Car Insurance: Nearly $85K Over Lifetime


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Americans can expect to pay an average of $84,388 over a lifetime for auto insurance, according to, an insurance-monitoring site.

To come up with the estimate, pulled insurance quotes from multiple companies for drivers who first purchased car insurance at age 21, married at age 27 and added two teen children to the policy between the ages of 46 and 50. The driver was projected to insure a vehicle through the age of 75.  

Drivers with all types of claims, accidents and driving histories were included in the sample of 206,000 quotes.

“We decided to look at what we considered the average person,” Chris Kissell, managing editor of, told MainStreet, explaining that they looked at Census data and other statistics to determine , for example, the average age that people got married. “It’s really a profile of a driver from ages 21 to 75.”  

Comparing these figures to other forms of insurance, the site found that you could purchase a lifetime’s worth of homeowners’ insurance ($34,245) and pet insurance for one dog ($4,766) for less than half of what it ultimately costs to insure your car.

The total is even more daunting when you consider that national average household income in 2009 was $50,000.

“Seeing how the total cost of auto insurance stacks up against other costs can really make you think about ways to trim your insurance bills,” Kissel said.

To cut your insurance bills, offers four suggestions:

  1. Keep a clean driving record.
  2. Comparison shop for auto insurance quotes.
  3. Look for discounts offered by employers or professional groups.
  4. Drop collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars.

Those with tarnished driving records can also consider taking a driver safety/defensive driving course to lower their premiums.

And as MainStreet previously reported, you can also lower costs by improving your credit score and carefully considering whether to file a small claim that falls below your deductible.

MainStreet’s looks at what car models are actually the cheapest to insure. See if yours made the list!

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at

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