People who drive infrequently may want to consider usage-based insurance, which uses technology to monitor driving and can save about 3 percent, the report found.
For help in understanding coverage, try an online guide from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Here are some questions and answers about car insurance:
Are some cars more expensive to insure than others?
Yes. Older cars, for instance, are generally cheaper to insure than new cars. The driver of a three-year-old Honda Accord would save about 12 percent on premiums compared with the cost of insuring a new model, the report found.
If you are shopping for a car and want to keep insurance rates down, consider a gently used, late-model car, Mr. Linkov said.
Am I required to insure my car?
All states except New Hampshire require minimum levels of liability coverage, which pays for another person’s property damage, medical care and other costs caused by you.
Other types of coverage are usually optional (although if you finance a car, your lender may require them). They include collision coverage, which pays for damage to your car if it hits another car or something else, like a tree or a wall; and comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to your car from most everything else, like fire, hail, flooding and theft.
If your car is aging and its value has declined substantially, you may want to consider dropping optional coverages, to lower your premium, said Mr. Hunter, the insurance expert.
Are driver discounts available?
In many states, yes, so ask your agent. Insurers may offer discounts for bundling auto coverage with other types of insurance, like homeowner or renter’s policies. There may be other discounts for having your premium payment automatically deducted from your bank account, or paying the full premium upfront, The Zebra found. Younger drivers may receive credit for maintaining good grades or taking a driver’s education course.