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There are a lot of factors that go into the price of car insurance, including the kind of car you drive, where you live, the insurance laws and regulations in your state, your age and gender, and of course, your driving record. Insurance companies are notoriously secretive about the factors they use to determine rates, but there are still some consistent factors that can help savvy consumers spot patterns.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

How We Found the Cheapest States for Car Insurance

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings. 

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the nine largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here. 

Insurance Requirements Affect Rates

Even though we’ll be looking at average car insurance rates from across the United States, it’s important to keep in mind that each state has its own laws and requirements to regulate the insurance industry and establish minimum insurance requirements. Since the insurance requirements of your state can be substantially different than those just across the nearest state border, you might end up paying more or less than the averages cited here.

Furthermore, each state sets a minimum insurance coverage requirement that is the amount you must have to drive legally, but the minimum won’t necessarily provide adequate protection in the case of an accident. In other words, when you shop for insurance, you should talk to your agent to decide if your state’s minimum requirements are enough for you, and how much it would cost to buy a policy with better protection. This, too, can mean that you might end up paying more for insurance than the averages shown here, though it might be worth it in the long run.

What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance?

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The average annual cost of car insurance in the United States is $1,416, according to the data in our study. That’s the short answer. The long answer is that the average cost depends on a variety of key factors, many of which we’ve outlined in the sections below. These include your driving record, credit history, and coverage limits, as well as your insurer.

Of the companies analyzed in our study, USAA had the lowest average annual study rate of $885. USAA provides insurance exclusively to military members and their families. If you don’t fall under this category, you may want to consider the Geico, State Farm, or Travelers insurance companies instead. These insurers had the next-lowest representative rates of $1,168, $1,234, and $1,267, respectively, in our study. At the other end of the range, Nationwide and Allstate had the highest average rates in this study of $1,864 and $1,880, respectively.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Low Coverage

Company

Low

Allstate

$1,772

American Family

$1,329

Farmers

$1,582

Geico

$1,088

Nationwide

$1,861

Progressive

$1,274

State Farm

$1,143

Travelers

$1,192

USAA

$830

Each state has specific requirements for the type and amount of car insurance coverage that drivers must carry. For example, some states require drivers to purchase $100,000 worth of liability coverage per accident, while others require just $20,000 or $30,000 of liability coverage.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require much coverage, it’s possible to save money in the short term with a policy that only fulfils the minimum requirements. Just keep in mind that these minimums may not be sufficient to protect you or your assets in the event of an accident. That is, if you’re responsible for more property damage or medical costs than your insurance policy will cover, you may be personally liable for those costs, depending on your state’s laws. Speak with your insurance agent to gauge how little or how much coverage you should purchase. If you own a home or business, you’re going to want more coverage to protect those assets.

The average insurance study rate for driver profiles with low coverage is $1,341, and it’s interesting to see how this national average compares to the rates from other insurers in this study. USAA has the lowest average representative rate for this group at $830 for a year of coverage. Geico is another good option as well, especially if you don’t qualify for USAA coverage. In this study, Geico has an average annual rate of $1,088 for driver profiles with low coverage, followed by $1,143 from State Farm and $1,192 from Travelers. The highest representative rates for low coverage insurance customer profiles come from Allstate, with a study rate of $1,772, and Nationwide, with a study rate of $1,861.

To find the average rates in our study based on coverage type, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Medium Coverage

Company

Medium

Allstate

$1,880

American Family

$1,391

Farmers

$1,682

Geico

$1,168

Nationwide

$1,864

Progressive

$1,373

State Farm

$1,234

Travelers

$1,267

USAA

$885

The national average car insurance sample rate for driver profiles with medium coverage is $1,416, according to our survey data. It’s worth mentioning that this annual study rate is just $75 higher than the rate for sample drivers with low coverage. This highlights an often overlooked point. Raising your coverage limits doesn’t always come at a high price.

As above, USAA offers the best annual representative rate of $885 for driver profiles with medium coverage in our study. Geico is a distant second-place with a study cost of $1,168 for sample drivers with these coverage limits, followed by State Farm and Travelers with representative costs of $1,234 and $1,267, respectively. Nationwide and Allstate round out the pricier end of the range with average annual costs of $1,864 and $1,880.

Keep in mind that these rates are based on calculations and sample driver profiles. The rate you pay for medium coverage may vary, as it will be influenced by other factors. To find the average rates in our study for medium insurance coverage, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

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Average Car Insurance Rates for High Coverage

Company

High

Allstate

$1,983

American Family

$1,413

Farmers

$1,787

Geico

$1,255

Nationwide

$1,892

Progressive

$1,489

State Farm

$1,326

Travelers

$1,335

USAA

$940

If you want the best insurance coverage with the most protection, you’ll pay more than you would for low or medium coverage, but perhaps not as much as you might expect.

The average rate for sample drivers in our study with high auto insurance coverage is $1,491. It’s an increase of $150 annually compared to those with low coverage limits, but just $75 more than those with medium coverage. On the one hand, it is money that most of us would rather not spend, but the superior coverage it can buy is worth it in the event of an accident.

Yet again, USAA is the most-affordable option in this category with an average annual study cost of $940 among sample drivers. Geico, State Farm, and Travelers are the next-best options with study rates of $1,255, $1,326, and $1,335, respectively. Allstate is by far the priciest option with an annual representative rate of $1,983 for sample drivers with high coverage.

To find the average rates in our study for high insurance coverage, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Good Drivers

Company

Clean record

Allstate

$1,880

American Family

$1,391

Farmers

$1,682

Geico

$1,168

Nationwide

$1,864

Progressive

$1,373

State Farm

$1,234

Travelers

$1,267

USAA

$885

One of the best ways to save money on car insurance is to maintain a clean driving record, especially since this is a factor that is entirely within your control. That means avoiding accidents, speeding tickets, and other offenses. Not only will you save money on your annual car insurance premiums, you won’t have to deal with the additional expenses of tickets, court costs, or other fines and fees.

The average representative rate for sample drivers in our study with a clean record is $1,416. That said, there is quite a lot of variation from insurer to insurer. As has been the trend, USAA has the lowest annual study rate for the sample drivers in this group at just $885. Geico, State Farm, and Travelers are the next-best options with representative rates of $1,168, $1,234, and $1,267, respectively. Despite having a clean driving record, driver profiles insured with Nationwide and Allstate could pay a comparatively high $1,864 and $1,880, respectively, for coverage. That’s why it’s important to shop around for insurance quotes, because a good driving record doesn’t always mean a great rate.

To find the average rates in our study based on driving record, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With One Speeding Ticket

Company

With 1 speeding violation

Allstate

$2,212

American Family

$1,497

Farmers

$2,099

Geico

$1,510

Nationwide

$2,263

Progressive

$1,803

State Farm

$1,375

Travelers

$1,721

USAA

$1,041

A single speeding ticket is the first, and least consequential, of the driving offenses we’ll look at. The average annual rate for the sample drivers in our study with one speeding ticket is $1,724. That’s an increase of about $300 over driver profiles with a clean record. Some insurers are a bit more forgiving than others though.

Once again, USAA offers the best annual study rate for the sample drivers in this group at $1,041 -- an increase of about $150 over USAA drivers with a clean record. State Farm is another affordable option for the driver profiles in this category with a study rate of $1,375. The American Family and Geico insurance companies also beat the average with representative rates of $1,497 and $1,510, respectively, in this study. By comparison, Nationwide offers the highest annual rate for the sample drivers in this study at $2,263 – a 21% increase over drivers with a clean record.

For this section, we looked at our driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a medium level of insurance coverage with 12,000-mile driving limits per year, as well as a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With One Accident

Company

With 1 accident

Allstate

$2,673

American Family

$1,684

Farmers

$2,446

Geico

$1,802

Nationwide

$2,766

Progressive

$2,324

State Farm

$1,487

Travelers

$1,842

USAA

$1,229

According to our study, the average annual car insurance representative rate for driver profiles with one accident is $2,028. That’s about a $600 increase over driver profiles with a clean record. While you can’t erase a crash from your record, some insurers are more forgiving of accidents than others.

USAA offers the best annual study rate for the sample drivers in this group at $1,229. The State Farm and American Family insurance companies are the next-best options with representative rates of $1,487 and $1,684, respectively. Allstate and Nationwide are by far the priciest options with an observed annual rate of $2,673 and $2,766, respectively, for sample drivers with one accident on their record.

To examine rates for drivers with one accident, we’ll go back to our driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. These profiles have a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and policies with 12,000-mile annual driving limits. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With One DUI

Company

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$3,252

American Family

$1,726

Farmers

$2,640

Geico

$2,958

Nationwide

$4,011

Progressive

$1,793

State Farm

$1,681

Travelers

$2,430

USAA

$1,683

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only dangerous, it’s a big expense for those charged with DUI. You’ll have to pay various fees, fines, and penalties depending on your local laws. A DUI can also spike your car insurance rates dramatically.

According to our study, the average annual car insurance representative rate for driver profiles with one DUI on their record is $2,464. That’s a 74% increase over driver profiles with a clean record. State Farm and USAA offer the best annual study rates for sample drivers in this group at $1,681 and $1,683, respectively. American Family and Progressive aren’t too far behind with representative rates of $1,726 and $1,793 in this study. According to our study data, Nationwide and Allstate have the most expensive annual study rates for the sample drivers with a single DUI offense – $4,011 and $3,252, respectively.

For this section, we looked at driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. These profiles have a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and policies with 12,000-mile annual driving limits. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With Bad Credit

Company

Poor Credit

Allstate

$3,025

American Family

$2,277

Farmers

$2,669

Geico

$1,855

Nationwide

$2,549

Progressive

$2,308

State Farm

$2,745

Travelers

$2,095

USAA

$1,653

Credit history is yet another factor used to determine car insurance rates. People with good credit aren’t necessarily better drivers, but they are perceived as more financially responsible, and insurance companies reward that responsibility with better rates. The average representative rate for sample drivers in our study with poor credit is $2,353. That’s about a $950 increase over driver profiles with good credit and close to a $700 increase over those with fair credit. This doesn’t mean you’re stuck if you have fair or poor credit though.

Start your search with USAA or Geico if you have bad credit. These insurers offers the best annual study rates for the sample drivers in this group at $1,653 and $1,855, respectively. Travelers is another good option with representative rates of $2,095. Allstate and State Farm are the priciest options for sample drivers with poor credit at $3,025 and $2,745, respectively.

To find the average rates in our study based on credit score, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good driving record. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

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Finding the Best Car Insurance For You

By now, you should have a better idea of the factors that go into determining the cost of your auto insurance, as well as how much you can expect to pay the next time you shop for insurance coverage. Now, it’s time to learn ways of finding the best deal on car insurance. Shopping around and getting quotes from a variety of companies is the best way to save money when you buy car insurance. Our U.S. News auto insurance guide will also help you learn more about available discounts and other ways to cut costs.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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