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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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A car insurance rate chart is chart that provides average rates for the cost of car insurance based on one of a variety of different factors. Essentially, it will show you the average cost of insurance by vehicle make, by city, by state, by age or even by provider. Car insurance rate charts are difficult to find, but when you do find them, they can be extremely useful.
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By using car insurance rate charts, you will have the knowledge to make some important choices that will affect your car insurance for years to come. This is especially true if you are in the market for a new car.
Knowing which ones are more costly to insure beforehand will give you a better cost of ownership idea before you commit to your next vehicle. Using rate charts will also help shorten the amount of time you take to shop around for coverage.
Factors That Affect Rates
There is a wide variety of factors that can affect the rates for your car insurance coverage. Some of these are demographic, such as where you live. In general, rates are higher for city dwellers than for those who reside in rural areas. Other demographics like age and gender can also affect how much you pay for car insurance.
The driving record for you and all the other drivers in your house significantly affects your car insurance rates. In fact, it is the single most important factor in determining cost of insurance. Therefore if you or a family member has had accidents or infractions in the past three years, you will find that your rates are higher than average.
The type of car you have also determines the rates you will pay for coverage. Different makes, cost of parts, scarcity of the vehicle and other information make up the impact a vehicle will have on your car insurance rating.
How much you use your car will also affect your rate, with lower annual mileage earning better rates. To learn more about car insurance rates, visit the Insurance Information Institute.
Beyond the Average Cost
Car insurance rate charts are typically created according to the industry average. What this means is the cost of insurance for many people in the group being considered will be similar to the average cost given. However, if you are on the extreme end as a driver, your coverage cost may be very different.
Impeccable drivers can expect to have an even lower rate, while those with poor driving records can expect to have a much higher than average rate. If you are a very new, inexperienced driver, you will also pay much more than an older, experienced driver. If you have a high-end sports car, your rates will be much higher than if you drive a popular mini-van.
The average cost of coverage quoted in a car insurance rate chart will also represent an average amount of coverage. If you typically carry the lowest level of coverage that the state mandates, you may find that you pay less than the average for coverage. If you usually go for full coverage on your vehicle, you will find that the amount you will actually pay is somewhat higher than the average.
Car Insurance Rate Charts by State
Consulting a car insurance rate chart that looks at all the states can be quite interesting. For most people it really just provides some general information about how their state ranks in terms of the cost of insurance.
However, for those who are considering relocating to a new state, such a chart can provide useful information about how much they will need to spend on car insurance coverage. Such cost of living information is often considered when making decisions about whether to move.
When looking at a state-by-state car insurance rate chart, Louisiana is the single most expensive place to insure a vehicle. This may be because of the higher than usual risk of flooding and the high payouts that were done following Hurricane Katrina. Michigan is the second most costly state for car insurance.
Many of the states nationwide lie somewhere in the middle of the average costs for car insurance. The cheapest states for coverage are Vermont, Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Car Insurance Rate Charts by Car
Probably the most helpful type of car insurance rate charts is the one that provides average prices for specific makes and models. Many of the popular mini-vans are found to be very inexpensive to insure. These include the Chrysler Town and Country LX, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. The Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport are some of the other least expensive models to insure.
Amongst the car models, you will find topping the chart as the most expensive to insure are several Mercedes models, BMW, Aston Martin, and Porsche. This is primarily because these cars have very high manufacturer suggested retail price and are sports cars.
To get an average of what it costs to insure a given model, check out NewCar.com, which offers a comprehensive cost of ownership breakdown on all makes, models, and most model years.
Car Insurance Rate Charts by Company
Some states offer a car insurance rate chart by actual car insurance companies. If your state offers this information, it can be very helpful in narrowing down which companies to even consider for your insurance needs. You will quickly learn that based on the exact same information, some companies are much higher than its competitors on average and others are much lower.
The reasons for such discrepancies are many. Underwriting guidelines vary greatly from one insurer to another, based on decisions that have been strategically made by the insurance company.
Most companies feel that certain information is more indicative of being a responsible driver than other information, leading them to weigh factors differently. This makes the difference as to how much they charge and why one person gets different price quotes from different companies.
Some companies want to target a specific clientele and do so through underwriting. This can help them limit their clientele to fewer people, who are less of an insurance risk. Alternatively, it can also help a company get a larger number of customers on their books; however, they are likely to be higher risk.
Checking Out Insurers
Before you make the final decision of which car insurance company will get your business, it makes sense to make sure they deserve your business. Car insurance companies vary greatly and some are much better or much worse than others are. Consider several aspects before making your decision.
The company you choose should be financially solid with a positive outlook. This means that you can count on them being able to pay any claims you have now and in the near future.
You can find out if the company you are considering is financially strong by getting its independent insurance rating from one of the companies that assign those grades, such as A.M. Best or Weiss Ratings.
You will also want to know how a company deals with customer complaints, because every insurer will have some.
Your state’s department of insurance should make information available about complaints against insurers and how they are resolved. Such information is also found through organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
What customers say about the insurance providers they use is another important piece of the puzzle when choosing car insurance. J.D. Power and Associates compiles a National Auto Insurance Study annually. It is based on information provided by actual insurance customers. This is powerful information as it essentially word of mouth advertising for the 21st century, and of course word of mouth is the best advertising possible.
To Use or Not to Use Car Insurance Rate Charts
Many people may question the validity of car insurance rate charts. Yet, for the most part, they are a very reliable form of information. This is particularly true if they are recent and from a reliable source, like a state department of insurance.
Even commercial car insurance sites typically take the time to research well before putting information on their sites, in order to build confidence with potential clients.
Car insurance rate charts are typically an accurate reflection of how car insurance averages. They are a very useful starting point when shopping for coverage.
You will be able to generalize such as whether a certain car is very costly to insure or not or whether a particular insurance company is much less expensive than the rest. Bear in mind that your actual insurance cost will depend on your own personal data.
Before you start checking out companies, narrow your choices down based on price quotes. Get as many quotes as you can in order to find the absolute best possible deal from the best company.
Click here to find out the actual cost of your car insurance by inputting your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool now!