How Much Is Car Insurance?

Today motorists can quickly find out the premium for auto insurance, especially online. However, it is so difficult to calculate it that insurers use complex formulas and computer programs. One of the first things we need to know is the coverage required and therefore this question may need to be broken into at least two as liability only and full coverage. While on the subject, this post also looks at costs of these two types of policies and other differences they may have.

The main problem is that there are so many factors that goes into premium calculations these days. Then you have your individual circumstances and preferences to add to equation. So, everyone will have a different answer. Plus each one of at least hundred companies licensed in your state will quote a different figure. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that we cannot have a starting point or something to compare our rates to.

One figure that can help you see if you are paying too much would be the average cost in your state. It is such an open question and naturally spread on a wide price spectrum. But the median figure puts a perspective to it.

The median quote somehow implies a fair figure. Yours can be well below or a lot above it. If you are a typical driver, who is probably middle-aged and has fairly good record, you should be hitting close to the middle ground. If you are exceptional you should get the cheapest rates. And if you are a terrible driver you should start praying because you may need a miracle to get affordable quotes.

Whatever your situation you should know one thing. An average quote by definition isn’t cheap or expensive. You can do better by finding the cheapest carrier in your area. They can give you a quote that is 4 or 5 times lower than the most expensive insurer’s quote. This is one factor you have full control over.

How Much Is the Cheapest Car Insurance?

We all know the answer to do you need insurance to drive? And the liability coverage is the minimum you have to buy to comply with your state’s rules. In a way, when you know the price of it you know it is the cheapest policy anyone can buy. It won’t go any lower than that.

Basically, a liability only policy provides protection for third parties in case the insured causes them injuries or damages. No fault states require everyone buy their own Personal Injury Protection as minimum. A full coverage policy provide Collision and Comprehensive coverage for own vehicle as well as meeting the basic requirements.

You shouldn’t push for the minimum because it is usually too low. You can get yourself more than double by paying only about 10% more. This would give you thousands of dollars additional protection for claims against you. Besides, most companies don’t offer policies for bare bone basic and few can place you into high-risk category for asking for it. 

Average cost of liability auto insurance is $684 in the US and you can find what it is in your zip code on the table. There is a high chance that you may need to pay more than this figure for your state for several reasons. First of all, the premiums below are for a mature driver with years of experience and no negative record. We know from experience that most drivers who are looking for a basic policy only are teenagers, new drivers or other high risk motorists and they usually pay a lot more than the sample used here.

Quotations can sometimes be the luck of the draw. It has been real hard to pin down the median for each state. We had to rely on several studies and past rates to come up with the findings below.

It cannot be stressed enough that these numbers are for an established driver with good record and your quotes can be much different either way.

Table: Average Cost of Full Coverage Car Insurance vs Liability Only

The purpose of this table is to give you a ballpark idea. Your financial circumstances or value of your vehicle may have already dictated your choices. But, this table helps by displaying the differences.

State How Much Is
Liability Only
Car Insurance?
How Much Is
Full Coverage
Car Insurance?
$ Difference % Difference
Alabama $673 $1,337 $664 98%
Alaska $434 $1,078 $644 148%
Arizona $476 $1,188 $712 150%
Arkansas $426 $1,345 $919 216%
California $834 $1,752 $918 110%
Colorado $786 $1,393 $607 77%
Connecticut $842 $1,367 $525 62%
D.C. $1,054 $1,773 $719 68%
Delaware $1,073 $1,607 $534 50%
Florida $1,058 $1,654 $596 56%
Georgia $743 $1,559 $816 110%
Hawaii $422 $1,049 $627 149%
Idaho $546 $935 $389 71%
Illinois $602 $1,035 $433 72%
Indiana $491 $1,113 $622 127%
Iowa $451 $989 $538 119%
Kansas $581 $1,135 $554 95%
Kentucky $663 $1,295 $632 95%
Louisiana $1143 $1,842 $699 61%
Maine $513 $808 $295 58%
Maryland $958 $1,610 $652 68%
Massachusetts $866 $1,325 $459 53%
Michigan $1,131 $2,738 $1,607 142%
Minnesota $745 $1,257 $512 69%
Mississippi $639 $1,277 $638 100%
Missouri $438 $1,056 $618 141%
Montana $679 $2,297 $1,618 238%
Nebraska $508 $1,188 $680 134%
Nevada $786 $1,221 $435 55%
New Hampshire $587 $941 $354 60%
New Jersey $1,086 $1,905 $819 75%
New Mexico $652 $1,277 $625 96%
New York $891 $1,050 $159 18%
North Carolina $426 $987 $561 132%
North Dakota $512 $1,200 $688 134%
Ohio $417 $900 $483 116%
Oklahoma $712 $1,778 $1066 150%
Oregon $718 $1,267 $549 76%
Pennsylvania $626 $1,305 $679 108%
Rhode Island $950 $1,608 $658 69%
South Carolina $717 $1,353 $636 89%
South Dakota $467 $1,168 $701 150%
Tennessee $656 $1,145 $489 75%
Texas $783 $1,510 $727 93%
Utah $629 $1,061 $432 69%
Vermont $487 $942 $455 93%
Virginia $536 $1,020 $484 90%
Washington $671 $1,168 $497 74%
West Virginia $773 $1,456 $683 88%
Wisconsin $577 $912 $335 58%
Wyoming $429 $1,421 $992 230%
National average $684 $1,325 $641 94%

Sources: Insure.com 12,  NAIC and ValuePenguin.

Just to let you know, about 72% of US motorists buy a more comprehensive policy than the basic, providing they can afford it.

How Much Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?

It is fair to say that when you know the answer you know the price of a decent protection for your own loses and third party claims against you. Anyone with a valuable enough automobile would want to get this. As a general rule, vehicles over $4,000 should be insured and collision and comprehensive, within full package, provides the necessary protection.

Most companies have some sort of packaged policies for the purpose of providing cheap full coverage vehicle insurance in order to make them attractive to large numbers. That is why, you should always get quotes for full coverage too even though you are pretty sure you want a liability only policy. You may end up with a better solution if the price is right.

The average cost of full coverage auto insurance is $1,325 in the US and the median premiums for each state are displayed on the table above. Now, you have a good idea about what a typical driver pays. Why not find out what you need to pay to insure your auto by getting your own quotations?

Generally speaking, if you can get cheap liability automobile insurance you may also get a great package. The percentage difference between the two may be similar but the real dollar difference would be the narrowest for good drivers. When you have excellent history, credit score and live in a low risk zip code you can save money in so many ways that full coverage vs liability auto insurance cost would be at its closest.

On the other hand, high risk motorists may struggle to find anything affordable and face much wider price difference between those two. Risky drivers would be charged much higher rates across the board that they may need to think carefully when they are buying an automobile to avoid making it even harder because each model has its own danger ratings in the eyes of underwriters.

How Much More Is Full Coverage Than Liability?

They provide a lot more protection in comparison to a minimum enforced. That is why it is understandable that the costs will be different too and it depends on where you live. The table above shows the additional amount you need to pay for it.

As you can see on the table, the median number for the former in the US is $1,325. So, a typical driver needs to pay $641 more, on top of $684 for the latter, to add collision and comprehensive to his/her compulsory cover.  In other words, it is about 94% more expensive (nearly twice).  By the way, They usually have increased level of liability than just the minimum.

In some states, a typical driver can get a decent policy for less than $70 a month and a basic one for less than $35 a month. And the same good applicant may need to pay more than twice in other states.

How Much Is Vehicle Insurance per month?

We looked at numbers in detail and displayed our findings on the table above. The premium figures quoted above are annual. So, it wouldn’t be difficult to find your state, choose the coverage you want and divide the figure by 12 to get the amount in your zip code. For example, basic is $57 per month in the US (684/12 = $57) and $110 (1325/12 = $110) for a comprehensive one.

You may have a 6 monthly plan. This wouldn’t change anything in terms of finding the monthly price. You just need to divide your premium to 6 and find out your monthly cost. Usually, most companies would offer a monthly payment plan with a small or no additional instalment fee. So, it wouldn’t distort your comparison if your premium is already given monthly.

Knowing this can help you better when you are on a tight budget. If it makes it easier, quite a few companies can offer your quotes on a monthly bases. In any case, you can find a calculator online and work out the way you like. You shouldn’t worry too much about how they are presented. You should look at the overall numbers in order to pick the best value plan.

Liability vs Full Coverage Car Insurance 

These days there are full variety of policies in between but these are two main types. Liability cover damages and injuries you may cause to others and full goes a step further and adds coverage for your vehicle. One of these can serve you best depending on your current circumstances. Have a closer look at them below in order to figure out which one would meet your requirements.

  1. The cheapest policy you can get can be as low as $35 per month depending on your zip code. Generally, people who are looking for more owns valuable enough vehicles and ask questions like what levels of coverage protects me the best?
  2. Lowest one may be great for teenagers buying their first policy, a high risk driver who cannot afford better or someone in a tight spot money wise. These characteristics may be enough for some insurers to put you in high risk driver profile because people with money problems are more likely to claim. You need to have money to buy a nice car and pay to protect it. So, asking for the cheapest policy you can get may be a sign they look out for so that they can charge you appropriately.
  3. Nonetheless, the former may be all you need if you have an old car. Actually, some people knowingly prefer cheaper vehicles in order to get cheap insurance for first time drivers.  Then, they can go for the cheapest there is and be done with it.
  4. Price differences between the two may offer insight to demographic and economic conditions in a state. For example, in a state where third party claims take up large portion of the total claims you would expect that the gap would be narrower.
  5. Liability quotes can be much lower than full coverage. However, this may be due to very low minimum requirements set by your state. Most inclusive policies have much larger than the minimum required levels along with collision and comprehensive for your automobile.

No doubt the price affects people’s policy purchase decisions. Not everyone is lucky to decide without money constraints. However, don’t make the mistake of concentrating on the premium you need to pay now and forgetting about what happens in case of future accidents and losses. Start with determining the level of coverage you can live with and see if you can get more for your money or you can afford to buy more.

The best way of checking all your options quickly is to do quotes comparison online and we can help you on that. Just enter your zip code on top of the page and let us show you the results. There is a high chance one of them will make it worth your time by coming up with something you cannot ignore.

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