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Car Insurance Calculator: Estimate Your Rates (2023)

Car Insurance Calculator Estimate Your Rates (2023)

A car insurance calculator can help you plan for a change in auto coverage and see how much different vehicles or types of coverage might cost you. There are many providers to choose from, and they can offer vastly different prices.

We at the MarketWatch Guides Team will look at how car insurance calculators work and how you can use one to find the best rates for your situation. You’ll also find our top provider recommendations, plus average rates from the cheapest providers based on different driver profiles.

Why Use a Car Insurance Calculator?

A car insurance calculator helps you estimate what you’d pay for car insurance based on your situation. Different calculators may take different factors into account, but the most important factors are your location, age, driving record and vehicle. 

Using a car insurance calculator won’t give you exact quotes from each provider. However, you can use it to decide what type of car to purchase if you’re on the fence between different models. You could also compare estimates for different types of car insurance coverage, like full coverage compared to minimum coverage. 

What You Need for a Car Insurance Calculator

You’ll need basic information to use a car insurance calculator. Prepare the following information:
  • Vehicle year, make and model
  • Address of vehicle registration
  • Type of coverage you want
  • Tickets and at-fault accidents from the past three years
Depending on the calculator you use, you might not need to enter all of this information. Some calculators just need your location to give you an average rate, while others take your vehicle and driving history into account.

What You Need for a Car Insurance Quote

While a car insurance calculator can give you an estimate of your premium, a quote will show you your potential rate from a specific company. A quote takes many more factors into account and can show you what car insurance discounts you qualify for.

You can get quotes online from car insurance companies and comparison sites or by contacting an agent or broker. To get a more accurate quote, you’ll need to supply more detailed information. 

  • Your full name, date of birth, marital status and address
  • Driver’s license and Social Security numbers for any drivers who live in your home
  • Information about your vehicle (make, model and mileage or vehicle identification number)
  • Vehicle ownership/lender information
  • Vehicle’s garaged address
  • Current insurance company and policy expiration date
  • Driving history
Information for anyone else who drives your car

Average Car Insurance Rates From Top Providers

Car insurance prices depend on the company, your background and vehicle and the kind of coverage you want. You’ll need to get personalized quotes to know the exact amount you’ll pay for auto insurance.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular car insurance companies and their average annual rates for different types of drivers. Overall, USAA, Nationwide, Geico and State Farm tend to be some of the most affordable companies for full-coverage insurance.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Good Drivers

People with clean driving records tend to pay the lowest car insurance rates. The national average for good drivers is $1,730 per year, or $144 per month, for a full–coverage policy. USAA typically offers the cheapest premiums for good drivers, with an average rate of $1,054 per year, or $88 per month. These averages are based on a married 35-year-old with a clean driving record and good credit.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit

Car insurance companies typically charge higher rates to drivers with poor credit scores in states where such practices are legal. (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan prohibit insurance companies from using credit scores to calculate rates.) The average national rate for drivers with poor credit is $3,123 per year, or $260 per month. USAA tends to offer the cheapest coverage for drivers with poor credit, with an average rate of $1,807 per year, or $151 per month.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Young Drivers

Young drivers, especially teen drivers, generally pay much higher rates for car insurance. The average national rate for a 16-year-old on their own policy is $6,912 per year. Our rate averages show that, on average, 18-year-olds pay $4,958 per year and 21-year-olds pay $2,786 per year for full coverage. USAA tends to offer the cheapest car insurance for young drivers overall, though State Farm, Geico and Nationwide are also affordable options.

Why Car Insurance Quotes Can Change

A car insurance calculator provides a general estimate, while a quote from a company provides a more exact price. Most companies allow you to purchase insurance and start coverage based on this rate. However, there are situations in which this rate may change once you pay your first premium.

States allow auto insurance companies to investigate your background and modify rates or even cancel your policy within a certain time limit. This is called the underwriting period, and it lasts from 30 to 90 days depending on the state.

Say your 17-year-old son lives in your home but drives his own car. You didn’t include him in the car insurance quote. The underwriter can raise your rate if they find this out. In some cases, your auto insurance policy could be canceled if there are material differences that greatly influence the financial risk you pose to the insurance company.

Differences in your vehicle information, address and living situation can all affect your rate after you use a car insurance estimator. That’s why it’s important to provide complete and current information.