Auto insurance prices tend to inch up over time, but they can also go down. By shopping around, you might find that your current insurer offers the cheapest rate for you, or you might find that it’s time to switch.

Several factors go into an auto insurance rate: ZIP code, marital status, annual mileage, driving history and vehicle make, year and model. In most states, your gender and credit history could also be used to determine rates.

Every year car insurance rates for men and women various based on driving and credit histories, in every single state and for every major auto insurance company, so you can compare auto insurance rates with ease and get the cheapest price for you.

Compare sample auto insurance rates by:

  • Age
  • Drivers with a DUI.
  • Drivers with poor credit.
  • Drivers with a recent speeding ticket.
  • Drivers with an at-fault accident.

Compare car insurance rates

Each insurance company evaluates personal factors in its own way, and they keep their methods as hidden as possible. So we can’t tell you which company puts high value in your occupation, or emphasizes a clean driving history more than others. But to help you get going, we can show you average annual rates for minimum and full coverage car insurance policies by state and by company, from the top 10 private passenger auto insurers in the country based on 2019 market share data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Full coverage” policies have higher liability limits and include uninsured motorist protection, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Compare minimum and full coverage rates for 25-year-olds

Drivers around the age of 25 typically get higher car insurance rates because as a group they get into more accidents on average than older drivers.

Rates vary from company to company. For example, full coverage from American Family for a 25-year-old costs $1,386 a year, on average, while the average price from Liberty Mutual is $2,311.

Below you can compare annual rates for 25-year-olds by company and by state. Rates are averaged across the country separately for full and minimum coverage.

Company25-year-old with minimum coverage25-year-old with full coverage
American Family$682$1,386
Liberty Mutual$1,128$2,311
State Farm$703$1,737

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

Average car insurance rates for a 25-year-old driver vary significantly from state to state. Some states, like Maine and Vermont, have average rates under $1,200 a year for full coverage. In other states, such as New Jersey and California, insurance costs more than $2,000 a year, on average, for the same driver profile.

See how your state stacks up below.

State25-year-old with minimum coverage25-year-old with full coverage
District of Columbia$849$1,770
New Hampshire$500$1,269
New Jersey$1,086$2,024
New Mexico$539$1,430
New York$1,067$2,165
North Carolina$446$1,173
North Dakota$449$1,460
Rhode Island$928$1,956
South Carolina$759$1,706
South Dakota$363$1,449
West Virginia$572$1,534

Compare minimum and full coverage rates for 40-year-olds

Drivers around the age of 40 are in a car insurance sweet spot. Because this age group tends to get in fewer accidents than other age groups, they typically can get the cheapest rates. But prices will still vary from company to company. Aside from USAA, which is only available to military, veterans and their families, Geico provides the lowest price for full coverage cost for 40-year-olds at $1,198, on average, while Farmers Insurance comes in at the highest at $1,865, on average.

Compare national average annual car insurance rates for 40-year-olds by company and by state below. Keep in mind that not all of these companies are available in every state.

Company40-year-old with minimum coverage40-year-old with full coverage
American Family$601$1,233
Liberty Mutual$900$1,778
State Farm$624$1,511

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

While average car insurance rates fluctuate by state, 40-year-olds in several states, including Idaho, Indiana and Virginia, can pay less than $1,000 a year, on average, for full coverage policies. Similar drivers in other states could pay less than $2,000 a year for full coverage, on average. Only four states charge more than $2,000 a year to 40-year-old drivers with full coverage car insurance: Kentucky, Michigan, Florida and Louisiana.

See how your state stacks up below.

State40-year-old with minimum coverage40-year-old with full coverage
District of Columbia$755$1,527
New Hampshire$415$1,056
New Jersey$994$1,759
New Mexico$484$1,241
New York$1,026$1,962
North Carolina$411$1,075
North Dakota$400$1,235
Rhode Island$820$1,684
South Carolina$656$1,458
South Dakota$312$1,245
West Virginia$504$1,307

Compare car insurance rates for drivers with a DUI

After a DUI, your auto insurance rate will go up — in some cases, 75% or more. But one thing you can control that can affect rates the most is your insurance company. A DUI can affect car insurance rates for 3 to 10 years, so it’s best to shop around for the best price after getting one.

Below you can compare company averages for 40-year-olds before and after a DUI. Keep in mind that not all of these companies are available in every state.

CompanyDrivers without a DUIDrivers with a DUI
American Family$1,233$1,397
Liberty Mutual$1,778$4,128
State Farm$1,511$2,549

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

While your rate will increase after a DUI, how much it does depends in part on which state you live in. In Missouri, the average rate for drivers with a recent DUI is 43% higher, on average, than for similar drivers with no incidents — $571 more a year. However, a DUI in North Carolina more than tripled average rates in our analysis, adding more than $3,000 to the annual cost of full coverage car insurance for 40-year-old drivers.

See below for how your state measures up.

StateDrivers without a DUIDrivers with a DUI
District of Columbia$1,527$2,571
New Hampshire$1,056$1,866
New Jersey$1,759$3,013
New Mexico$1,241$1,954
New York$1,962$2,960
North Carolina$1,075$4,409
North Dakota$1,235$2,190
Rhode Island$1,684$3,346
South Carolina$1,458$2,203
South Dakota$1,245$2,186
West Virginia$1,307$2,090

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Compare car insurance rates for drivers with poor credit

Your credit history is one of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote in all states except California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. While rates can double in some cases, it’s important to note that every company considers credit very differently, and even among insurers this factor fluctuates by state. Drivers with poor credit insured by Liberty Mutual could pay an average of 40% more — $719 more a year — compared to similar drivers with good credit. Meanwhile, State Farm’s average price for full coverage more than doubles for drivers with poor credit compared to those with good credit.

Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with poor credit by company.

CompanyGood drivers with good creditGood drivers with poor credit
American Family$1,233$2,045
Liberty Mutual$1,778$2,497
State Farm$1,511$3,114

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

Certain states prohibit the use of credit in setting rates, and how insurers treat credit differs from state to state. For example, state legislators in one state may allow more wiggle room for credit-based pricing than others, leading to variations by state.

Our analysis found that:

  • In North Carolina, a driver with poor credit could pay about 33% more than a good credit driver.
  • Having poor credit in Utah doubles the average insurance rate compared to drivers with good credit.
  • Average rates for poor credit drivers in Michigan were about 2.4 times the average rates for good credit drivers.

Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with poor credit by state.

StateGood drivers with good creditGood drivers with poor credit
District of Columbia$1,527$2,756
New Hampshire$1,056$2,162
New Jersey$1,759$3,686
New Mexico$1,241$2,006
New York$1,962$4,233
North Carolina$1,075$1,425
North Dakota$1,235$2,295
Rhode Island$1,684$2,915
South Carolina$1,458$2,984
South Dakota$1,245$2,144
West Virginia$1,307$2,392

*Credit-based pricing is banned in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

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Compare car insurance rates for drivers with a ticket

After you get a speeding ticket, your auto insurance rates will go up — typically about 25%. But the amount your rate goes up depends on the state you live in and your insurance company. American Family’s average rates for drivers with a speeding ticket were 5% more than for drivers with a clean record in our analysis. By contrast, Liberty Mutual’s rates for drivers with a speeding ticket are 34% more than for those with a clean record, on average. Since a ticket can stay on your driving record anywhere from 1 to 3 years, it’s always best to shop around to find the cheapest rates.

Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with a recent ticket by company.

CompanyDrivers with a clean driving historyDrivers with a recent ticket
American Family$1,233$1,289
Liberty Mutual$1,778$2,383
State Farm$1,511$1,784

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

You can also compare car insurance rates by state. In some states like Pennsylvania and Texas, average rates for drivers with a speeding ticket are 12% higher, on average, than for drivers with no violations. In other states a speeding ticket resulted in 40% higher rates — or more, such as in Hawaii, where a ticket costs an additional 74% in car insurance premiums, on average.

Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with a recent ticket by state.

StateDrivers with a clean driving historyDrivers with a recent ticket
District of Columbia$1,527$1,802
New Hampshire$1,056$1,317
New Jersey$1,759$2,281
New Mexico$1,241$1,474
New York$1,962$2,310
North Carolina$1,075$1,568
North Dakota$1,235$1,573
Rhode Island$1,684$2,188
South Carolina$1,458$1,755
South Dakota$1,245$1,453
West Virginia$1,307$1,533

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Compare minimum and full coverage rates for drivers with an accident

Among the largest companies, your history of accidents will affect your auto insurance quote in very different ways. Check out how each insurer’s average rates for drivers with an accident stack up before you start comparison shopping for auto insurance. If you have an on-record accident, make sure to compare car insurance quotes one, three and five years after the date of the incident to continue to get the best and cheapest rate possible.

The cheapest car insurance company for a driver with a clean history might not be the cheapest company after an at-fault accident occurs. For example, while USAA typically has the best price for drivers with a clean driving history, our data shows that American Family has the cheapest average rates for drivers with a recent at-fault accident — with rates after an accident only 13% higher, on average, than for our base profile.

Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with a recent at-fault accident by company

CompanyDrivers with a clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
American Family$1,233$1,391
Liberty Mutual$1,778$2,837
State Farm$1,511$1,968

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.

State legislators set limits on how much a company can increase your rates after a crash. Our hypothetical accident resulted in $10,000 worth of damage. That caused average annual rates to spike by $1,000 or more in some states, while others jumped by far less. For example, rates in Idaho for full coverage policies and drivers with a recent at-fault accident were $349 per year more, on average, than for drivers with for no accidents. Meanwhile, rates in Louisiana averaged over $1,600 more after causing an accident than for incident-free drivers.

One thing’s for sure: Your rates will likely increase after an at-fault accident, so be sure to compare car insurance rates if you have one on record. Below you can compare average full coverage rates for 40-year-old drivers with a recent at-fault accident by state.

StateDrivers with a clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
District of Columbia$1,527$2,158
New Hampshire$1,056$1,629
New Jersey$1,759$2,802
New Mexico$1,241$1,827
New York$1,962$2,576
North Carolina$1,075$1,833
North Dakota$1,235$1,865
Rhode Island$1,684$2,522
South Carolina$1,458$2,100
South Dakota$1,245$1,726
West Virginia$1,307$1,872

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How to compare car insurance quotes

First of all, every car insurance rate quote you receive should be free —whether it’s from Geico, Farmers or a small insurer you’ve never heard of. Some auto insurers require a down payment to start your policy, but a simple quote estimate should always be free. Here’s how to start comparing quotes.

1. Gather your information

To quickly and easily compare car insurance quotes, have the following on hand:

  • Personal information, which includes the address, date of birth, occupation, driver’s license and marital status of everyone you want included on the policy.
  • Vehicle information: Mileage, date of purchase and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each car. Or, if you haven’t purchased the car yet, have mileage, make, model and year handy.
  • Driving history: Include all claims, violations and tickets you’ve had over the past five years, plus any completed driving courses.
  • Current or previous insurer’s name for anyone on the policy or in your household. Some insurers won’t cover you without some coverage history, and if you want to exclude anyone living with you from the policy, you’ll need to prove they’re covered elsewhere.

2. Choose the right liability car insurance coverage levels

Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.

Liability auto insurance protects you from that worst case scenario by providing a cushion between your assets and the amount you’re on the hook for. For this reason, choosing the right auto liability limits is the most important part of your car insurance quote comparison. NerdWallet typically recommends having at least as much liability coverage as your net worth.

But liability coverage levels come in threes — you’ll probably see something like 50/100/50 up to 250/500/250 in typical policies. You can think of these limits like: individual injuries / total injuries / property damage. Insurers are a little more technical, calling them bodily injury liability, total bodily injury liability and physical damage liability.

These coverages come in thousand-dollar increments, so when you choose an auto insurance policy with 100/300/100 limits, you’ll be choosing:

  • $100,000 for bodily injuries per person you injure in a crash.
  • $300,000 total for all bodily injuries you cause in a crash.
  • $100,000 for damage to any property you cause in a crash, including cars, buildings and objects like mailboxes and lampposts.

When choosing liability car insurance coverage, try to make sure the highest, middle number is equal to or greater than the value of your house and total savings combined.

Understand car insurance requirements in your state

In certain states, you may be required to have a car insurance policy that includes personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage (medpay) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages — or two of the three. If you have medpay you don’t need PIP, and vice versa.

Any car insurance comparison tool you look at should have your state’sminimum car insurance requirements pre-loaded into its options. States requiring PIP or medpay are generally referred to as “no-fault” states, meaning that when injuries occur, each driver in a crash makes a claim with their own insurance company to pay for them. Beyond the PIP or medpay limit, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

3. Decide if you need full coverage car insurance

You’ll notice that none of that liability coverage pays for your car or injuries, nor for any injuries your passengers sustain if you cause a wreck. This is why many people — particularly those whose car isn’t yet paid off — want “full coverage” car insurance. This isn’t actually a type of coverage, but instead typically refers to policies that include liability coverage, plus comprehensive and collision coverages.

In other words, you can’t just click a “full coverage” button when comparing insurance quotes online or buy something called a full coverage auto insurance policy. You’ll need to add collision and comprehensive coverage in the amounts you want.

Collision insurance pays for:Comprehensive insurance pays for:
Damage to your car in an accident you cause.Damage to your car if you hit an object such as a fence or pole.Damage to your car if someone else hits you. Another option in this case is to make a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance.The value of your car if it’s stolen and not recovered, and damage from:Weather such as tornadoes or hail.Floods.Fire.Falling objects.Explosions.Crashes with an animal, such as striking a deer.Riots and civil disturbances.

Auto insurance quote comparison tip: Whatever coverage you choose, make sure you compare the quotes for the same type and amount of coverage so you can find the best price.

4. Collect and compare car insurance quotes

You’ll want to get car insurance quotes from at least two or three companies available in your area to be sure you’re getting a good deal. Consider comparing quotes from regional companies as well as the big companies such as Allstate, Progressive and State Farm. While shopping, make certain that each insurance quote includes:

  • The same levels of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
  • The same deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverages, if you’re buying them.
  • The same drivers and cars.
  • All discounts you’re eligible for (most insurers list the discounts they offer on their websites).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to compare auto insurance quotes?

Comparing car insurance rate quotes is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Auto insurance companies look at similar factors but weigh them differently, so you’ll get differing quotes from each.

We recommend you shop around and compare rate quotes for car insurance about once a year — this is your best bet at getting the cheapest rate. If you’ve been in a recent at-fault accident, received a speeding ticket or are about to move out of state, shop around again..

Does an auto insurance rate change depending on your gender?

It depends. Some states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and some parts of Michigan — have banned the practice of calculating auto insurance rates based on a person’s gender. But in other states, women may pay more, on average, for car insurance compared to men with similar driving records. For young adults, the trend is flipped — young men tend to pay more than women.

But switching companies can wipe out that price difference, so your best bet is to shop around to find the cheapest insurance rate you can.

Is auto insurance cheaper for homeowners?

Oftentimes, yes. Most insurers offer discounts for customers that bundle home and auto insurance, while others offer a separate discount just for being a homeowner. Bundling policies might also make it easier for you to keep track of your coverage and claims.

Combining policies is usually best reserved for drivers with a solid driving history. If you have multiple traffic violations, poor credit or other negative marks on your driving record, you might be better off shopping for auto insurance and homeowners insurance from separate companies.

How do I get cheap rideshare insurance?

Many auto insurance companies offer rideshare insurance as an add-on to your current policy — typically around $15 more a month. If your insurer doesn’t offer the option, your best bet is to switch to one that does and stay properly covered.

If you’re unable to get rideshare insurance in your state, you may need to purchase a commercial insurance policy to ensure that you have the full coverage required.

Do I need to compare auto insurance rates if I move out of state?

While it may come as a surprise, one of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote will be something you wouldn’t change just for cheaper car insurance — where you live. However, it does have a very big impact and should be part of financial planning if you move out of your area. For that reason, it’s good to do a car insurance quote comparison anytime you move, even within the same state.

Compare car insurance companies

Use NerdWallet’s reviews to compare car insurance companies and find the best one for you. NerdWallet has researched policy options, consumer complaint data, customer satisfaction ratings, financial stability and more for all of the country’s top auto insurance companies as well as many smaller, regional insurers.

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If one uses the State Farm Drive Safe & Save program, how effective is it in helping bring down the auto insurance cost?

Very effective, if you drive safely. Keep in mind it monitors all your travels, speeds, and driving actions potentially short stops and fast starts. Definitely something to think about, although if it’s like having mom or dad in the car or a baby, your safe driving will be rewarded. …
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What is the cheapest car insurance you can get liability coverage with?

It all depends on your driving record and past claims in the last 39 months. You can get the lowest limits of liability coverage at $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury with $25,000 property damage, no collision or comprehensive. Most agents or brokers recommend $100,000 / $300,000. Although if you have no assets or if you don’t have …
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Is Allstate expensive compared to other car and motorcycle insurance companies?

It really depends upon which rating tier you fall into. Insurance companies file their rates with their local state insurance departments.  For example if you have a great credit score and clean driving record, then Allstate may have the best rates. If you have some convictions and bad credit then maybe Progressive.  The insurance companies …
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How do people shop for auto insurance?

In a digital age most people shop online for auto insurance, however agents like myself can do the shopping for you, we know who has the lowest rates and best coverage options to meet you needs. Some sites provide comparative rating, however working with a dedicated agent is always best. …
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Do you need insurance for a courtesy car?

Your existing auto policy would provide overlap if you were injured. If you have comprehensive coverage and collision physical damage would also be covered. However, the company that provided you with the car is required to have it’s own insurance on that car …
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Does Geico own Liberty mutual?

No, Liberty Mutual owned by its policy holders, hence the name Mutual. They also own Safeco a leading Auto insurer similar to Geico. …
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Nationwide offers all that you’d expect from an auto insurer, plus a few additional options and perks. Gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car when it was totaled or stolen and the amount of money left on your loan or lease. This insurance may be required by your lender, and you …
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State Farm

State Farm Auto Insurance Company OverviewYear Founded: 1922Official Website: Offered: Auto, motorcycle, RV, motorhome, homeowners, renters, and moreCustomer Service: 24/7 phone: 1-800-782-8332Key PointsState Farm is licensed in all 50 states, but coverage options and discounts may vary by location.State Farm has more than 19,000 insurance agents nationwide.According to the company, some drivers who use the …
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Allstate Insurance Company Founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., The Allstate Corporation is an American insurance company, headquartered in Northfield Township, Illinois, near Northbrook since 1967. Allstate is a large corporation, and with 2018 revenues of $39.8 billion it ranked 79th in the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. History The idea for Allstate Insurance Company came during a bridge …
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Are car insurance rates based on credit score?

Yes, your credit score will determine what tier of auto insurance rates you will fit into for that insurance company. The better or higher your credit score the lower auto insurance rates will be applicable. Insurance companies have analyzed that individuals with higher credit scores have lower rates of getting into auto accidents.  …
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How long do Allstate claims take?

Every claim depends on the size amount and complexity. Obviously small claims can get paid within a week of notice and large claims can take months. This is for any carrier. Allstate generally pays claims quickly and well. …
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Do insurance rates increase after a comprehensive claim?

Generally no, however they will impact your ability to switch companies and get a better rate. …
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Does your insurance go up if you put in a claim?

For homeowners insurance no. Unless you have a large number of claims, then they will just non-renew your policy. For automobile coverage depending on how much the claim is and who’s fault it is, they will surcharge the policy. …
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Are Car Insurance Companies Required to be fair?

In the US, Car or auto insurance companies are required to abide by the insurance laws in the states where they sell policies. These laws protect the purchasers of policies. The states also regulate and approve the rates they can charge and what driver and claims criteria can be used to offer policies. …
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How did you choose your auto insurance provider?

Lowest price and decent insurance company. Also depend on the type of cars your drive and if you own or lease. …
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GEICO Review

Private passenger auto insurance is GEICO’s most popular offering. Beyond private passenger auto insurance, GEICO also provides: motorcycle, ATV, RV, and boat insurance; homeowners’, renters’, condo, co-op, and mobile home insurance; personal umbrella protection; life insurance; flood insurance; overseas insurance; business owners’; professional liability insurance; general liability insurance; commercial auto insurance; collector car insurance; identity …
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Why do auto insurance companies typically cancel coverage after too many accidents, when those drivers are the ones who need insurance the most?

They typically have tiers for rates that fit a criteria of their customers. Once you exceed that criteria they will non-renew your policy. This is because they consider you a higher risk than the typical driver in the tier. From a risk management standpoint by leaving you in that group your claims will drive up …
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