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Car insurance report

The most interesting stats drivers should know about car insurance

Over 270 million vehicles are registered in the US. According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers of private passenger vehicles — including cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans — put an average of 3 trillion miles on the roads each year. In fact, the average driver racks up about 13,500 miles behind the wheel each year, a figure that continues to rise.

Take a look at what it’s like to insure a car for the average driver and compare telling statistics about the state of driving in the US.

How much do drivers pay for car insurance?

The national average cost of auto insurance is about $1,300 a year. Rates can vary depending on your location and many other factors, including:

Car insurance costs by state

Each state has different laws and regulations that can influence rates, coverage, payouts and other factors. How does your state’s car insurance rates stack up?

StateAverage annual car insurance rate
New Hampshire$1,200
New Jersey$1,400
New Mexico$1,200
New York$1,300
North Carolina$1,300
North Dakota$1,350
Rhode Island$1,800
South Carolina$1,300
South Dakota$1,050
Washington, DC$1,300
West Virginia$1,350

How often do drivers switch car insurance?

Most drivers don’t shop for car insurance as often as they should. While as many as 75% of drivers shop around for quotes, the average person only shops every few years. Those who do switch car insurance end up saving over $500 on average.

But when you do switch car insurance companies, make sure you don’t fall in to the third of Americans who lie on their car insurance application, hoping to get a better deal.

What’s the most dangerous driving behavior?

You’ve seen drivers who engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Not using turn signals, texting while driving, forgetting basic road safety — these rage-inducing actions might seem to happen to you every time you get behind the wheel. Almost 6 million car accidents occur in the US every year, leading to over 40,000 vehicle-related fatalities.

Take a look at which drivers are most likely to commit these acts of dangerous driving and how often reckless driving really happens.

  • Teen drivers are three times more likely to get speeding tickets.
  • Around 16% of people don’t wear seat belts.
  • About 481,000 drivers use cell phones while driving, while an estimated 25% of accidents involve phone use.
  • Around 16% of drivers are uninsured.
  • Drunk driving causes up to 30% of all road fatalities every year.
  • A DUI costs thousands in fees, penalties and alternate transportation.
  • Watch out for high drivers on the weekend: almost 20% of nighttime and weekend drivers test positive for drugs.

Exclusive finder data: Dangerous driving statistics

What’s the most dangerous time of year?

Surprisingly, you’re more likely to wreck in the summer due to the increased traffic and cars on the road. And although the icy, snowy road conditions in winter can be dangerous, cloudy weather causes more crashes than any other weather condition, especially on dark, rainy winter days with low visibility.

Which days are the most dangerous to be on the road?

Nighttime and weekends are the most dangerous times to drive. And holidays are even worse, with July 4th topping the list of holidays with the most road fatalities every year.

Deadliest holidays to drive

Most dangerous holidays for driving

What are the most common car insurance claims?

  • Fender bender
  • Theft
  • Neck or back injury
  • Vandalism
  • Windshield damage
  • Animal collision

How often do drivers make claims?

Car insurance claims totaled over $170 million in the US each year. To put that into perspective for any single driver, the average loss per claim was $4,100. That’s roughly the cost of a used 10-year-old sedan.

The good news is that the average driver makes an accident claim once every 18 years. Although your car might break down or face a few dings or bumps over the years, you probably won’t have to worry about making a big claim in the next decade or two.

Bottom line

In a car-loving country like the US, it can be hard to ditch your ride in favor of other transportation. While insurance can be expensive, it protects you and your vehicle with the peace of mind that you’ll be covered in the event of an accident. With that said, getting the right coverage for the car you’ve always wanted is easier than you might think.

Consider your coverage, deductible and discounts when comparing your car insurance options to get the best policy for your needs.

How we got these stats

Richard Laycock headshot

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Laycock, Insights editor and senior content marketing manager


/in/richardlaycock/ /aleksvee/

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