What are some of the facts about car insurance in the United States?

The average United States car insurance rates are $79.58/mo for full coverage. 48 out of 50 states have minimum car insurance requirements for all drivers.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Where you live affects your car insurance rates
  • There are a variety of personal factors that contribute to the cost of your premiums
  • You could be eligible for several discounts on your car insurance

There are a lot of facts about car insurance in the U.S., but one of the most fundamental facts is that in almost every state, you are required to carry auto insurance on any registered vehicle.

The biggest difference is the amount of insurance that you might be required to buy as well as the type of insurance you may be required to purchase.

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The national average for the cost of car insurance was $841 in 2013. Before you get upset and decide that you simply cannot afford this amount, keep in mind that this isn’t the national average of cost for the minimum state requirements.

It includes every type of auto insurance paid for, such as comprehensive coverage, higher coverages, roadside service, etc.

You could, conceivably, pay much lower car insurance rates depending on your situation as well as how much insurance you need to purchase. It must be said, however, that you may pay more as well. Again, this depends on a number of factors.

Facts about Location and Rates

One of the first things that you need to realize is that where you live has a major effect on the total cost of your auto insurance. For example, some states have higher average rates than others.

In New Jersey, the 2013 average was $1,254 while in Wyoming it was $639, about a $600 difference. That is pretty significant.

Your rates will be affected for better or worse based on your zip code as well. An area of Florida that is less populated and experiences few accidents will have lower costs for auto insurance than, for example, Miami or Orlando will.

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Other Facts that Impact Your Rates

Another thing that affects your rates is how much coverage you need:

  • State minimum requirements – This insurance covers the damage done to another vehicle when you have caused an accident. This insurance does not cover your own personal costs, there is a separate insurance for this called collision coverage.
  • Comprehensive and collision – If you are leasing your vehicle or it is financed, then you probably signed an agreement with your lender that you would maintain comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the minimums required by the state.In some cases, you will even be told the minimum amount of comprehensive and collision coverage that you are required to carry, but that is more the exception than the rule.


  • Age –Your age will also be considered when you are buying auto insurance. If you are under the age of 25 you will pay more than someone over 25. If you are a teen then you can expect to pay two to three times more than an adult over the age of 25.

Other factors used to determine your insurance rates include your driving record, your grades if you are currently in school, whether you are purchasing multiple policies, the type of vehicle you drive, what kind of safety features are on your vehicle and more.

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Facts on Different Types of Insurance

There are many different types of insurance that you can purchase:

  • Property – This insurance is meant to cover the cost of all the damages to the other vehicle when you cause an accident. If you don’t have enough of this type of coverage, then you will be responsible for the difference in cost.
  • Bodily injury – You are usually required to purchase two tiers of bodily injury coverage:
  1. One tier covers the cost of a single injury in an accident that you have caused.
  2. The other tier covers the cost of all of the injuries that are caused by the accident. This will actually include your passengers as well as any pedestrians or passengers/drivers from the other vehicles, but not you. Don’t forget, none of your liability insurance covers your property damage or your injuries.
  • PIP – You can also purchase PIP (personal injury protection) if you want to ensure that you have coverage if you are in an accident. There is a deductible for this insurance, usually $1,000, but you can lower it if you want.
    In no-fault states, PIP coverage is usually required in addition to your liability insurance. If you have health insurance, then you should purchase the minimum PIP coverage and let your health insurance cover your injuries if you are in an auto accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Many insurance agents recommend this coverage as well, as it helps to cover your costs if someone else causes an accident and doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the damages or even worse, doesn’t have any insurance at all.
  • Comprehensive – This coverage is an important addition if you have a vehicle that is in good to great condition. This insurance, which is a requirement if you are financing or leasing a vehicle, provides coverage for pretty much any act of nature as well as theft or vandalism.
    • In some states, you will have to check for coverage against things like flooding, as this may be something that requires an additional rider and a higher cost.
  • Collision – This covers your vehicle if you hit anything. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, your lender will require this coverage, if not, you should consider this coverage if your vehicle has value and is worth repairing if you have an accident.

Most insurance companies offer a series of other types of coverage that cost a couple of dollars a month. These include roadside assistance, rental car insurance and so on. Get rate quotes at no charge with an unbiased third party auto insurance quotes tool provided on this page!

Facts on Saving Money on Your Car Insurance

You can save money on your auto insurance a number of ways, some of which are fully dependent on the insurance company that you choose. Most offer discounts for:

  • Safe drivers
  • Drivers who take defensive driving courses
  • Having multiple policies from the same company
  • Being married
  • Having a college degree
  • Modern safety
  • Anti-theft devices

You are going to save the most money if you take the time to compare insurance rates between companies. To do that, you are going to need an auto insurance quote.

If you click on the link on this page, you will be taken to our reliable and free quote tool. After answering a few questions, you will receive a quote for your auto insurance from several companies.

You can compare the prices all in one place and see what different levels of coverage will cost you. This makes it easy for you to choose the coverage that fits into your budget.

Even if you currently have auto insurance, using this tool will ensure that your insurance company is giving you the best rate.

In fact, you should get a quote annually as car insurance rates fluctuate regularly and often your insurance company doesn’t reflect the lowest rates when it is time for you to re-sign.

Fast, free and easy, give it a try by entering your zip code today!

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