Jan. 11, 2022

COVID-19 Relief Ends: Car Insurance Rates Back On The Rise

Despite a brief decrease in auto insurance rates, The Zebra finds rates rebounded 3% since last year; up 26% since 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - January 11, 2022 - The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, released its 2022 State of Auto Insurance Report revealing the national average annual cost for car insurance to be $1,529, up 3% over last year’s reduced rates from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zebra’s sixth annual State of Auto Insurance Report provides an under-the-hood look at more than 83 million auto insurance rates across all 34,500 U.S. ZIP codes. It examines over a decade’s worth of data to reveal trends in pricing across the nation.

“In 2021, drivers began taking their cars out of ‘park’ and returned to the roads,” said Nicole Beck, Head of Communications at The Zebra. “More drivers can lead to more potential accidents to occur. As soon as the number of claims filed increases, so will insurance rates. However, drivers aren’t powerless – to lower rates, practice safe driving behaviors and take every precaution to protect your vehicles from damages caused by extreme weather.”

The COVID-19 factor
The COVID-19 pandemic created major changes in how Americans traveled. The Federal Highway Administration reported a 14% decrease in the number of miles traveled by U.S. drivers during the first year of the pandemic. The number of annual miles driven is only one factor considered in car insurance pricing, which is why drivers only saw a 4% drop in rates during 2020, a year of less driving. As Americans began driving again – whether it was back to work, grocery stores or social gatherings – prices are on the rise as the number of claims filed have returned to its pre-pandemic baseline.

More claims filed from deadly roads, extreme weather damages
Drivers are back: the Federal Highway Administration estimates an 11% increase in miles driven through October 2021. But, roads have become deadlier, after risky driving behaviors like distracted and aggressive driving, speeding and impaired driving have increased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020. 

Weather is also an essential factor to consider as a factor in the national price increase, as insurance companies seek to make up for losses from claims filed. Even though fewer hurricanes occurred in 2021, it was still considered an above-average hurricane season. Winter storms this year caused a record $15 billion in insured losses, up from $1 billion in 2020, almost entirely due to two storms that occurred in February. 

Prices vary down to the zip code
Each state has its specific requirements and regulations for auto insurance. Car insurance rates increased in 38 states (including the District of Columbia) and fell in 13 states in the past year. Louisiana saw the largest increase of 42%, putting the state at the top spot for most expensive insurance. Maryland had the most significant decrease at around 9%.

Most Expensive States:

  1. Louisiana: $3,265
  2. Michigan: $2,639
  3. Florida: $2,425
Most Expensive Cities:
  1. New Orleans, LA: $3,532
  2. Baton Rouge, LA: $3,473
  3. Alexandria, LA: $3,202
See the 2022 State of Auto Insurance Report to explore how gender, credit score, age, popular cars, teen drivers and rating factors affect insurance costs by state and ZIP code.

About The Zebra
The Zebra is the nation's leading, independent insurance comparison site. With its dynamic, real-time quote comparison tool, consumers can identify insurance companies with the coverage, service level, and pricing to suit their unique needs. The Zebra compares more than 100 auto and home insurance companies and provides agent support and educational resources to ensure consumers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their insurance. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, The Zebra has sought to bring transparency and simplicity to insurance shopping since 2012 — it's "insurance in black and white."

Media Contact:
The Zebra