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Car Insurance Calculator for Cost Estimates

Updated
Kailey Hagen
By: Kailey Hagen

Our Insurance Expert

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Car insurance costs vary widely depending on the driver and vehicle in question, but a car insurance calculator can help drivers get some idea of what they're going to pay. Even when using one of these tools, it's still smart to understand the factors that determine a car insurance premium. Some of these are outlined below to help drivers get their most accurate quote.

How to estimate car insurance cost

Here are the steps all drivers should take when getting a car insurance quote or trying to estimate their insurance costs.

Choose the vehicle you want to insure

The vehicle make and model has a significant effect on the car insurance premiums. Typically, car insurance is more expensive for the following types of vehicles:

  • Newer cars
  • Expensive, high-end cars
  • Cars that are common targets of theft
  • Cars with poor safety records
  • Cars with large engines

Drivers in the market for a new vehicle should keep these things in mind if they're trying to keep their insurance costs down.

Decide how much car insurance you need

Some car insurance is required by state law. Here's a guide to each state's car insurance costs and requirements. All drivers need at least their state's minimum insurance to drive legally, but some people feel more comfortable with additional coverage. Here's a look at Dave Ramsey's top three types of car insurance:

Liability coverage

Liability coverage is required by law in nearly every state. This pays for the expenses of other parties involved if the policyholder causes an accident. It's usually broken down into a few parts. There's bodily injury liability coverage, which pays for medical bills and has per-person and per-accident limits. Then, there's property damage liability coverage. This pays for damages to other people's property.

Some states have other types of mandatory insurance coverage as well. For full details, check out our auto insurance overview.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage pays for repairs to the driver's vehicle following an at-fault accident or a single-car accident. It's not required by law, but most lenders require drivers with a lease or an auto loan to purchase this type of coverage. Even drivers who don't need it often purchase it so they don't get stuck paying for their auto repairs out of their own pocket.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage is a complement to collision coverage. It pays to repair or replace the driver's vehicle following an animal-vehicle collision, storm damage, vandalism, theft, and more. This is another common coverage that lenders and lessors require drivers to have.

Learn the factors that affect car insurance rates

Here's a look at some of the common factors that determine car insurance premiums. Understanding these is key for drivers who want to know how to get cheaper car insurance.

Personal information

Car insurers typically ask about a driver's gender, age, marital status, and sometimes education level. They use this information, along with statistics about various subsets of drivers, to determine premium costs. Typically, the following drivers pay more for car insurance:

  • Males
  • Drivers under 25
  • Single drivers
  • Drivers with lower education levels

However, each insurer weighs these factors a little differently, so it's difficult to determine how much of an effect these things will have on your premium costs.

Coverage type

Purchasing higher coverage limits or optional protections will raise a driver's insurance premiums. However, it can help them reduce their out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident. If a driver fails to purchase adequate coverage, they'll have to pay for the remainder of the damages on their own.

If drivers want higher coverage levels but are worried about sky-high premiums, they can always opt for a higher deductible instead. Doing this lowers premiums while still enabling drivers to maintain a high level of protection. It will bring higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident, but drivers can save for this in an emergency fund so they're not caught off guard by their insurance bill.

Credit score

Not all car insurers look at credit scores and some states prohibit insurers from using this data to calculate premiums. But it's still a legal practice in most of the country. Drivers with lower credit scores are perceived to be riskier drivers, so they pay more for car insurance.

Insurance history

Most insurers ask about a driver's record within the last three to five years. Any car insurance claims during that time raise the driver's premiums, especially if the driver was at fault. Allowing car insurance coverage to lapse can also increase a driver's premiums when they apply for new car insurance coverage.

State of residence

The driver's residence affects car insurance costs in several ways. First, each state sets its own minimum car insurance requirements, and states with higher requirements usually have higher average premiums. States that are more prone to severe weather, animal-vehicle collisions, or theft also face higher premiums, as do states with a lot of uninsured drivers.

Type of vehicle

As discussed above, certain types of vehicles cost more to insure. There isn't much drivers can do about this unless they're ready to purchase a new car. Until then, getting quotes from several of the best car insurance companies for 2024 is a smart way to find a great deal.

Use our car insurance calculator

Drivers can use the information above and this car insurance calculator to help them get an idea of what they'll pay for coverage. But remember, every car insurer calculates premiums differently. The only way to know how much a driver will pay with each one is to get quotes online or over the phone.

FAQs

  • Each car insurance company calculates premium costs a little differently. Most weigh a driver's personal information, vehicle make and model, address, driving history, credit score, and desired level of coverage when determining rates.

  • Car insurance rates vary widely depending on the driver, vehicle, and insurance company in question. The only way to know exactly how much an insurer will charge a driver is to get a quote. It's best to compare quotes from several companies before purchasing a policy.

  • Drivers can get car insurance quotes using online quote forms in most cases. Otherwise, they can contact an agent by phone to request this information.

  • In order to get a quote, drivers will need to know the details of any accidents within the last three to five years and their vehicle identification number (VIN).

Our Insurance Expert