What is the average car insurance rate in the U.S.?

The average car insurance rate in the U.S. is $130/mo, but this cost can vary widely based on the state you live in and the level of coverage you choose. Use a quote comparison website like this one to see how different levels of insurance impact your auto insurance rates. Enter your ZIP code below to see how your quotes compare to the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 31, 2020

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When looking at the global economy, American drivers do not spend the most on car insurance, but their premiums are not the cheapest either. To find a comprehensive, cheap car insurance quote depends on a couple of factors. If you are interested in the average cost of car insurance in the United States, the most and least expensive areas to drive, and how to save thousands on your auto insurance bill, keep reading.

U.S. Average for Car Insurance

Even though car insurance premiums have dropped steadily over the last five years, insurance is still a substantial expense. The average American pays $785 per year for car insurance, based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ 2009 data. The cost can rise or fall dramatically based on the state where you live, the city where your vehicle is stored, and the policy options you choose. See if you can beat the average car insurance by entering in your ZIP code and receive FREE car insurance quotes yourself!

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Highest Insurance Rates

If you live in the one of the most expensive states, you will pay nearly $500 more for the same liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage than drivers in the least expensive states. As of 2009, drivers in these states pay the highest car insurance premiums:

  • New Jersey: $1,101
  • Louisiana: $1,099
  • New York: $1,057
  • Delaware: $1,021
  • Florida: $1,006
  • Rhode Island: $969
  • Connecticut: $952
  • Nevada: $944
  • Maryland: $929

Several factors cause insurance companies to raise rates for a state overall. These triggers include a high number of uninsured motorists, numerous claims due to accidents or natural disasters, and a high rate of thefts or vandalism. Despite these conditions, rates can still vary from one insurer to another. Savvy drivers use insurance comparison websites to shop for the best deals.

Most Expensive Cities

If you own a car in one of these urban areas, long commutes and dense traffic will raise your monthly premiums. In fact, you will likely pay even more than the state average for auto insurance.

  • Detroit
  • Philadelphia
  • New Orleans
  • Miami
  • Baltimore
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas

Even if you live in one of these cities or states with high insurance rates, you can still obtain discount auto insurance. The easiest way is to shop around on insurance comparison sites and select the best quote.

Lowest Insurance Rates

Living in a state filled with good drivers has its benefits. You can save a substantial amount on your auto insurance protection without taking any action yourself. Here are the areas in the United States where you can get the most affordable auto insurance rates:

  • North Dakota: $510
  • South Dakota: $521
  • Iowa: $532
  • Idaho: $555
  • Nebraska: $559
  • Kansas: $578
  • Wisconsin: $591
  • Maine: $598
  • North Carolina: $610
  • Ohio: $616

No matter how cheap your current insurance bill is, you can almost always save more money by comparing car insurance quotes. Just submit some basic information and the free quote comparison site will find the best companies for your insurance needs.

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Shop for the Lowest Quote

If you have lots of free time, you can call each insurance company in the phone book, wait on hold, speak with someone in customer service, and wait up to two weeks to receive your quote in the mail. Then you can compare the different papers, choose a winner, and go through the process again to submit an application.

Otherwise, you can just fill out a short application and have a car insurance quote comparison website do all of the hard work for you. You receive price quotes from several different insurers who are interested in your business. You can compare apples-to-apples quotes whether you:

  • have good credit or bad credit
  • are an experienced driver or still piggybacking off your parents’ policy
  • possess a good driving record or have a few points on your license

Buy the Best Automobile

Best does not necessarily mean the newest or most expensive.

Family-oriented vehicles such as minivans and sedans tend to attract lower insurance rates than convertibles and sports cars. Companies also typically charge cheaper premiums for gas-powered vehicles than for hybrids or electric automobiles, although this situation is slowly changing. If you have not yet purchased a new or used vehicle, you can get quotes for your top picks to see how much you would pay.

Think About Safety

Car insurance companies like safety because it means they must pay out fewer claims. Get a safe car with anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices. Then park it in a safe neighborhood with a low automobile crime rate. Finally, drive the car, SUV, or truck in a safe manner by obeying all traffic regulations and using the procedures taught in a state-approved defensive driving class.

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Ask for Discounts

You can get discounted car insurance from almost any carrier if you ask. Check out good driver discounts, good student discounts, multiple-policy discounts, electronic statement discounts, and more. When you apply for free car insurance quotes online, the price often includes applicable discounts.

Adjust Your Coverage

Every state requires a minimum level of liability coverage, which is the financial protection that kicks in if you injure someone else or damage their property. This type of coverage is also the most expensive component of a car insurance policy.

You will pay higher premiums for higher levels of liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance. At the same time, sticking to the minimum can save you money now but may cost extra in the long run if you get into an expensive collision.

For example, $25,000 in liability insurance may satisfy the state but may not be enough to pay for repairs to the Ferrari you hit. Use a quote website for auto insurance to see how different levels of insurance coverage impact your monthly budget. See if you can put money in your pocket with a cheaper quote by entering in your ZIP code and receive FREE car insurance quotes!


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