Average Cost of Car Insurance (2020)

The average cost of a car insurance policy is $2,390 per year, or $200 per month, when averaged across states for our sample driver with a full coverage policy.

The average cost of a car insurance policy meeting only the minimum requirements of each state is $937 per year, or $78 per month.

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We've broken down costs by location, company, policy type, vehicles and more, but the price of your policy will be unique to your situation. Always shop through multiple auto insurers, as some may have more favorable rates than others given your driver profile.

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Average car insurance rates by state

Location is an important factor in determining auto insurance rates. Insurance is regulated at the state level, and even within a state, drivers in different ZIP codes can be priced differently.

Consult the following table for the average annual cost of insurance in your state — and how it compares to other states — for both full coverage policies and policies that only meet minimum state requirements.

A minimum coverage policy is the cheapest policy you can buy. As its name suggests, it only meets the minimum requirements for an auto insurance policy in any given state.

A full coverage policy usually adds comprehensive and collision coverage to a minimum coverage policy. It's not as cheap as minimum coverage, but provides you more protection for your car. In this case, we've used full coverage policies with extra liability coverage over state minimums, with details provided in the methodology.

Cost of auto insurance in each state: by price

RankStateFull coverageMinimum coverageDifference
2Rhode Island$3,847$1,589$2,258
8New Jersey$3,013$1,182$1,831
9Washington D.C.$2,793$1,260$1,533
10New York$2,752$1,323$1,429
13 (tie)Connecticut$2,619$1,192$1,428
13 (tie)Georgia$2,619$1,114$1,505
21South Dakota$2,338$420$1,917
27New Mexico$2,194$699$1,495
29West Virginia$2,131$685$1,447
34South Carolina$2,013$854$1,158
35New Hampshire$2,004$643$1,361
36North Dakota$1,979$528$1,451
49North Carolina$1,434$542$892
Rates are the average annual premium for a policy across insurers.

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We found that the three most expensive states for full coverage car insurance are:

StateCost per yearCost per month
Rhode Island$3,847$321

The three cheapest states for full coverage car insurance are:

StateCost per yearCost per month
North Carolina$1,434$120

Shoppers looking to fulfill their auto insurance requirement as cheaply as possible can buy a policy with the minimum required coverage in their state. The three cheapest states for a minimum coverage car insurance policy are:

StateCost per yearCost per month
South Dakota$420$35

The three most expensive states for minimum coverage car insurance are:

StateCost per yearCost per month
Rhode Island$1,589$132

How much car insurance costs by company

Below we've listed average rates for full coverage auto insurance and minimum coverage auto insurance by company.

Erie is the cheapest car insurance company for a full coverage policy, while Farm Bureau is the cheapest for a minimum coverage policy. For both types of policies, Farmers is the most expensive on average.

Full coverage insurance costs by company:

RankInsurerAnnual premium
2State Farm$1,737
3Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,781
4American Family$2,041
5Auto-Owners Insurance Co$2,112
USAA is not ranked as only current and former military members and their families are eligible for a policy.

Average costs decline over 60% and rankings change slightly if you're only looking for an auto insurance policy that meets your state's minimum requirements instead of a full coverage policy.

Minimum coverage insurance costs by company:

RankInsurerAnnual premium
1Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$436
3Auto-Owners Insurance Co$649
4State Farm$712
5American Family$811
USAA is not ranked as only current and former military members and their families are eligible for a policy.

Car insurance rates by age and gender

Auto insurance quotes also vary depending on the driver's age and their years of experience. Young and inexperienced drivers tend to be more dangerous behind the wheel, which is why insurance companies charge them higher auto insurance rates.

For example, an 18-year-old driver pays more than twice as much as a 25-year-old driver for auto insurance with all other factors held equal. Average rates gradually decrease with each year at young ages.

Graph of car insurance rates by age
Graph of car insurance rates by age

Among drivers that are 30 or older, auto insurance rates vary little by gender. But among younger drivers, males can be charged 10% or more than their female counterparts.

Driver profileAnnual auto insurance premium
18-year-old female$6,797
18-year-old male$7,561

Why is this the case? Insurance companies look at data trends showing that in comparison to young women, young men tend to:

  • Drive more often
  • Receive more speeding tickets
  • Be involved in more accidents
  • Receive more DUI convictions

Because of the increased likelihood that the car insurance company will have to pay out for a claim by insuring these drivers, they often charge young men more for coverage.

These differences in rates do not hold true in all states, however. The following states preclude insurers from using gender when setting auto insurance rates.

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Parts of Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

This means that males and females in the state will pay the same amount for car insurance in those locations, provided all other factors affecting rates are equal.

How much is the average cost of car insurance by vehicle?

Car insurance costs can differ based on vehicle make and model.

We found that rates for the Honda Civic EX, our base car, were the most expensive when compared to the most recent base models of the country's top-selling pickup (Ford F-150), SUV (Toyota RAV4) and sedan (Toyota Camry).

Car modelAverage annual insurance rateMSRP
2015 Honda Civic EX$937Not applicable
2019 Toyota Camry L$934$24,095
2019 Toyota RAV4 LE$898$25,650
2019 Ford F-150 XL$888$28,155

The higher Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of an SUV or pickup may lead people to believe they'll pay commensurately higher insurance premiums, but this is not always true. As our data shows, the Ford F-150 has the cheapest annual insurance premium, despite having the highest MSRP. Superior safety features and a lower chance of a total loss are likely contributing factors in making bigger cars cheaper to insure.

Average cost of car insurance before and after an accident

Insurance companies price their policies based on risk, and a driver who has a history of accidents will be charged higher rates.

Among our 13 sample insurers, insurance rates rose by 41% on average after an accident.

CompanyRates, clean recordRates, one accidentPercentage increase
State Farm$1,737$2,07519%
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,781$2,67550%
American Family$2,041$2,96245%
Auto-Owners Insurance Co$2,112$2,74230%
Rates are an annual average for our sample driver with a full coverage policy.

Progressive saw the largest increase in insurance rates, with premiums going up by almost 60% for a driver with one at-fault accident on his record. Conversely, State Farm penalized drivers the least after one crash. Its rates increased by only 19% for our sample driver.

Drivers who have a history of accidents or traffic violations should take special care to shop around for auto insurance policies. Your combination of accident history, vehicle, location and other factors may be priced entirely differently with another insurance company, and switching to an equivalent policy with a rival insurer has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars per year.

How much is car insurance for drivers with good credit?

Drivers with good credit are considered lower-risk by insurance companies and, as a result, can receive substantial savings on their auto insurance policies.

We found that if our sample driver had an excellent credit history, he received an average discount of 35% on his annual premium compared to if he had poor or no credit history, across our sample insurers.

CompanyPoor or no creditExcellent creditDiscount
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$436$32027%
Auto-Owners Insurance Co$649$34746%
State Farm$716$37548%
American Family$811$4969%
Rates are an annual average for our sample driver with a minimum required coverage policy.

Farmers gave our sample driver the biggest discount for excellent credit, more than halving his quote, and going from the most expensive insurer (13th) to the 9th most expensive in the process.

Metropolitan had the smallest discount, and as a consequence ranked as the most expensive insurer for our sample driver with excellent credit.

What else can affect average car insurance rates?

We've discussed how the following factors affect your car insurance premiums:

  • Company
  • State of residence
  • Policy coverage
  • Age
  • Vehicle type
  • Accident and credit history

But there are even more factors that can affect your car insurance rates:

  • Driving experience
  • Location within a state
  • Insurance and claims history
  • Mileage
  • Discounts

Driving experience: Age affects car insurance rates, but so does the number of years you've been insured.

If you're a 30-year-old who's held an insurance policy and been licensed since they were 16, you're likely to get a cheaper rate than another 30-year-old who just took up driving.

Location within a state: Auto insurance is regulated differently in each state, leading to average prices for a full coverage policy ranging from just under $1,300 (Maine) to over $8,700 (Michigan). But even within a state, insurers considered certain locations, or territories in insurance terms, to be higher risk.

If you live in an area an insurer considers higher risk due to its rate of crashes, weather or crime, you may be subject to a higher rate than an equivalent driver living elsewhere.

Insurance and claims history: If you've maintained continuous auto insurance coverage, your insurer will be more confident that you've protected yourself and will usually charge a lower rate. Likewise, if you have a history of holding auto insurance policies without filing claims, you'll get cheaper rates than someone who has filed claims in the past.

Mileage: Cars that are driven less frequently are less likely to be involved in a crash or other damaging event. Vehicles with lower annual mileage may qualify for slightly lower rates.

Discounts: Auto insurance companies offer a variety of discounts for those who take steps to become safer drivers or demonstrate responsible behavior. For example, adults can take defensive driving lessons, while young adults can qualify for good student discounts.

Forget the averages, how much is auto insurance for me?

Our estimates are a good starting point, but the only way to find the cheapest — and best-fitting — car insurance for you is to obtain quotes and shop around your options, either with your own research or by talking to an agent or broker. How expensive or cheap your policy will be depends on how your profile fits the factors we've discussed.

To find the best car insurance for you, you should:

  • Comparison shop online, or
  • Talk to an insurance agent or broker

You can shop for car insurance yourself online, but be sure to keep track of the coverages selected by you and offered by insurers to ensure you're making a fair comparison.

Alternatively, you can talk to an insurance agent or insurance broker who can help you find the best combination of price and fit. You should be aware, however, that agents and brokers operate on commission paid by the insurers themselves. Independent agents work for multiple insurance companies and can compare among them, whereas captive agents work for only one insurance company.

Given the different rating methodologies and factors used by insurers, no single insurance company will be best for everyone. To get a better understanding of your typical car insurance cost, spend some time comparing quotes across companies with your chosen method.


We collected quotes across 50 states and Washington, D.C. for 51 insurance companies. Although 51 insurance companies were included in the analysis, insurance company rates were only included in our company lists if their policies were available in at least five states.

Our base driver was a 30-year-old male who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX, and quotes were drawn from all available ZIP codes in each state. The driver was profiled as having no credit history, which makes him equivalent to a driver with below-fair to poor credit, according to our data source, Quadrant Information Services.

When our driver had a full coverage policy, we gave him coverage limits slightly above any one state's minimum requirements.

Full coverage policy

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily liability$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist BI$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Comprehensive & collision$500 deductible
Personal injury protectionMin. when required by state

Our rates for minimum coverage policies represent the average cost of a policy that meets any state's minimum required auto insurance coverage.

Data on age and gender were drawn solely from the 10 most populous states.

ValuePenguin's 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 — your own 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.