If your car insurance rates have jumped, you are not alone: Rates are climbing for 83 percent of drivers, according to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report.
The insurance search engine says policy costs are on the rise for 184 million drivers, and are higher than they ever have been. The national average annual cost of coverage is now $1,470, up 23 percent over the past eight years.
While that might sound like a relatively modest climb over nearly a decade, The Zebra notes that annual rates vary widely, topping more than $5,000 in some U.S. cities.
In fact, in some states, rates have jumped by nearly 80 percent since 2011. In other states, they’ve risen by as little as 1 percent. And 10 states have seen rates fall in that time period, some by as much as 20 percent.
Several factors account for these differences. According to The Zebra:
“More populated cities with higher instances of traffic congestion, crime, and uninsured drivers often have higher premiums.”
The Zebra also says American drivers are “increasingly reckless behind the wheel,” and that such behavior is helping drive up policy costs. The distracting influences of cellphones, alcohol and other drugs, and passengers are at the root of these bad driving behaviors, The Zebra says.
Overall, 40 states and the District of Columbia saw rates rise on average over the past year, while 10 states recorded declines.
Drivers in Michigan pay the highest rates for insurance, an average of $2,693 annually, The Zebra found. Maine drivers pay the lowest rates, an average of $896 annually.
In the past year, Colorado saw the biggest year-over-year rate increase, 19 percent. Montana recorded the greatest year-over-year decrease, 21 percent.
Cutting your own insurance costs
Other studies have found similar differences in what drivers pay for car insurance. But regardless of where you live, there are always ways to slash your car insurance bill.
One way to cut rates is to use a website like The Zebra to compare costs at various insurance companies.
You also could join an organization that offers members a break on car insurance costs. As we noted in “5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts“:
“If you are a member of some nonprofits or clubs, you are probably eligible for price breaks on car insurance that could put a nice dent in your driving expenses.”
And that’s just for starters. If you’re looking for a comprehensive collection of tips for trimming your annual insurance tab, check out “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.”
How do you keep your insurance costs low? Share your tips in comments below or on our Facebook page.