New Report: Car Insurance Prices Highest In History, Up For Two Thirds of Drivers

The Zebra’s annual report reveals steep increases since last year, price discrepancy in the thousands across the nation, and technological impacts, after a decade of analysis…

AUSTIN, Texas The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, today released its 2020 State of Auto Insurance Report, which reveals that car insurance rates have risen for two-thirds of American drivers (63%) over the past year.

Rates across the U.S. are higher than they’ve ever been — up nearly 30% since 2011 with an average annual cost of $1,548.

The Zebra’s 2020 report provides comprehensive analysis of 73 million auto insurance rates from 418 insurance companies across 34,000 U.S. ZIP codes to examine trends that impact rates at a national, state, and local level. 

“With auto insurance getting more expensive, it’s important for drivers know what goes into their rates. Yet, for most people, it’s a mystery why some drivers pay $500 per year while others pay $5,000,” says Nicole Beck, Director of Communications and licensed insurance agent at The Zebra. “The ‘why’ is a mix of factors: weather in your area, your credit score, how you drive, and more. But the bottom line is that drivers actually have more control over what they pay than they may think.”

Auto Insurance is More Expensive Than Ever

Annual car insurance premiums are up for 63% of drivers in the U.S., with some markets now exceeding $6,200 – four times the national average.

Most expensive states:

  • Michigan$3,096
  • Louisiana$2,379
  • Florida$2,309

Most expensive cities: 

  • Detroit, MI$6,280
  • Flint, MI$3,901
  • New Orleans, LA$3,735

Insurance Costs Spike for Some, Stagnant for Others

Factors like geography, susceptibility to weather events and the impact of state insurance regulators are having dramatic impacts on pricing. 

  • After Texas rates increased steeply for two years following major storms and hurricanes, the state saw a dramatic 20% decrease in rates at the start of 2020.
  • Detroit’s average annual premium is $6,280Greenville, North Carolina’s annual average premium is $819: a difference of 667%. 
  • Since 2011, 44 states and Washington, D.C. have seen an increase in pricing, but seven states have seen a slight decrease. Hawaii has seen the biggest drop in premiums, with rates down 5.5% since 2011. 

Insurance is at a Technology Tipping Point

The Zebra’s research finds that technology is playing a bigger role in auto insurance pricing — and the trend will continue into the next decade.

  • Insurers began to sharply increase rates for drivers distracted by phones or other devices at the wheel. Insurance prices jumped by $23 more per year in 2015 for a distracted driving violation, to $185 per year for the same infraction in 2016. The increase to premiums in 2019 is $355
  • Crash prevention technology has made cars safer, and more expensive to fix after an accident. As a result, drivers see few discounts for having these features in their vehicle.

See the 2020 State of Auto Insurance Report to explore how gender, credit score, age, popular cars, teen drivers, and all rating factors affect insurance costs by state and ZIP code.

Car insurance rates by state, The Zebra’s 2020 State of Auto Insurance. | Source: The Zebra | The Zebra is the nation’s leading, independent insurance comparison site.

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