If you’ve ever compared car insurance rates, you know how many options are available. Depending on a variety of individual rating factors, certain companies will price your insurance differently. You could end up paying more by choosing the wrong company or failing to compare enough companies. We've outlined the factors that go into your car insurance premiums, as well as some tips for how to find the best possible rates. Let’s get started.
One of the best ways to get cheap car insurance is by comparing car insurance quotes — and the companies offering them. To get you started, NerdWallet looked at car insurance prices across the country for different driver profiles and coverage levels to find the cheapest rates. We’ve sliced the data in several ways to give you an idea of average costs and what factors might nudge your car insurance rate up — or even better, down.
One way to do this is to call the insurance company and see what the hold time is and what the service is like when you wait to speak to a representative about a general inquiry. If the hold time is 3 hours and they don’t seem like an accommodating group, you’re probably not going to want to deal with them after you just lost your house and file a claim.
"Many companies offer discounts for good grades and for completion of an approved driver’s education or defensive driving course," continued Doreen Haughton-James of 123 Drive! Driving Academy. "Some also have their own discount programs. State Farm, for example, has a program called 'Steer Clear' where students receive discounts for logging driving hours and completing a program."

We analyzed premiums for a variety of policies and customer profiles to determine the average cost of life insurance across a number of different policy durations. The largest influencing factors on life insurance rates are the health of the individual being insured and their age. Factors such as whether or not you smoke, and what your height-to-weight ratio are also go a long way towards determining your annual life insurance policy quotes. Individuals that smoke often pay three times the amount that similar non-smokers will have to pay in premiums. Of course, life insurance companies will look at many other factors besides health (such as your occupation and age) but factors common in pricing other insurance products, like state of residence, are often not contributing factors.
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NerdWallet compared quotes from these insurers in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, as well as any other coverage required in each state. Our “good driver” profile is a 40-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier.

The life insurance market has shrunk by around 4% over the last ten years. Interestingly, the market shrunk after the recession then grew about 51% between 2010 and 2015, though it has since begun to drop in size again. In 2017, life insurance premiums exceeded the amount spent in four of the past five years, but still came short of levels seen in 2008 and 2015. Check out our graph below to see how the market has fluctuated in the last decade. All numbers in billions.

While you might want to finish shopping for car insurance as quickly as possible, it’s important to do your due diligence and find the right company. At the end of the day, car insurance is designed to protect and benefit you. If you were to be injured or have your car totaled in an accident, your insurer’s customer service and claims satisfaction would be vital.
Policies typically use vague language when referring to acts of terrorism, but they are generally insured by the comprehensive portion of your policy. For example, if there is an act of terror and you need to make a claim on your car, that can only be made if you have comprehensive coverage. Since some circumstances are out of our control, comprehensive insurance is certainly important to have in your policy.
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