Nobody wants to overpay for anything – and especially not for car insurance. These days, smartphones make it easy to check the price of most items, whether it’s a pair of shoes or a brand-new pickup truck, so we don’t pay any more than we need to. But when it comes to car insurance, knowing how much you should pay can seem tricky.
Average Cost of Car Insurance: A Quick Overview
The average cost of car insurance varies greatly depending on a wide range of factors. Some of these are based on where you live. According to data compiled by Value Penguin, drivers in Louisiana pay more than anyone else in the country. Michigan is another expensive state to drive in, while drivers in Ohio, on the other hand, pay the lowest rates in the country.
Other factors that affect car insurance rates are more personal, like your age and gender. Young drivers, especially teens who are just learning the rules of the road, face expensive premiums. Insurance rates go down as people age, but they tend to climb back up around the time when people reach retirement age.
Although some men may like to think that they’re better drivers than women, the statistics don’t support this theory. Men actually tend to pay higher insurance rates than women – so much so that one Canadian man went so far as to change his gender in official documents just to get a cheaper premium, CBC reports. Apparently, saving around $1,000 made this worthwhile to him, and Canadian law allowed it.
Things like age and gender impact the cost of car insurance because statistics show that certain groups are more likely to crash than others. Rates aren’t only based on average crash statistics for people in your demographic, however. Your personal history is also considered. Car crashes, DUIs and even speeding tickets will cause your car insurance rates to rise.
The type of car you decide to buy also makes a big difference. According to 24/7 Wall St., the expense of owning a Tesla Model S four-door electric 4WD doesn’t end with the sticker price. This luxury car is also the costliest to insure. A Subaru Outback 4WD with Eyesight, on the other hand, came in as the cheapest car to insure.
Another huge factor is how much car insurance you want to buy. Getting the minimum liability insurance required by your state will cost much less than getting a higher limit with extra protections like comprehensive, collision and uninsured motorist coverage, although you may end up paying more out of pocket later, if you’re in an accident.
How Much Is Car Insurance? Four Specific Examples
All these ranges can be confusing. Clearly, a male teenager in driving a Tesla in Michigan will pay a lot for insurance, and a middle-aged woman driving a Subaru Outback in Ohio will pay a fraction of that cost, but most people don’t fall into these extremes of highs or lows. Most people will have some factors that increase their car insurance rates, and others that lower them.
Using Jupiter Auto’s quote system, we can see how much hypothetical individuals could pay for car insurance. Here are a few examples to show how much different individuals could expect to pay, and how changing a few factors sometimes drastically changes their premiums.
Example #1: Average Car Insurance Cost for a Toyota Corolla in Texas
Let’s start with a 30-year-old unmarried woman with no previous violations. She lives in Houston, Texas, in the 77005 zip code. She drives 2016 Toyota Corolla four-door sedan, which she uses mainly to commute to and from work. Because she’s still making payments on her car, her lender requires her to carry comprehensive and collision coverage, in addition to the liability coverage required by Texas. How much is car insurance for this woman? She might expect to pay around $655.20 a month with $813 down for her car insurance.
Several factors are driving up her costs. One, she has a newer car and needs a lot of insurance for it. She’s also living in Texas, a state known for high auto insurance costs, and in Houston, which has some of the highest rates in the state. If we change her car to a 2010 model that she owns and drop her coverage to what’s required by law, her premium falls to $241.60 per month with $296 down. If she moves to Ballinger, Texas, in the 76821 zip code, her car insurance premium goes all the way down to $64.60 per month with only $75 down.
Example #2: Average Car Insurance Cost for a Subaru Forester in Tennessee
For our next example, let’s look at a married couple living in Memphis, Tennessee, in the 38109 zip code. They drive a 2014 Subaru Forester. The husband in 38 years old with some previous violations. The wife is 37 years old with no previous violations. How much will this couple pay for auto insurance? It turns out that they can opt for the minimum auto insurance required at $83 per month with $119 down.
If they need to increase their coverage, say to increase their limits and to add comprehensive and collision protection, they might end up paying around $226.20 per month with $298 down, but they’ll also be protected against damage caused by natural events, car thieves and vandals, as well as accidents they cause that damage their own car, scenarios that aren’t covered under property liability insurance.
Example #3: Average Car Insurance Cost for a Dodge Durango in Arkansas
For our third example, let’s look at a single man living in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 72207 zip code. He drives a 2008 Dodge Durango, which he uses for business. He’s 20 years old, unmarried, with no previous violations, and he wants the minimum insurance required by state law. How much is car insurance for this person? Based on this scenario, he could expect to pay around $242 per month with $342 down.
If this is more than he would like to pay for car insurance, he might feel better knowing that, as long as he keeps his driving record clean, his rates will drop as he grows older. If he were 25, he might only be paying $135.80 per month with $210 down, and if he were 30, that estimate would go down even further to $121.40 per month, with $191 down.
Example #4: Average Car Insurance Cost for a Ford Escort in Oklahoma
For our final example, let’s look at a family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They live in the 74055 zip code. They have two cars: a 2000 Ford Escort four-door sedan and a 2013 Jeep Wrangler. The husband is 50 years old with no violations. The wife is also 50 years old with no violations. How much is car insurance for this family? If they opt for the minimum insurance required by law, they will be paying $105.80 per month with $182 down.
But what happens when they add a daughter? Let’s say their 22-year-old daughter has moved back home and needs to be added to the insurance policy. Adding her will increase their monthly premium to $167.40 with $259 down, assuming she has no previous violations.
While this certainly adds some expense, it’s much cheaper than you would expect with a separate policy. It’s also important to name all licensed drivers living in the same household when purchasing car insurance.
How to Get a Definitive Answer to the Question … How Much is Car Insurance?
Averages and hypothetical examples are informative, but you need something more exact. You need to know how much your own car insurance bill will be.
Luckily, while calculating car insurance costs is complicated, getting a quote is simple. You can go online to check on the price of a pair of shoes or a new truck, and you can do the same for car insurance.
You can use the Jupiter’s online quote tool to get an instant auto insurance price estimate. You’ll just need to supply a few basic facts about yourself.
First, you’ll enter your zip code to make sure we offer coverage in your area. Next, supply a few details about your car, like the make, model and year. We’ll also want to know a little about you, including your age, gender, marital status and whether you have any violations. If you have multiple cars and drivers to insure, go ahead and add all of them. Finally, we’ll need to know about your car insurance needs, like when it should start and how much coverage you want.
Getting a quote is as easy as clicking a few buttons, and you don’t need to supply any contact information to do it. It’s time to stop wondering about the average cost of car insurance. Find out how much car insurance will cost you!