That’s also hard to say. Beyond how much coverage you’re looking to buy, the cost of car insurance is affected by driving record, place of residence, type of car, how much you drive and your personal details (age, gender, marital status, etc.) But just so you have a frame of reference for what types of prices to expect, the average annual cost for car insurance was about $900 back in 2014.
While State Farm's shopping experience is well-reviewed, customers did not feel as strongly about it's claims handling process. The company scored about the same as the other four large companies, but was still mediocre. A large national company may be expected to not be very efficient because of the various departments involved in handling individual claims. If you want the assurances guaranteed to you by a large, "legacy" carrier, then State Farm is the best to go with.
We found Progressive was the most affordable car insurance rates after a recent accident compared to the many auto insurance companies we surveyed. From the $1,241 average we state above, rates increased by 29% after an at-fault accident. While that may still seem high, it was the smallest rate increase we saw of any company including Erie, State Farm, GEICO and American Family.

Second, research your car. If it is an older model, then you may not need some of the add-ons such as comprehensive or uninsured motorist. It is not recommended to omit these coverages, but if your ultimate goal is to save money on your monthly payment, then you may want to consider it. Keep in mind that you will have to pay out of pocket later if you have an accident with an uninsured driver or if a tree falls on your car.
On average, an at-fault property damage accident with a claims payout exceeding $2,000 will raise your premium by an average of $726 per year. Over three years, that adds up to $2,178! If you’re thinking of filing a claim, consider the overall cost of the claim versus what the claim would cost to pay out of pocket. Compare this $2,178 penalty — plus your deductible — to the out-of-pocket expense. While this is nice information to know before filing a claim, it won’t help if you’ve already filed a claim. If you have an at-fault accident on your insurance history, consider Nationwide or Farmers.

We’ve developed four lists comprised of the cheapest cars or trucks to insure, to fit the needs of car shoppers in the market for a crossover or SUV, a minivan or sedan, a hybrid or all-electric vehicle, a vehicle for you or a teen. The lists were created based on Mercury’s price for full coverage - liability, comprehensive and collision. Other factors, such as a driver’s experience and accident history, can push the rate up or down, but were not included in any of the rate calculations. Each list begins with the cheapest vehicle to insure.


For instance, a moving violation affects your driving record for three years in most states. Once you know it has been three years since your ticket, there’s no need to wait for your current auto policy to expire. You can immediately quote a new policy that will no longer charge you for that violation. The same goes for an at-fault accident, which will typically affect your rate for three to five years (but can vary by state and carrier). In addition, Progressive offers discounts for being ticket- and accident-free.
North Carolina requires minimum limits of $30,000 per person and up to $60,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Liability, and Uninsured Motorist Coverage. It also requires that drivers are insured for up to $25,000 for property damage. At higher levels of bodily injury coverage, North Carolina requires that insurers include combined Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage in the same policy.
Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state, and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.
Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Not all Nationwide affiliated companies are mutual companies, and not all Nationwide members are insured by a mutual company. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member FINRA. Home Office: One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and other marks displayed on this page are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, unless otherwise disclosed. ©2019. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
If you opt for the minimum required coverage in Virginia, prepare to pay an average of $385 annually. This is more affordable than the U.S. average by 41%. If you opt for better coverage, you can select a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, protecting against costs incurred by car collisions, theft and vandalism, or weather incidents. It's worth noting that better coverage has a price: in Virginia, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $792, 105% more than liability-only coverage. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 135% more than you would for a basic liability-only policy.
How it works: The quoting process was similar to that of other comparison websites, although it offered me the option of connecting my Google or Facebook account to speed up the process. After I entered the requested information, the Zebra announced that it had matched me up with nine possible discounts, although it warned that not every insurance company offered all of these discounts.
Some insurers offer discounts to drivers for a variety of reasons such as having a clean record, paying an annual premium all at once or being a safe driver for a certain period of time. If the insurance company you’re with offers more than just auto insurance, consider bundling all your insurance through them, like home and car insurance. Most companies offer a group discount, even if it’s just for more than one car.
Car insurance is required in every state (and Washington DC) with three exceptions: New Hampshire, Missouri (uninsured drivers must submit “proof of financial responsibility” to the Department of Revenue), and Virginia (where drivers must pay a $500 fee to drive uninsured). These states still require at-fault drivers to pay for any bodily injury and property damage.
One of the biggest differences between carrier’s rates can be attributed to the avaialable discounts. Most insurers reward safe drivers and bundlers. In additon, savings can be found for vehicles that have the most safety features. The most variable discounts can be found when a company is trying to reach a certain group of insurance consumers. For instance, some companies may offer discounts for switching before the expiration of a policy or from a certain competitor, while other may decide retirees shoulde get a discount.
Also known as AARP, The Hartford was the recipient of the 2016 J.D. Power study for car insurance companies ability to handle claims. The Hartford scored 5/5 stars for nearly every step of the claims process; from notifying them, to the repair process, and the final settlement. Those who think a smooth claims process is the most important factor for car insurance, The Hartford should definitely be considered.
Collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it—and new cars depreciate quickly. If your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. To cover this, you may want to look into purchasing gap insurance to pay the difference. Note that for leased vehicles, gap coverage is usually rolled into your lease payments.
Insurance comparison websites can be further broken down into sites that provide real-time insurance quotes versus those that provide estimated ones. Estimated quotes are derived from historic data and are often out of date; to get the most accurate information you should use a site that provides real-time quotes generated by the insurance companies.
Liability insurance: Consider this the cornerstone of all car insurance policies, given it’s the type of coverage required by nearly every state. Liability insurance actually falls into two buckets. Bodily Injury (BI) covers the cost of any injuries (or death) that result from an accident you caused, while Property Damage (PD) covers the damage made to another vehicle or piece of property your car crashes into.

Some insurance companies will provide their customers with a hire car for a limited period of time if their vehicle has been stolen. There is also the possibility of pre-purchasing a ‘discount hire car benefit’ or ‘comprehensive hire car benefit’, which will ensure you have access to a hire car while your vehicle is being repaired from damage caused in an accident.

Auto insurance isn’t only great protection for your vehicle, it’s also the law. All states require some degree of insurance for your vehicle to protect you and other motorists. Coverage requirements will vary based on your financial responsibility for your car and your state’s requirements. Some states even require you to have liability insurance before you even get a license.

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