Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2021

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Car insurance is a major expense for most people. For most drivers, a certain amount of car insurance is required by state law, by their car loan company or both.

While car insurance may be a costly expense, most drivers purchase more car insurance coverage than is required. This coverage can prevent you from paying out-of-pocket for issues that range from weather-related damage to your vehicle and car accidents to theft and more.

While many drivers want to be fully insured on the roadway, most want to keep this expenses as low as possible. Shopping around for car insurance rates and using a rate comparison website is a great way to compare rates and identify savings.

However, if you are like most drivers, you may be curious what the auto insurance average monthly payment is, as this may indicate if you are paying too much for your coverage.

To find and compare auto insurance quotes, simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool above!

The National Average

In 2009, the average driver paid approximately $1,736 per year in auto insurance. This is approximately $145 per month for auto coverage. This is a figure that takes into account the cost all drivers paid, regardless of coverage amounts, their driving history status and more.

Why This Figure May Be Misleading

You may see the average monthly auto insurance payment figure of $145 per month and be ecstatic if your own car insurance expense is lower than this. On the other hand, you may be ready to start shopping for new coverage if you are paying higher than the average.

Before you jump to a conclusion one way or another, consider that the state averages can vary significantly.

For example, the monthly average insurance cost for Minnesota drivers was $163. The monthly average insurance cost for drivers in Iowa, on the other hand, was only $88.

If you want to get a better idea about how your own insurance rates compare against other drivers, the state average may be a better indication.

Further Variations Exist Inside Each State

Reviewing average insurance costs for drivers in your state may provide you with a better indication about how your own insurance costs compare to other drivers, but you should be aware that there is still great variation in rates inside each state.

Insurance companies do not determine rates based on the state you live.

Instead, they look at detailed statistics and demographics for your own zip code. This means that someone living just a few miles away from you may have far different rates than you, assuming all other factors are the same.

Insurance companies take into account the average age of drivers who live in a zip code, crime statistics and more when determining insurance rates.

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Other Factors That Affect Rates

The fact is that where you live does affect your insurance expense, but that is not the only factor that insurance companies review.

Consider that younger drivers, such as males under the age of 25, statistically have higher insurance rates than men just a few years older.

Insurance companies calculate their rates through a detailed analysis of a number of different factors which include:

  • Your zip code
  • Your age and gender
  • Your driving history
  • Your vehicle, including its replacement cost, repair cost, safety equipment, engine type and more
  • Coverage and deductibles selected

Reviewing the average national cost of insurance can be very misleading. This is because drivers may have variations with each of these factors that insurance companies consider.

Finding Affordable Coverage

If you are interested in seeing how affordable your coverage is, or in finding more affordable coverage than you have today, you simply need to follow a few basic steps.

These include:

  1. Shop around for new rates. The Internet is a great resource to use, allowing you to very quickly and easy gather and compare rate quotes from top insurance companies.
  2. Adjustable your coverage amounts. Many drivers don’t know how much coverage they need or how much coverage their current policy provides. You first should determine your needs for required coverage, then determine if you would benefit from additional coverage. You may be surprised to find that you are paying for more coverage than you need.
  3. Increase your deductible. If you have had to pay your deductible in the past, you may be inclined to keep it as low as possible. It is never fun to pay several hundred dollars out-of-pocket to have your vehicle repaired. However, this is an expense you pay only when you file a claim. How often do you file a claim? By increasing your deductible, you can lower your premium. Keep in mind that you pay your premium regularly, so this is a great savings option.
  4. Look for discounts. Some car insurance discounts are easy to use. For instance, if you are insuring two or more cars, you may automatically qualify for a multiple vehicle discount. Other discounts, like a safe driver discount, may take some extra effort. For example, you may have to take a driver’s safety course or drive around for a few months with a GPS monitoring system in your car to qualify for a safe driver discount. These efforts can yield significant savings over time, so do your part to put discounts to use.

Making a Decision

Comparing your insurance cost with the national average can be interesting, but there isn’t much benefit to doing so.

There is so much variation in insurance rates from driver to driver because so many factors are taken into account to determine rates.

You can compare insurance rates online by using a rate comparison website to see if you are overpaying on your current car insurance policy.

Just enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool below!

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