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How to compare auto insurance rates and find an affordable policy

Along with the type and amount of coverage that you choose, your auto insurance rates depend primarily on a number of personal factors including your driving record, your age, your credit history, your vehicle, and the risk level of your area. Insurance companies’ weighting of these attributes is reflected in your premium. For example, having a limited driving history or a poor credit score can raise your rates dramatically.

Why insurance comparison shopping is important

Auto insurance companies use varying methods to underwrite policies. This means that the auto insurance rate you are quoted by one company might not match your quote from a competing company. However, you can expect that your individual driver profile is one of the primary factors used to determine how much you’ll pay. Complicating matters even further, car insurance rates can fluctuate depending on trends in the wider insurance market. Because of the many variables at play, the best way to find cheap car insurance is to compare auto insurance rates from a number of companies, something that The Zebra can help with.

While shopping around can lead to cheaper rates for all motorists, this is especially important for those with a poor credit history or who lack a clean driving record. Rates for such drivers are already higher on average, even for the minimum coverage required by your state. 

This unbiased guide — written by one of The Zebra’s insurance experts — outlines the factors that comprise car insurance premiums and provides tips to help you find a car insurance policy.

Compare car insurance rates by:

Compare car insurance rates by age and insurance company

Car insurance rates for teenage drivers

If you have teenage dependents — or if you’re a teen driver yourself — you know insurance is expensive. In many cases, adding a teen to your car insurance plan can nearly double your premium. Of the most popular car insurance companies in the U.S., GEICOAmerican Family and USAA are the most affordable insurance companies for teen drivers.

Teen Drivers Auto Insurance Rates.png
Insurance Company6-Month Insurance Premium
American Family$1,600
Liberty Mutual$3,332
State Farm$1,688

For more car insurance rate comparisons by age bracket, reference our in-depth guides:

25-Year-Old Drivers Average Auto Insurance Rates.png
Insurance Company6-Month Insurance Rate
American Family$723
Liberty Mutual$888
State Farm$734

Nationwide is the least expensive car insurance company for 25-year-old drivers, with GEICO being a bit more expensive. Although State Farm and American Family are the more expensive options for older drivers, they could end up being affordable insurers for drivers with violations on their records.

If you’re looking for more information on how to find an affordable auto insurance policy in your 20s, see our additional articles:

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Car insurance for seniors

Between the ages of 30 and 60, car insurance rates don’t fluctuate much based only on age. As you reach your late 50s and 60s, age becomes a more important determinant of your rate. For a typical senior-aged married couple without young drivers on their policy, GEICO and Nationwide offer the lowest rates with all other metrics constant.

Seniors Average Auto Insurance Rates.png
Insurance company6-Month Car Insurance Rate
American Family$586
Liberty Mutual$665
State Farm$573

Looking for more information? See our additional articles.

Cheapest and Most Expensive States for Auto Insurance

Even if you have a clean driving record, your auto insurance rates can increase depending on where you live.

Your premium rates can be even more expensive if you buy auto insurance through an insurer that covers a large portion of the drivers in your area.

As of 2019, Wyoming is the cheapest state for auto insurance coverage, with an average monthly premium of $28.

Michigan is the most expensive state for auto insurance coverage, with an average monthly auto insurance premium of $225.

Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to Insure

Your vehicle make and model affect how auto insurance companies calculate your premium rates.

Insurance providers look for specific risks that are most likely to follow your car compared to others on the road.

Of the 70 most popular car models on the road in 2017, the Toyota Tundra is the cheapest car to insure at an average of $140 a month.

The top 5 cheapest vehicle models to insure in the U.S. are Volkswagen, Kia, Mazda, Toyota, and Jeep with an average monthly premium rate of $143.

On the other hand, the Chevrolet Camaro is the most expensive car to insure at an average of $161 a month. Chevrolet is joined by Honda, BMW, Buick, and Acura as the top 5 most expensive car models to insure.

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