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How much insurance? Don't guess

By Posted : August 03, 2017

Auto insurance coverage calculatorWhen you bought your last car insurance policy, how did you decide how much coverage to buy?

Sure, there are generally accepted guidelines out there. Homeowners need at least $100,000 in bodily injury liability protection, because a large, valuable asset like a house is an easy lawsuit target if you don’t have enough to cover your victim’s hospital bills.

Or maybe you own nothing and have no savings – nothing you could lose. Then you might go for the legal minimum in your state.

There’s a lot of room in between, though, and seeing the choices other drivers in your situation make can be a good guideline when you shop for car insurance yourself. Insurance.com analyzed more than 550,000 insurance quotes delivered through its price-comparison tool to find the most common choices made by drivers of similar age, who live in the same state, who drive the same model year of car, or who own their homes.

You can find data for your state in Insurance.com's auto insurance calculator, plus advice on which types of coverages to consider and why.

Nationwide, there are clear patterns. Three out of four drivers choose a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage. A third of drivers under age 25 shop for the lowest legal amount of liability coverage, but only 19 percent of drivers over 55 do.

Nationwide, the most common coverage profile looks like this:

  • Most common bodily injury liability coverage: $50,000 per person ,$100,000 per accident, selected by 46 percent of all drivers.
  • Most common property damage liability coverage: $50,000, selected by 59 percent of all drivers.
  • Collision coverage, selected by 60 percent of all drivers.
  • Comprehensive coverage, selected by 61 percent of all drivers.
  • $500 deductible, selected by 74 percent of drivers who buy comprehensive and collision.
  • Towing and emergency road service, selected by 16 percent of all drivers.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage, selected by 16 percent of all drivers.

3 tips for buying the right amount of coverage

Seeing what other people in your situation are buying is a good place to start, but in the end, you need enough coverage for insurance to serve its intended purpose: Standing between you and financial disaster. As you decide on what coverage to buy, consider these tips:

  • Raising your deductibles can save you money. Going from a $500 deductible to $1,000, for example, would save $201 a year, on average, or 10.8 percent, on your car insurance bill, according to a rate analysis by Insurance.com. But this strategy only work if you have $1,000 on hand to get your car out of hock to the body shop. Even hiking your deductible to $500 from $250 trims an average of $167 (8.3 percent)a year from your policy costs.
  • Before you make big changes in coverage, shop around for first. The more you pay for car insurance, the more you are likely to find savings by switching insurers. 
  • Extra liability coverage beyond the required minimums is generally quite cheap – you’ll typically pay only a fraction as much for an additional $50,000 as you did for the first $25,000. Consider the following examples: Drivers age 20 pay an average of $95 more a year to boost liability limits from state minimum levels to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, Insurance.com's rate analysis found. For drivers ages 40, 50 and 60 it's just about $34.

You'll see in the charts below the average rate in each state for drivers near your age (20, 30, 40, 50 and 60) for three different levels of coverage:

  • state minimum liability
  • bodily injury liability limits of $50,000 per person and up to $100,000 per accident, with $50,000 for property damage
  • bodily injury liability limits of $100,000 per person and up to $300,000 per accident, with $100,000 for property damage

This will show you what you can expect to pay, both for more liability and for full coverage that also includes optional comprehensive and collision, with a $500 deductible. Enter your state in the search field to find rates for your location.

Average car insurance rates for drivers age 20

StateAvg. annual rate state minimumAvg. annual rate 50/100/50Avg. annual rate 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision
Alaska $732 $744 $2,531
Alabama $1,060 $1,113 $3,169
Arkansas $927 $989 $3,036
Arizona $1,055 $1,269 $2,861
California $1,071 $1,309 $3,527
Colorado $1,014 $1,159 $2,894
Connecticut $1,642 $1,873 $3,935
DC $1,499 $1,610 $3,544
Delaware $1,654 $1,923 $3,581
Florida $1,667 $1,916 $3,582
Georgia $1,165 $1,303 $3,060
Hawaii $559 $613 $1,471
Iowa $618 $675 $2,109
Idaho $710 $773 $2,040
Illinois $875 $927 $2,492
Indiana $802 $857 $2,031
Kansas $819 $898 $2,600
Kentucky $1,504 $1,631 $3,616
Louisiana $1,538 $1,779 $4,378
Massachusetts $1,084 $1,239 $2,670
Maryland $1,219 $1,289 $2,569
Maine $753 $763 $2,171
Michigan $2,807 $2,488 $4,397
Minnesota $1,101 $1,105 $2,457
Missouri $853 $968 $2,454
Mississippi $873 $954 $2,828
Montana $691 $777 $2,546
North Carolina $409 $446 $1,108
North Dakota $670 $707 $2,773
Nebraska $688 $708 $2,239
New Hampshire $1,043 $1,099 $2,429
New Jersey $1,258 $1,490 $2,947
New Mexico $895 $976 $2,702
Nevada $1,247 $1,629 $3,577
New York $1,514 $1,649 $3,527
Ohio $905 $894 $2,231
Oklahoma $947 $1,002 $3,164
Oregon $1,318 $1,386 $2,748
Pennsylvania $885 $999 $2,968
Rhode Island $1,600 $1,736 $3,498
South Carolina $1,288 $1,411 $3,091
South Dakota $595 $639 $2,227
Tennessee $849 $916 $2,677
Texas $1,048 $1,149 $2,992
Utah $1,171 $1,231 $2,647
Virginia $812 $880 $2,273
Vermont $718 $759 $2,325
Washington $1,015 $1,106 $2,493
Wisconsin $746 $847 $2,704
West Virginia $945 $1,056 $2,848
Wyoming $622 $669 $3,008

Average car insurance rates for drivers age 30

StateAvg. annual rate state minimumAvg. annual rate 50/100/50Avg. annual rate 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision
Alaska $338 $343 $1,180
Alabama $446 $460 $1,429
Arkansas $420 $441 $1,491
Arizona $508 $588 $1,417
California $527 $638 $1,692
Colorado $528 $575 $1,506
Connecticut $812 $925 $1,918
DC $784 $845 $1,811
Delaware $825 $926 $1,704
Florida $987 $1,018 $1,988
Georgia $580 $628 $1,481
Hawaii $555 $609 $1,458
Iowa $314 $343 $1,129
Idaho $336 $362 $1,012
Illinois $405 $426 $1,120
Indiana $415 $440 $1,031
Kansas $413 $443 $1,342
Kentucky $785 $829 $1,872
Louisiana $736 $860 $2,280
Massachusetts $548 $617 $1,230
Maryland $699 $738 $1,372
Maine $378 $383 $1,015
Michigan $1,966 $1,627 $2,528
Minnesota $633 $624 $1,317
Missouri $412 $459 $1,201
Mississippi $428 $457 $1,435
Montana $324 $357 $1,244
North Carolina $355 $391 $992
North Dakota $376 $386 $1,386
Nebraska $347 $361 $1,224
New Hampshire $525 $548 $1,197
New Jersey $722 $829 $1,464
New Mexico $448 $471 $1,348
Nevada $661 $822 $1,890
New York $838 $906 $1,857
Ohio $394 $392 $1,013
Oklahoma $466 $485 $1,735
Oregon $713 $725 $1,362
Pennsylvania $492 $539 $1,589
Rhode Island $812 $940 $1,834
South Carolina $509 $550 $1,348
South Dakota $279 $303 $1,154
Tennessee $422 $450 $1,297
Texas $508 $534 $1,452
Utah $567 $582 $1,298
Virginia $405 $444 $1,102
Vermont $365 $377 $1,063
Washington $496 $537 $1,270
Wisconsin $378 $421 $1,437
West Virginia $524 $579 $1,488
Wyoming $343 $364 $1,526

Average car insurance rates for drivers age 40

StateAverage annual rate state minimumAvg. annual rate 50/100/50Avg. annual rate 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision
Alaska $318 $323 $1,114
Alabama $421 $434 $1,313
Arkansas $401 $420 $1,383
Arizona $495 $570 $1,353
California $494 $595 $1,527
Colorado $515 $556 $1,435
Connecticut $770 $879 $1,775
DC $752 $813 $1,722
Delaware $822 $920 $1,655
Florida $903 $941 $1,835
Georgia $539 $583 $1,348
Hawaii $555 $609 $1,458
Iowa $294 $323 $1,024
Idaho $322 $346 $946
Illinois $385 $405 $1,009
Indiana $401 $424 $965
Kansas $405 $435 $1,245
Kentucky $760 $804 $1,771
Louisiana $699 $822 $2,190
Massachusetts $539 $609 $1,191
Maryland $715 $755 $1,396
Maine $359 $363 $920
Michigan $2,022 $1,657 $2,490
Minnesota $598 $592 $1,200
Missouri $412 $460 $1,158
Mississippi $401 $428 $1,330
Montana $323 $356 $1,224
North Carolina $348 $384 $963
North Dakota $366 $375 $1,311
Nebraska $331 $347 $1,117
New Hampshire $490 $513 $1,102
New Jersey $678 $780 $1,353
New Mexico $427 $448 $1,257
Nevada $621 $763 $1,750
New York $829 $895 $1,782
Ohio $385 $382 $957
Oklahoma $445 $462 $1,655
Oregon $711 $722 $1,292
Pennsylvania $483 $529 $1,532
Rhode Island $756 $881 $1,693
South Carolina $484 $526 $1,263
South Dakota $269 $291 $1,052
Tennessee $407 $434 $1,223
Texas $466 $490 $1,308
Utah $539 $551 $1,212
Virginia $376 $413 $979
Vermont $344 $351 $967
Washington $465 $503 $1,197
Wisconsin $369 $410 $1,327
West Virginia $499 $552 $1,387
Wyoming $338 $359 $1,472

Average car insurance rates for drivers age 50

StateAverage annual rate state minimumAvg. annual rate 50/100/50Avg. annual rate 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision
Alaska $292 $297 $1,037
Alabama $395 $409 $1,231
Arkansas $381 $399 $1,308
Arizona $474 $547 $1,295
California $467 $563 $1,422
Colorado $493 $529 $1,349
Connecticut $735 $839 $1,690
DC $725 $784 $1,659
Delaware $792 $885 $1,580
Florida $828 $869 $1,709
Georgia $515 $559 $1,276
Hawaii $555 $609 $1,458
Iowa $278 $306 $956
Idaho $307 $330 $895
Illinois $371 $391 $968
Indiana $380 $403 $907
Kansas $389 $418 $1,179
Kentucky $736 $778 $1,700
Louisiana $659 $778 $2,056
Massachusetts $525 $592 $1,150
Maryland $680 $717 $1,311
Maine $353 $357 $895
Michigan $1,870 $1,552 $2,328
Minnesota $563 $559 $1,122
Missouri $396 $442 $1,098
Mississippi $375 $399 $1,246
Montana $300 $331 $1,157
North Carolina $343 $379 $944
North Dakota $354 $363 $1,257
Nebraska $315 $331 $1,053
New Hampshire $462 $485 $1,039
New Jersey $646 $743 $1,281
New Mexico $410 $430 $1,207
Nevada $592 $733 $1,677
New York $803 $867 $1,720
Ohio $367 $364 $905
Oklahoma $426 $442 $1,565
Oregon $680 $694 $1,225
Pennsylvania $456 $500 $1,417
Rhode Island $726 $850 $1,622
South Carolina $458 $497 $1,189
South Dakota $257 $278 $989
Tennessee $378 $402 $1,134
Texas $440 $462 $1,238
Utah $513 $525 $1,148
Virginia $358 $394 $935
Vermont $327 $336 $915
Washington $432 $466 $1,131
Wisconsin $352 $391 $1,238
West Virginia $481 $533 $1,315
Wyoming $322 $341 $1,396

Average car insurance rates for divers age 60

StateAverage annual rate state minimumAvg. annual rate 50/100/50Avg. annual rate 100/300/100 with comprehensive and collision
Alaska $289 $294 $1,010
Alabama $395 $407 $1,189
Arkansas $365 $383 $1,229
Arizona $449 $515 $1,225
California $452 $546 $1,350
Colorado $478 $513 $1,270
Connecticut $709 $806 $1,595
DC $717 $775 $1,606
Delaware $760 $849 $1,502
Florida $785 $833 $1,642
Georgia $513 $561 $1,258
Hawaii $555 $609 $1,458
Iowa $276 $305 $915
Idaho $296 $318 $852
Illinois $351 $370 $919
Indiana $379 $400 $873
Kansas $369 $397 $1,109
Kentucky $714 $755 $1,638
Louisiana $680 $804 $2,067
Massachusetts $517 $583 $1,132
Maryland $697 $734 $1,323
Maine $352 $357 $877
Michigan $1,749 $1,464 $2,218
Minnesota $548 $545 $1,095
Missouri $376 $420 $1,024
Mississippi $365 $388 $1,198
Montana $299 $328 $1,110
North Carolina $339 $374 $910
North Dakota $343 $352 $1,216
Nebraska $309 $325 $1,012
New Hampshire $465 $487 $1,046
New Jersey $634 $729 $1,254
New Mexico $400 $419 $1,142
Nevada $603 $742 $1,648
New York $770 $833 $1,654
Ohio $354 $352 $857
Oklahoma $421 $437 $1,492
Oregon $652 $663 $1,154
Pennsylvania $460 $504 $1,395
Rhode Island $732 $850 $1,613
South Carolina $447 $485 $1,151
South Dakota $245 $265 $926
Tennessee $376 $400 $1,101
Texas $434 $455 $1,206
Utah $499 $510 $1,092
Virginia $347 $383 $902
Vermont $318 $325 $883
Washington $425 $458 $1,085
Wisconsin $344 $382 $1,171
West Virginia $473 $524 $1,275
Wyoming $318 $337 $1,325

*Methodology:

Insurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated average rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm). 

Averages rates are based on male and female drivers ages 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 for three coverage sets: state minimum liability, bodily injury liability of $50,000 per person and up to $100,000 per accident with $50,000 in property damage, and full coverage insurance with policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident, with  a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. These hypothetical drivers have clean records and good credit. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.

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