4/29/2013 10:45 PM ET|
Your lifetime insurance bill: $94,000
That’s almost two years of income for the average household. How does that stack up against other lifetime expenses?
Life is expensive.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a college graduate will earn $2.1 million over a lifetime. Most of us leave very little behind because groceries, cars, daycare and the mortgage consume nearly every penny.
A lot of those pennies go to car insurance.
Over a lifetime of driving -- age 16 to 78 -- the average person will spend about $94,000 on insurance, according to data gathered by CarInsurance.com. The analysis of nearly 200,000 car insurance quotes sorted customers by age, then added up average costs for 62 years on the road. Drivers with all kinds of claims, driving and credit histories were included.
If that seems like a lot -- nearly two years of income for an average household -- compare it to a lifetime of other expenses:
A child: The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion puts the cost of raising a child to the age of 17 at $235,000. College increases the cost significantly.
An iPhone: Using a 32GB iPhone from age 21 to 75, buying a new phone every six years, will run you about $72,000. Compulsive upgraders and heavy data users would pay even more.
A caffeine habit: Hitting Starbucks every morning for a $4 latte will cost $88,000 over 60 years. Making your coffee at home will almost cover car insurance for life.
A nicotine habit: Smoking a $5.25 pack a day for 60 years totals $115,000, not to mention the thousands of dollars more you’ll pay for life and health insurance.
Some things you can’t control
Some costs are baked into your lifetime of car insurance. You will pay more when you are young. You will pay more if you continue to drive when you are very old. (If you drive to the ripe old age of 102, your lifetime of car insurance will cost you $131,000.)
Surprisingly, being a woman doesn't pay a huge dividend over a lifetime when it comes to car insurance. Women paid about $1,000 less, according to the analysis.
Ultimately, though, the choices you make as a driver and consumer shape your insurance destiny.
Where you live makes a big difference, largely because state laws and legal climates vary so much. Drivers in Arizona and Maine have the cheapest car insurance. The most expensive? Michigan and Louisiana.
You may not move for bargain car insurance, but you can choose the right neighborhood. Insurance companies look at claims in your area as they price your coverage.
And some things you can
"Driving safely, getting very few tickets and being involved in a minimum number of accidents over your lifetime will have a big effect on your premiums,” says Mario Morales, spokesperson for MetLife Auto & Home. “Managing your credit responsibly is also key."
Bad drivers pay a penalty for their behavior. Get a ticket every three years and you will pay a total of $102,000.
Good credit, on the other hand, can save you as much as $22,000 over your insurance lifetime.
American Family spokesperson Janet Masters reiterates the importance of your credit rating, "There is very strong statistical evidence that credit history can help an insurer accurately predict the likelihood of insurance claims. Almost every insurance company currently uses credit-based insurance scores. Maintaining a solid credit history can lead to lower insurance costs."
Both Masters and Morales advise drivers to carry the highest deductibles they can afford. Morales points out that while the standard deductible used to be $250 to $500 it has risen to $1,000 in recent years.
It’s not a bad idea to routinely double-check your savings and discounts eligibility, either.
That’s too much! I’ll give up driving!
What else could you do with that $94,000 if you spent your life walking, taking public transportation or mooching rides?
- You could give a 16GB iPad to 188 of your closest friends, or an iPad Mini to 285 random strangers.
- You could buy a house in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where the average listing is $60,820. You would have almost $35,000 left over for furniture and improvements.
- You could buy yourself a Porsche 911 Cabriolet and still have a few hundred dollars left over.
But of course, without car insurance, you couldn’t drive it.
More from CarInsurance.com:
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Car insurance is the biggest ripp off ever next to home owners insurance.
Really look at your policy ask for a detailed braek down. They ask you if you want replacement cost for your home and then deprectiate your existing items value based on their age and screw you some more. The replacement value insurance will never replace what you have only what the insurance adjuster tells you that you had. When reviewing the policy for replacemenmt value I see they are giving me 80% cheap carpet and 20% cheap flooring and I have 20% commercial grade carpet and Oak hardwood floors as well as slate floors in my home which cost me double the price of what they will replace them with. Go cheap and keep your money in your pocket because if you dont they will keep it in theirs.
The insurance total eat 3 years worth of pay for me. I'm single and only have one income. I have no college degree for I was raised when college degrees were not thought to be necessary to get a good job. As I look at some of these totals it just scares me. Prices are going up and my pay isn't and as a matter of fact I'm making less now than I did a year ago because of the increased social security tax and health insurance premiums. When I was in my twenties car insurance was like $250 for 6 months and now its $324 for 6 months and that's with a clean driving record 'knock on wood".
As I reflect back to my twentish years a lot of stuff has gone up. Gasoline was at 27.9 cents, ground beef 79 cents a pound, dozen eggs 79 cents, coffee 50 cents a large cup, candy bars 25 cents, a quart of motor oil was 57 cents, canned soda 50 cents, going to the movie theater $3.00 a ticket, anti freeze $3.99 a gallon, and a hamburger combo meal was at $2.50 and at one point when I was just a tot the hamburger joint down the street wanted 25 cents a burger and 10 cents for fries and soda.
with 2 teens on the road and our 4 vehicles...my auto insurance bill is more than any of my car payments monthly. we get every discount for ourselves and the kids have good grades and drive safe cars...it's really a LOT more than this article suggests for some.
also, I know darn well the 'per kid' number is too low. and no way it figures in college costs!
They can make the numbers come out how they want.
careaboutpeople... You need to change companies if you are not getting coverage you want. Apparently you have had a major claim!!
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