The 5 Most Costly Situations That Affect Car Insurance Premiums

Car insurance goes up for many reasons, but which are the most costly for drivers? This article has the answers.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Sep 24, 2021
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    While you can easily find the right car insurance to meet your needs, keeping your premiums down is sometimes more challenging. Even though you can't control your
    age
    ,
    gender
    , or previous
    accidents
    on your record, you can become more aware of the most costly premium-raising situations going forward.
    The five most costly situations that cause your car insurance to go up are as follows. And if you find yourself needing to switch insurance, check out
    car insurance
    comparison and broker app
    Jerry
    , where you can get quotes from 50 top insurers in less than 45 seconds, and save hundreds in doing so.
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    Getting involved in at-fault accidents

    At-fault accidents represent one of the biggest factors that cause car insurance to go up. Worse yet, the more accidents there are on your record, the higher your premiums rise. Too many accidents can also cause a car insurance company to decide not to renew your policy.
    Taking a defensive driving course represents a great way to reduce an insurance premium hike following an accident. Keep in mind that the laws governing such classes vary by state, with some restricting who can take advantage of such courses according to age.
    DMV.org
    provides a list of regulations for each state and who qualifies for a defensive driving course discount with their car insurance company.

    Living in the wrong area

    Your home address plays a part in determining your car insurance premiums. Drivers who live in areas that see greater instances of theft and vandalism pay more for car insurance compared to those who live in safer parts of a city or state. Also, high-traffic areas carry higher premiums since the likelihood of getting into an accident increases with the greater number of cars on the road.
    The number of uninsured drivers in an area can also cause your car insurance to go up. The following chart shows the differences in car insurance premiums among the states.
    Rank
    State
    Premium
    1
    Michigan
    $2,738
    2
    Montana
    $2,297
    3
    New Jersey
    $1,905
    4
    Louisiana
    $1,842
    5
    Oklahoma
    $1,778
    6
    Washington, D.C.
    $1,773
    7
    California
    $1,752
    8
    Florida
    $1,654
    9
    Maryland
    $1,610
    10
    Rhode Island
    $1,608
    11
    Delaware
    $1,607
    12
    Georgia
    $1,559
    13
    Texas
    $1,510
    14
    West Virginia
    $1,456
    15
    Wyoming
    $1,421
    16
    Colorado
    $1,393
    17
    Connecticut
    $1,367
    18
    South Carolina
    $1,353
    19
    Arkansas
    $1,345
    20
    Alabama
    $1,337
    21
    Massachusetts
    $1,325
    22
    Pennsylvania
    $1,305
    23
    Kentucky
    $1,295
    24
    New Mexico
    $1,277
    25
    Mississippi
    $1,277
    26
    Oregon
    $1,267
    27
    Minnesota
    $1,257
    28
    Nevada
    $1,221
    29
    North Dakota
    $1,188
    30
    Nebraska
    $1,188
    31
    Arizona
    $1,188
    32
    South Dakota
    $1,168
    33
    Washington
    $1,168
    34
    Tennessee
    $1,145
    35
    Kansas
    $1,135
    36
    Indiana
    $1,113
    37
    Alaska
    $1,078
    38
    Utah
    $1,061
    39
    Missouri
    $1,056
    40
    New York
    $1,050
    41
    Hawaii
    $1,049
    42
    Illinois
    $1,035
    43
    Virginia
    $1,020
    44
    Iowa
    $989
    45
    North Carolina
    $987
    46
    Vermont
    $942
    47
    New Hampshire
    $941
    48
    Idaho
    $935
    49
    Wisconsin
    $912
    50
    Ohio
    $900
    51
    Maine
    $808
    National Average
    $1,325

    Adding a teen to your car insurance policy

    Adding a young driver aged 16 to 24 to your policy will likely cause your car insurance to go up. You must list any licensed driver in your home who does not have their own insurance on your policy. Not doing so can result in a denied claim or cancelled policy if they have an accident while driving your vehicle. The following table shows the average car insurance quote by age across the U.S.
    Age
    Average Cost Per Year
    16
    $8,226
    18
    $6,456
    21
    $3,620
    25
    $2,374
    30
    $2,078
    35
    $2,028
    40
    $1,973
    45
    $1,929
    50
    $1,855
    55
    $1,845
    60
    $1,867
    65
    $1,956
    70
    $2,131

    Getting Better Insurance Coverage

    Opting for higher coverage will drive your car insurance premiums up. Your deductible — which is the amount you must pay in the event of an accident before your car insurance kicks in — also plays a part in the final cost of your premium. The following table shows the minimum car insurance coverage requirements by state.
    State
    Body Injury Liability per Person / Bodily Injury Liability per Accident / Property Damage Coverage Requirements
    Alabama
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Alaska
    $50,000 / 100,000 / 25,000
    Arizona
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
    Arkansas
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    California
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
    Colorado
    $25,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
    Connecticut
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
    Delaware
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
    District of Columbia
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Florida
    $10,000 / 20,000 / 10,000
    Georgia
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Hawaii
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
    Idaho
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
    Illinois
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
    Indiana
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Iowa
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
    Kansas
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Kentucky
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Louisiana
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 25,000
    Maine
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
    Maryland
    $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
    Massachusetts
    $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
    Michigan
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
    Minnesota
    $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
    Mississippi
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Missouri
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Montana
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Nebraska
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Nevada
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
    New Hampshire
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    New Jersey
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
    New Mexico
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    New York
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    North Carolina
    $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
    North Dakota
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Ohio
    $12,500 / 25,000 / 7,500
    Oklahoma
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Oregon
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
    Pennsylvania
    $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
    Rhode Island
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    South Carolina
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    South Dakota
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Tennessee
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
    Texas
    $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
    Utah
    $25,000 / 65,000 / 15,000
    Vermont
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Virginia
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
    Washington
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    West Virginia
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
    Wisconsin
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
    Wyoming
    $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000

    Getting Caught for Speeding and Other Traffic Violations

    Getting tickets for speeding and other traffic violations can identify you as a risky driver. Minor violations can significantly raise your premiums, or at the very least cost you your good driver discount.
    More harmful violations, such as a DUI, can cause your car insurance to go up by 100% or more. The following table, from
    Neckerman.com
    , shows how various moving violations negatively affect your car insurance premiums.
    Moving Violation
    Average Percent Increase
    DUI/DWI
    92.49%
    Reckless driving
    83.29%
    Speeding 31 + MPH over the limit
    29.26%
    Speeding 16 to 30 MPH over the limit
    28.06%
    Careless driving
    26.62%
    Driving the wrong way
    21.34%
    Speeding 1 to 15 MPH over the limit
    20.54%
    Improper passing
    20.30%
    Following too close
    18.86%
    Failure to stop
    18.94%
    Not yielding to a pedestrian
    18.78%
    Failure to yield
    18.71%
    Not signaling
    18.55%
    Violating railroad rules
    18.07%
    Driving in the carpool lane
    17.91%
    Driving without a license
    16.47%
    Not wearing a seat belt
    5.60%
    Car insurance coverage requirements vary according to where you live, your driving record, your age, and other factors. Understanding what can affect your car insurance premiums allows you to make decisions to keep your rates low.
    If you decide to seek more cost-effective insurance from another company, try
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