Average Car Insurance Rates for 2021

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Car insurance rates are hard to predict. Rates vary based not only on the insurance company’s risk appetite, what coverage you want, and the car you drive, but also where you live and even your credit score, as well as dozens of other factors.

But here’s the bright side: drivers who have a better understanding of how car insurance works tend to pay less, experts say. 

“Your prices will be different even though your information is the same from almost every insurance company, so you should check many of them,” says Kyle Schmitt, vice president and managing director of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “It’s a matter of doing research, reading reviews, and getting down to which ones are most likely right for you.”

Pro Tip

Your deductible can affect your car insurance rates. If you choose a higher deductible, your premium will be lower — and vice versa. However, you don’t want too high of a deductible, or it may be impossible to pay later on if you file a claim. Evaluate how much you can afford to pay out of pocket for car repairs before you pick your deductible.

Not only can some basic car insurance knowledge save you money, but it can also help you understand what you’re paying for and prepare you for the unpredictable. Some knowledge can go a long way, so here’s a breakdown of average car insurance rates for teens, younger drivers, adults, and seniors, plus average auto rates in every single state.

That way you can easily compare car insurance rates across different categories and get the cheapest price for you.

Minimum and Full Coverage Rates for Teens and Young Drivers

Your age is out of your control, but it plays a significant role in what auto rates you qualify for. Teenagers and young drivers, especially those under 25, generally pay more for insurance than older drivers. But there’s a logical reason behind that: young drivers have less driving experience and are at a higher risk for accidents. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows car crashes are the second leading cause of death among teens.

An 18-year-old driver, for example, pays over $5,000 more per year for full coverage insurance versus a 25-year-old driver. Insurance companies vary in how they price policies for young drivers, but it’s generally less expensive for parents to add a teen to their auto policy compared to a teen purchasing their own policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Below you can compare average annual rates for 16-year-olds, 18-year-olds, and 25-year-olds.

Average full coverage premiumAverage minimum coverage premium
16-year-old*$7,371$2,770
18-year-old$5,385$1,965
25-year-old$1,989$666
Source: Bankrate, Average Cost of Car insurance in 2021. Note: Bankrate, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures. The average premiums for a 16-year-old are based on a driver of this age added to their parents’ policy.*

Minimum and Full Coverage Rates for Adults and Seniors

As you get older, your insurance rates tend to decrease — provided you have a good driving record. Older drivers can lower their rates even more in some cases by taking advantage of multi-policy and safe driving discounts. 

Below you can compare average annual rates for adults and seniors.

Average full coverage premiumAverage minimum coverage premium
30-year-old$1,737$582
40-year-old$1,674$565
60-year-old$1,405$494
Source: Bankrate, Average Cost of Car insurance in 2021. Note: Bankrate, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures. 

Minimum and Full Coverage Rates by State

If you think you can get the same auto rate in two different states, think again. Rates can differ significantly across state lines, and even your ZIP code, local traffic, or the amount of crime in your area can influence your costs. Below you can compare average annual rates in every state.

StateFull Coverage PremiumMinimum Coverage Premium
Alabama$1,015$479
Alaska$1,072$561
Arizona$1,126$608
Arkansas$1,039$458
California$1,116$566
Colorado$1,195$640
Connecticut$1,276$744
Delaware$1,322$844
District of Columbia$1,466$744
Florida$1,446$964
Georgia$1,286$735
Hawaii$918$469
Idaho$780$403
Illinois$977$507
Indiana$840$432
Iowa$795$339
Kansas$948$400
Kentucky$1,044$586
Louisiana$1,638$937
Maine$765$370
Maryland$1,256$700
Massachusetts$1,215$643
Michigan$1,494$874
Minnesota$939$484
Mississippi$1,106$511
Missouri$1,003$493
Montana$969$423
Nebraska$934$417
Nevada$1,259$799
New Hampshire$861$426
New Jersey$1,465$932
New Mexico$1,051$548
New York$1,486$869
North Carolina$839$372
North Dakota$809$304
Ohio$865$439
Oklahoma$1,101$503
Oregon$1,044$677
Pennsylvania$1,065$539
Rhode Island$1,467$870
South Carolina$1,145$645
South Dakota$872$327
Tennessee$957$456
Texas$1,296$631
Utah$984$568
Vermont$842$375
Virginia$920$469
Washington$1,078$667
West Virginia$1,072$513
Wisconsin$805$412
Wyoming$936$354
Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. Note: The data is accurate as of 2017.

How to Shop for Car Insurance

Once you’ve done your research, the next step is finding the right car insurance policy for you. Here are a few steps to follow while shopping for car insurance, plus tips to ensure you find enough auto coverage for the best possible rate.

Gather Your Information

While you’re shopping for auto coverage, it’s best to have all your information ready to go, whether you’re getting a quote online or through an insurance agent. Generally, here’s the basic information you need to buy a car insurance policy:

  • Names and dates of birth of all drivers on the policy
  • Address where you plan to keep the car
  • Driver’s license numbers of all drivers on the policy
  • Driving records of all drivers on the policy
  • Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) of all vehicles on the policy
  • Proof of prior car insurance for all drivers on the policy

Figure Out the Minimum Auto Coverage You Need

Nearly every state has minimum requirements that you have to meet for auto coverage. In many states, this may only be liability coverage. But in some states, you may be required to carry liability and some other coverages like personal injury protection (PIP) or Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Decide if You Want Extra Coverage

If you own a car, your state legally requires you to carry a certain amount of auto coverage. Once you’re past that minimum amount, it’s you to decide how much extra coverage you want or need. If you have an auto loan, most of the time, your insurance company will require you to carry full coverage (liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance).

The amount of auto coverage that you feel comfortable with depends on a number of factors, including what you drive, where you live, and how much you drive. Several experts we spoke to recommend getting enough coverage that you can reasonably afford. It’s never a good idea to forsake coverage for a lower premium if it means you’ll put yourself financially at risk when an accident happens, says Schmitt. 

Compare Quotes 

Once you have a good idea of what type of car insurance coverage you need, start comparing car insurance quotes among insurers. 

You can get car insurance quotes a few different ways — either through a “captive” insurance agent who works for one company, an independent agent representing multiple insurance firms, a car insurer’s website, or by using an online comparison tool. Whichever route you take, comparison shopping is the best way to find out if your current insurer is offering the cheapest rate for you. 

If you’re not getting the best rate for the amount of coverage you need, it’s time to switch. 

“The quoting process has become infinitely easier over the past five to 10 years,” says Schmitt. “Today, you can go online and get quotes from four or five car insurance companies in about 10 minutes.”