What are the factors that affect car insurance rates?


Age is a significant factor in determining your car insurance rate. On average, car insurance rates are higher when you're younger and decrease (or stabilize) as your age increases. Rates decrease because younger drivers are generally more likely to have accidents or take risks on the road.

In fact, teens are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash than 20-24-year-olds, according to the California DMV. This kind of risk results in much higher rates compared to experienced drivers. But it's not all bad news for teen drivers. Progressive offers a Good Student Discount if the parents add their eligible teen driver to their policy to lower the cost of insuring new drivers.*

Learn more about car insurance for teens, insurance for seniors, and how age impacts your car insurance rate.


Your location is also one of the most important factors in determining how likely you are to have a claim or get into an accident. If you live in a highly populated area and you're at a higher risk for car theft, vandalism, and harm to your car, then you're likely to pay more for the comprehensive insurance and auto collision coverage portion of your policy. Additionally, different states have different coverage requirements, including how much liability coverage you're required to carry. All of these aspects of your location have some impact on your car insurance rate.

Average cost of Progressive car insurance by state

Take a closer look at where each state falls regarding average car insurance cost.

Map of United States highlighting low-cost states

Low-cost states

Average cost of six-month liability-only policy: $78 per month**

States included: California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Map of United States highlighting medium-cost states

Medium-cost states

Average cost of six-month liability-only policy: $100 per month**

States included: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Texas, and Utah.

Map of United States highlighting high-cost states

High-cost states

Average cost of six-month liability-only policy: $146 per month**

States included: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

About our data

This data shows the average rate for a six-month liability-only auto policy with one vehicle and one driver at Progressive between 2020 and 2021. While this data provides insight into the average cost of car insurance in every state, it isn't customized to your specific situation.

Other factors that determine car insurance cost

Vehicle usage

If you use your vehicle mostly for pleasure or commuting, you'll usually pay less than a driver using their vehicle for other purposes. If you use your vehicle for business or for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, some companies may charge you more, or may even require rideshare insurance coverage. Learn more about usage-based car insurance.

Your driving record

A better driving record — especially a clean driving record — can get you a better rate. Accidents and tickets can impact your record, and new drivers with no record may also pay more.

Speeding and traffic tickets

If it's your first speeding ticket in three years, you may not get an increase at all. But, if you get two or more tickets in a three-year period, you'll likely get an increase. The good news is that the increase won't be permanent, and speeding tickets typically fall off your motor vehicle record after a few years.

Learn more about how speeding tickets impact your insurance rate.

At-fault accidents

Similar to speeding tickets, most at-fault accidents will raise your rate, but the increase won't be permanent. Your insurance company will stop charging you for the accident after several years (the length varies by insurer and state).

Keep in mind that accidents don't always raise your rate. Progressive offers accident forgiveness, which means if you have a qualifying claim, we won't raise your rate if you have an accident.

Not-at-fault and one-car accidents

There's no easy answer here, as this varies by state. You won't see an increase in many states for a not-at-fault accident. But in other states, your company could increase your rate — depending on your state and insurance company. Insurance companies generally consider one-car accidents at fault because no other driver is involved. Learn more about the difference between at-fault and no-fault accidents.

Coverage selections

Generally speaking, the more car insurance coverages you have, the higher the rate. State-minimum coverage will always be the most affordable while maxing out your coverages will be the most expensive. The good news is that sometimes you can increase your coverage amounts by thousands, and your car insurance rate will only change minimally. Your car insurance deductible amount will also impact your rate.

Learn about car insurance requirements by state.

Vehicle type

The vehicle you drive can affect your car insurance rate. Factors include how much you paid for it, the cost of repairs, and if it has a higher theft rate. For example, a convertible or sports car may cost more to insure. Learn more about insuring sports cars and if convertibles cost more to insure.

Marital status

Adding your spouse to your car insurance policy offers some small but favorable benefits, including potentially lower costs and the convenience of being on one policy.

How you pay

Most insurers offer various car insurance discounts depending on how you pay. At Progressive, we offer discounts for paying in full, receiving and signing your documents online, and electronic bill payment.*


Many insurance companies focus on how often you drive and may charge high-volume drivers more. Progressive rewards safe drivers through our Snapshot® program, which personalizes your car insurance rate based on your driving habits.


Many insurers use credit-based insurance scores to calculate car insurance rates. Generally speaking, a better credit-based insurance score means a better rate. And no, getting a quote will not impact your actual credit score. Learn more about credit-based insurance scores.

Continuous insurance

If you have zero gaps or cancellations in your insurance history, you'll typically get a lower car insurance rate. At Progressive, we offer a Continuous Insurance Discount.†† That means we'll honor the amount of time you've been with us or your previous insurance company. Learn more about how to lower your car insurance rate.

Other tips to get a lower car insurance rate

One of the easiest ways to save is to bundle your home and auto insurance with one company. Many carriers offer a discount when you bundle home and auto, as well as other types of insurance. For example, Progressive offers a discount for bundling insurance policies like homeowners insurance, motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, RV insurance, and more.

You can also learn how to get cheap car insurance, including enrolling in Snapshot Road Test® — a free trial of Snapshot® that lets you see what you could save with Progressive.

Looking for more information about auto insurance? Our car insurance resource center has you covered.