Welcome to Data Heaven: Introducing The 2016 State of Auto Insurance Report

state of auto insurance

Drumroll please…

Today, The Zebra introduces to you, fine readers, our first annual State of Auto Insurance Report!

Did you ever wonder how much a speeding ticket would raise your car insurance rates? Or whether it’d be cheaper to insure a truck than an SUV? Or maybe, just maybe, you wanted to know what a 43-year-old married man who owns his home, drives a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, has one accident on his record from two years ago, and lives in Oregon pays for car insurance?

Yeeaahh, maybe the last one is not so common, but just in case you happened to wonder about those sort of factors and then some, The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance Report would be able to tell you.

Car insurance rates have been rising, up 11 percent nationally over five years ago, and up nearly 50 percent in some states. What’s causing rates to jump, and what accounts for the volatility over the years and across the country? Here at Quoted, we’ve looked at causes such as falling gas prices, connected and driverless technology, and driver behavior like distracted driving and fraud

Now we want to know, how is the insurance industry responding to these and other changes, and to the potential risks they pose? And how can these findings help keep consumers informed as they search for car insurance?

The State of Auto Insurance 2016

Welcome to the car insurance data party! A few teasers from our findings:

  • Drivers could pay as little as $560 or more than $36,900 annually for car insurance (nearly a 6500% difference).
  • One DUI will cost you over $1,000 in car insurance (an 80% increase) nationally, and some states such as North Carolina will penalize drunk drivers with an increase of over 350%.
  • A 59-year-old female homeowner with a good driving history is the ideal car insurance customer — they pay the least of any other demographic. High five, Katie Couric!
  • It actually doesn’t really matter all that much how many miles you put on your car.
  • Teen drivers pay a national average annual premium of nearly $5,000, which is more than three times the average rates of anyone ages 30 to 85.
  • Widows pay less for car insurance than divorcees.
  • And you know those telematics things some people plug in their cars that are supposed to show what great drivers they are and save them big bucks? Yeah. They don’t really save many bucks at all.

You want MORE, you say? Ask and ye shall receive. We pulled millions and millions (perhaps in the higher “illions,” even) of car insurance rates in June of this year and pored over them to see how key rating factors impact pricing, and to clear up some of that complexity throughout the industry.

Analysis of data from The Zebra’s quote engine comprises annual auto insurance premiums for a base driver profile and includes insurance companies such as State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, and more. We left no zip code unturned (there are about 43,000 in the U.S.). We also aimed the lens back five years and pulled rates from 2011-2015 to identify trends.

car insurance price increases

In summary, we explored how car insurance rate vary based on:

Where you live and drive

  • Psst, you don’t live in Michigan, do you? Because if you do, you’re paying top dollar for car insurance among all states while your neighbors in Ohio are paying the least.
  • See the 10 Least Expensive States for Auto Insurance

Who you are: Your gender, age, marital status, homeowner status, and level of education

  • Men, unmarried people, renters, and those with low education and low credit pay more for car insurance, respectively, than women, married people, homeowners, and those with higher education and higher credit.
  • Teens pay more than double for car insurance than any other age group, with 16-year-olds paying nearly $6,500 annually. Average annual rates drop steadily each year until the driver turns 60; those in the 50-59 age group pay the least for their auto insurance premiums.

how age affects car insurance

Your financial and insurance history: Your credit score, how long you’ve been insured, and what type of coverage you’ve carried

  • Drivers with poor credit pay more than twice as much for car insurance as those with excellent credit.
  • A longer history of prior insurance (with no gap in coverage) — and the higher levels of liability coverage — will keep rates low.

How you drive: Your primary vehicle use, annual mileage, history of accidents and violations, use of car safety, anti-theft, or other driving monitoring devices.

  • DUI violations remained the most expensive penalties for auto insurance premiums over five years. In 2016, one DUI raises car insurance rates 80%.
  • Although DUIs increase average annual premiums the most nationally, 23 states cite racing as the most costly violation in terms average annual premium increase, 16 cite DUI, and others cite reckless driving and at-fault accidents.
  • Regardless of state, drivers will incur at least a 40 percent increase in auto insurance premiums if ticketed for their state’s most expensive violation.
  • Mileage hardly impacts car insurance rates at all; those who drive more than 15,000 miles per year only pay 6 percent more for car insurance than those who drive 0-7,500 miles per year.

how traffic violations affect car insurance

What you drive: What type of car you drive and how old it is

  • Luxury cars are the most expensive vehicle types to insure, followed by “green” cars (hybrids, electric, etc.), trucks, sedans, SUVs, and vans.
  • A 5-year-old car is about 11% less expensive to insure than a new model.

Check out our site for key findings, and download the full report for your perusal (fo’ free, because that’s how we do things at The Zebra).


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