss ratio for physical damage (48.7%), along with the only loss ratio less than 50% during the period.

Rank
State
Liability
Physical damage
1Michigan117.9%60.1%
2New York77.2%63.5%
3Georgia76.7%59.2%
4Louisiana76.3%67.2%
5New Jersey75.9%61.4%
6Delaware74.7%59.0%
7Texas74.5%68.2%
8North Carolina74.4%57.2%
9Nevada74.0%60.6%
10Florida74.0%63.4%
11South Carolina73.8%61.1%
12Rhode Island73.8%62.0%
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Average cumulative loss ratio from 2016 to 2020, ordered by liability column.

Methodology

ValuePenguin collected data on auto insurance in the United States using S&P Global Market Intelligence tools and archived data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Historical rate data was compiled from average yearly changes from every insurance group in every state.

Researchers analyzed the average cost of car insurance by coverage type and annual premium by gathering rates for a 30-year-old male driver with no accidents or history of insurance, driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. This analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quotes may be different.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.