Auto Insurance for Teenagers (Rates, Best Companies, & More)
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We get it. It’s a lot. That’s why we’ve created this guide to auto insurance, strictly about teens.
And we’re doing much more than just rehashing insurance quotes. From rates to rationale, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also talk about the best companies and touch on something that everyone loves — savings.
So let’s get to it.
You can also begin to shop for the best rates for your teenage driver right away. Simply enter your ZIP code in our free auto insurance comparison tool, or keep on scrolling to learn more.
Cost of Auto Insurance for Teenage Drivers
How much is auto insurance for teenagers? So you’re insuring your teen for the first time. Or maybe you’re considering purchasing insurance for your teen but are having a hard place knowing where to start. Overwhelming, right?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The first portion of this guide will be dedicated to helping you decide whether to include your teenager on your policy — but that’s not all.
We’ll also dive into how much it costs to insure a teen per month and possible rate variances when your teen is between the ages of 18-21.
So hang in there. We’re talking about things related to auto insurance rates next.
How much is auto insurance for 16, 17, 18, and 19-year-olds?
So if you’re getting ready to purchase auto insurance for your teen, one of the most immediate questions is — how much does it cost?
The cheapest option is not always the best, as it depends on the type of coverage you’re getting. That being said, comparing rates is the best way to find out what plan works for you and your family financially.
Maine and Florida make up the least and most expensive states with quotes for 16-19-year-olds. Looking at these two states will provide a range for how much auto insurance costs for males and teens per month.
Here are auto insurance average costs for teenagers based on the cheapest payment options for teens 16-19 from Progressive.
|Demographics||Average Monthly Rates – Low||Average Monthly Rates – High|
You can notice how the ranges decrease gradually as individuals in the demographics get older.
We also have ranges for Geico’s monthly rates. Take a look.
|Demographics||Average Monthly Rates – Low||Average Monthly Rates – High|
There’s a steep decline at the starting range for 19-year-old males, with prices declining all around for older teens.
What is the cheapest auto insurance for teenagers?
Simply put, insuring a teen can get extremely pricey. Let’s take a look at the average annual rates from some of the top insurance companies in the game.
|Company||Single 17-Year-Old Female||Single 17-Year-Old Male|
Insuring a male teen is more expensive in all cases than insuring a female teen — we’ll talk about why that is in the following sections. In the case of Travelers, for example, there’s a $3,543.59 difference between female and male annual rates.
On average, to insure a male teen costs $9,027.64. For a female teen, the average comes in at $7,559.03.
Rates vary by state, so your teen’s rates may be higher or lower depending on the circumstance. In fact, checking out rates in highly populated states like California, or even digging into full coverage auto insurance in Texas, and Texas may help shed even more light on what you may end up paying. We just simply wanted to give you a starting point to consider.
So why is teenage auto insurance so high?
We’ll cover that next. Keep scrolling.
Why is teenage auto insurance so high?
Insurance companies tend to be more skeptical when it comes to younger drivers. There are several reasons for this.
When you have an unproven record, it’s hard for providers to see whether you are a risk. In a worst-case scenario, you are. This is one of the reasons why teens are often hit with higher rates compared to older drivers.
With older drivers, they have a bit of history. Whether they’ve kept a clean record, have had multiple accidents, or have acquired a DUI, insurance companies can gauge how to assess them. However, when you’re just starting off, in the case of teenagers, you have an unproven record and are seen as a liability.
Research validates that young drivers tend to be on the less experienced side. Older drivers are more experienced and, on average, make more timely decisions that can prevent collisions. Younger drivers haven’t had the chance to develop these skillsets and are thus more susceptible to collisions. That’s why insurance companies tend to spike up rates, assuming that young drivers will get into collisions.
Here’s a rundown of why teenage auto insurance rates are higher compared to the rates for older drivers.
Automobile insurance companies take facts into account when writing premiums for younger drivers.
For example, most accidents involving a crash related to distracted behavior occur by teens. Distracted driving can take many forms including eating and drinking, searching for an object while in a vehicle, and in its most notorious form, texting or using a cellphone.
Teens are more subject to this behavior. Again, insurance companies take this into account and are increasingly monitoring distracted driving behaviors. Distracted driving is another reason why insurance rates are so high for younger drivers.
Young drivers are also statistically more likely to get into an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,364 teens aged 16-19 in the United States were killed in 2017, while roughly 300,000 were treated in emergency rooms for motor vehicle crashes. Insurance companies use these statistics when factoring how much they should charge teens for insurance.
Why is it more expensive to add a teen boy than a teen girl?
We’ve all heard the myth that men are more likely to get into car accidents than women, but is that true? Yes, it is.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), men cause 6.1 million accidents a year, compared to women, who cause 4.4 million a year. These are statistics that insurance companies consider when writing rates for men and women. This is why it is more expensive to add a teen boy than a teen girl — not only are they looking at inexperience, but they are also considering gender.
Men also tend to drive more miles than women — 16,500, on average, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Women drive only 10,142 miles per year.
In regard to individuals 16-19, male teens drive 8,206 miles on average while women drive only 6,873 miles on average.
This also poses a risk to insurance companies because the more a person drives, the more likely they will be involved in an accident and need to make a claim.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motor vehicle crash deaths among males and females differ.
Female-related car deaths (908 individuals) were nearly half of male deaths (1,567) in 2018.
In 2017, male fatalities were double that of females. Insuring males leaves insurance companies at a greater risk than insuring females, which accounts for the often higher rates. And when it comes to alcohol-related fatalities among young people, things are no different.
Male drivers tend to have more fatal crashes involving alcohol than females.
According to FHWA, in 2017, statistics showed that 20 percent of males involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol at the time of the crash (BAC of .01 g/dL or higher), compared to 15 percent of female drivers.
Overall, most insurance companies see male teen drivers as a greater risk than female teen drivers. Be sure to inquire about discounts that your male teen may be eligible to offset some of the costs spent monthly on auto insurance.
Should you add your child to your policy or have them get their own?
There are many practical reasons for adding your teen to your insurance policy as explained below.
For some parents, it’s about convenience.
Why is that? It is simply easier dealing with one insurance provider and keeping up with the coverage and rates that they have to offer rather than dealing with multiple companies.
Another practical reason is that teens might not be able to afford insurance on their own. They might be unemployed or focused on their schooling and can’t afford to pay monthly rates. In that case, the parents would usually step in and pay to have their teen insured.
But there are also other benefits to adding your teen to your policy.
Please keep in mind that while teen rates tend to be on the higher side (we’ll talk about why that is a little later), adding them to your policy still may be more feasible than paying for them to have their separate policy.
One is that it usually costs less per vehicle to have more than one person on an auto insurance policy. This also goes for having more than one operator per vehicle. In this way, the family ends up saving money because they aren’t paying for two separate policies (side note: as long as your teen is living with you, they can remain on your policy with no termination).
Another benefit of adding your teen to your policy is that some companies offer multi-car discounts to parents. Qualifying for a discount like this is another way for the family to save money on their monthly auto insurance bill.
Putting your teen on your auto insurance is also smart because you’ll be able to suspend coverage.
Let’s say your teen decides to go away to college with a little to no car culture. They wouldn’t need coverage anymore, so you’d be able to suspend coverage until they were to come home or need their vehicle again.
When you suspend coverage, you’re no longer paying for your teen’s portion of the insurance — yet another way to save.
Deciding to insure your teen is a very important decision that comes with many benefits. But how will that affect your rates?
We’ll dive into that next.
How would adding your teen driver to your policy affect your rates?
So let’s say you’ve decided to insure your teen on your policy. Or you might even be wondering, how would this affect me?
As stated before, insuring teens can be a costly matter.
Adding your high schooler to your auto insurance policy can increase your annual rates by as much as $3,500.
So why is insuring teens so costly?
That’s because insurance companies assume teens will get into accidents more often than adults, attributing to their skyrocketing auto insurance rates. In 2017, for example, teens aged 15-19 only accounted for 6.5 percent of the U.S. population but made up almost 8 percent (or $13.1 billion) of total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
As with most insurance costs, the impact of adding a teenager varies by state. Adding a teenager in Rhode Island bumps up rates by more than 150 percent, while parents in Hawaii get about an 8 percent increase.
So be prepared if you’re insuring your teen to experience an increase in your insurance rates — probably still much cheaper than paying for their own separate policy.
If your spouse and you are divorced how should your teen be insured?
This is a bit tricky, as it varies by situation.
Do you have primary custody? Then your teen should probably go on your policy if they are spending most of the time with you. Your ex? In this case, your teen should be on their auto insurance policy. If you have joint custody with your ex and there are multiple cars, then the teen should be added to each of the policies.
Remember, reporting an additional driver is extremely important because, in the event of a collision involving your teen, you would’ve wished they were insured as the insurance company would no longer be responsible for covering the costs.
We wouldn’t want that.
So what if your teen has their own vehicle? Again, it would still be cheaper to insure them than getting a separate policy, especially for teens, as their rates tend to run on the higher side. So talking with the insurance company would be beneficial in this case to see which policy the teen should be added to.
Will you have coverage if your teen has an accident but is not on your insurance?
It’s not uncommon to find a situation where your teen has recently obtained their license but is not yet on your policy. Getting them insured right away, however, should be of high importance, especially if they will be sharing your vehicle.
Why is that?
Because if they get into an accident without coverage, the insurance company won’t be responsible for the damages incurred in the collision. And without insurance, damages must be paid out of pocket.
Automobile expenses can easily rack up in the thousands, and we wouldn’t want you to foot the bill.
Also, keep in mind that getting your teen covered after a collision involving them has occurred can’t apply to the incident because the incident occurred before coverage began. Moving forward and adding them to your policy, however, will protect them in case of future incidents.
We’ll talk about ways you could save next.
How should parents plan for teen insurance costs?
All of the data we just went over could be overwhelming. But there are ways to save so you’re not feeding a hole in your pocket.
One of the first things you should do is compare rates for your teen. We already know that teen drivers tend to have higher rates because they are less experienced and pose a greater risk to insurance companies. So ensuring that you have the best rates possible at the start could save you more money than you think.
This may take time and patience, but determine which offers are more feasible for you and your family.
Talk with your teen about grades and driving record. While smothering high prices aren’t something you can necessarily avoid, you can control aspects that might save you major bucks in the long run.
Having a clean record goes a long way. In fact, rates are proven to be lower for those with a clean driving record versus those with speeding, accidents, and DUIs. Talking with your teen about these things can make them more cautious while driving and promote healthy habits on the roadways.
Some companies reward students who have good grades and factor that into their insurance rates. Checking with your insurance provider to see if they have programs like this would be a good start in helping you offset costs.
You can also purchase a car that has more safety features, as this could lead to lower insurance quotes. Features such as anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices are appealing because auto insurance companies don’t want your car to get broken into, stolen, or have you get into an accident because it would be costly to them.
The same also goes for monitoring systems. These could also lower your insurance rates and save you money. Having these features could put you in a better financial position when getting quoted by companies.
Check with your insurance company to see if certain driving-training classes make you eligible for discounts as well. Overall, these tips can help you offset costs to your teen’s insurance policies and could save you money in the long run.
Think about it.
Will the rate drop when your teen turns 25 years old?
In most cases, yes.
Teens have higher rates because they are assumed to pose a higher liability compared to older age groups. As they turn older, have a clean driving record, and are involved in fewer accidents involving a crash they will most likely experience lower premiums.
Let’s take a look at the chart and see how the rates change when a teen enters their 20s.
|Company||Single 17-Year-Old Female||Single 17-Year-Old Male||Single 25-Year-Old Female||Single 25-Year-Old Male|
Looking at the chart we see how dramatically rates drop for teens entering into their 20s.
On average, there’s nearly a $5,000 difference when females enter into their 20s. For males, there’s nearly a $6,000 difference.
So yes, when teens turn 20 they have lower rates compared to their teenage rates.
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Best Auto Insurance for Teens
What is the best auto insurance for teens? Finding the right company for your teen can be an overwhelming process as you’re trying to use your best judgment against all the quotes and promises stacked on top of each other. We wouldn’t want you to assess these things on your own.
In fact, we’ll provide a starting spot for you as we assess how to find the best auto insurance and low quotes. We’ll also talk about top providers and who offer the cheapest auto insurance.
Hang with us.
How do you find the best auto insurance rates for teenagers?
Finding the best auto insurance rates for your teen can be tricky. It also depends on how you define “best.” We’d like to think it’s something affordable and of substance. For some, the “best” will be a full coverage auto insurance policy with plenty of extras and add-ons. For others, the best may not have all of the bells and whistles, but enough to keep their teenager safe.
With a little persistence and patience, you’ll be able to position yourself to find affordable rates for you and your family. So roll up your sleeves. Here are a few tips.
Compare and save. We know that it’s tempting to go with the first rates that you find for your teen. You may even start with the company that you’re insured with. Here’s the thing: There are many affordable rates out there, but you just have to do a bit of digging.
Rates for teens can vary depending on several factors. That’s why it pays to do your due diligence and shop around to get quotes from a few companies.
Ask questions. While insurance companies may seem like these unapproachable giants, they often have representatives and agents that are more than happy to assist you with finding a plan for your teen. If there is something that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification as insurance jargon can be pretty confusing at times.
Check ratings and reviews. Insurance companies have grades as well. Rating agencies like J.D. Power, for instance, grade companies on how well they handle their insurance claims according to customers, as well as overall satisfaction.
While you should always take ratings with a grain of salt — sometimes individuals simply have bad isolated experiences with companies — learning what the collective is from peers and rating agencies can also be very telling.
Organizations rated among the best aren’t simply rated that way for a reason. So be sure to check ratings and reviews, which can help you find the best auto insurance for your teen.
Ask around. While this may seem fairly simple, it often pays to ask around your network of peers and see what insurance company they decided on and why. Chances are they may have done their due diligence as well, making for an easy way to compare with the research you’ve been doing.
These tips are just a few different ways of finding the best insurance for your teen. Put these into practice, and the results may be more surprising than you could have imagined.
What company has the best auto insurance for teenage drivers?
Now that we’ve talked about how to find the best insurance for teens, we’ll dive into the company with the best auto insurance.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Average|
USAA is strictly for military members and their families. Geico then, we’ve found, is the cheapest to insure 17-year-old teens. This is followed by Nationwide. Liberty Mutual offers the most expensive rates of the bunch.
Not only are we talking about the most affordable, but we’re also talking about those with the most discounts.
|Companies||Total (Out of|
of 19 discounts)
From the chart, we see the top companies that offer the most discounts are the following: American, Liberty Mutual, and Geico.
Geico not only has the most affordable prices, but it also has a handful of discounts. Nationwide also has several discounts, as well as being the runner up for the cheapest provider.
What Liberty Mutual fails to do in rates, it makes up for in discounts. Still, there are other providers that beat it to the punch, like American for instance — something to consider.
How can you get the lowest insurance quote for a teen driver?
Now that we’ve checked out some of the best companies for teen drivers, you may be overwhelmed. You may notice how much more expensive it is to ensure your teen compared to your policy.
Don’t worry, we have a few tips for you.
Put your teen on your policy. Again, on their own, your teen faces incredibly high rates. But auto insurance companies may have multiple-car or multiple-policy discounts. Compare and see how much cheaper it is for you to get your teen on your insurance policy as opposed to getting them set up on their own.
Compare rates. Research several companies and get a quote for your teen. See if there are instances where the same coverage is offered, but the price may be cheaper. You shouldn’t pay more when you don’t have to.
Ask about discounts and safety features. Again, your teen may be eligible for lower quotes if they have better grades or better safety features for their vehicle. Call your insurance company and see if there offer any of these special discounts and if so, ask what necessary documentation is needed to get the ball rolling.
What Impacts Auto Insurance Rates for Teens
We get it. With high rates and multiple decisions to make, the process of insuring your teen can wreak havoc on the nerves. That’s what we’re here for, to lighten the load a bit.
Next, we’ll be talking about how car types can drive up premium costs. But don’t worry, that’s not it. We’ll also be talking about which cars are the most expensive to insure for teen drivers.
Hang in there.
Does the type of car that teens drive affect rates?
Auto insurance companies do gather information about the type of vehicle you drive.
If you have a fancy new vehicle, for example, it may cost more to insure than an older car. Many teens get their pre-owned family car which, in most cases, costs less to insure than a newer model.
Do you own an American car? Or a foreign car? In most cases, foreign cars cost more to insure because of their parts, which can be harder to get, as well as body shops’ ability to work with them.
Safety features can also make your insurance premiums go down as they often offset medical and vehicle damage. Airbags, for instance, are proven to protect the driver and the passenger. Car alarms can save you as well if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy (this type of insurance covers stolen cars).
Yes, the type of car you drive can affect premium costs, and knowing this could save you money you are paying out of pocket for auto insurance.
What cars are most expensive to insure for teen drivers?
In a general sense, sports or luxury cars tend to be most expensive to insure for teens. With multiple accessories and modifications, these cars can get pricey and quickly. Couple that with higher insurance rates for teens, this would be a costly ordeal.
Also, if a particular model has high accident ratings, it can cost more to insure. If the car isn’t an expensive vehicle, your rates could still skyrocket if the car is more prone to accidents. Pair that with higher teen rates, and those cars would be among the most expensive to insure for teen drivers.
Stay with us.
We’ll be looking at affordable and safe options for cars for teen drivers next.
What are the least expensive cars to insure for teen drivers?
According to IIHS, aside from their “best choices,” they also have a list of “good choices” that offer cheaper alternatives for teens — and have good ratings. These are the following, in their retrospective categories:
|Size||Make and Model||Average Annual Rates|
|Midsize Cars||Volkswagen Jetta sedan or wagon (2009–2014)||$3,800|
|Volkswagen Passat sedan or wagon (2009-11)||$4,300|
|Volkswagen CC (2009 and newer)||$4,700|
|Large Cars||Buick LaCrosse (2010–2016)||$6,200|
|Ford Taurus (2010–2012)||$6,500|
|Buick Regal (2011–2017)||$6,800|
|Small SUVs||Honda Element (2007–2011)||$4,400|
|Volkswagen Tiguan (2009 and newer)||$5,100|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (2011 and newer)||$5,600|
|Midsize SUVs||Subaru Tribeca/B9 Tribeca, (2006–2014)||$4,100|
|Dodge Journey (2010 and newer)||$5,100|
|Hyundai Santa Fe (2011–2016)||$6,500|
|Large SUV||Chevrolet Traverse (2012–2017)||$9,300|
|Minivans||Volkswagen Routa (2012)||$6,400|
|Dodge Grand Caravan (2012 and newer)||$7,400|
|Honda Odyssey (2011–2013)||$8,100|
|Large Pickup||Toyota Tundra Double Cab (2007–2013)||$8,600|
Ranging from $3,800-$8,600, these cars are not only affordable, but they also have great safety features, which is equally important.
Ways to Save on Auto Insurance for Teenagers
Let’s face it. Nobody likes paying more than they should if they can help it. It can’t leave you feeling like you’ve been taken advantage of.
We understand that saving is important. That’s why we’ve included this section in the teen guide.
We’ll talk about discounts offered to teen drivers as well as how things such as good grades could help lower costs on monthly premiums.
Let’s get to it.
What auto insurance discounts are offered to teen drivers?
Earlier, we provided a list of discounts that teens were eligible for with a particular company. So let’s briefly discuss those commonly offered or the most popular from the bunch, starting with a good student discount (remember, you can always scroll up to see which companies are offering these programs in our chart).
If your student earns good grades, typically a 3.0 grade point average or higher, they may qualify for a good student discount. This discount typically applies to teens in high school and depending on the company, may also apply to students earning their bachelor’s degree.
Distant Student or Student Away Discount
Picture this. Your teenage driver is officially out of the house, and enrolled in college. Not just any college, but one that’s more than 100 miles away. Though your teen is far, you’ve agreed not to let him or her have a car. Rather, your teen is living with a couple of friends (hopefully bona fide tenants, and not roommates without a lease) and taking the shuttle to and from class. In fact, the only time your child is driving is when he or she is at home with you, while on break.
What we’ve just described sets up the scenario for what is commonly known as the “student away” or “distant student” discount. If your teen is away at college or university (usually at least 100 miles away), doesn’t have a car on campus, and is only driving the family car when school is not in session, then you may be eligible for this discount.
So let’s say you’re adding your teen’s car to your insurance policy. In that case, you may qualify for a multiple-vehicle discount. Again, why have two separate policies from two separate companies, especially with already high rates for teens? Bundling your cars could save you money and time with less paperwork.
Simply put, this discount applies to teens taking driver’s education courses and related driving-training courses. Not only will the extra practice broaden the skillset and make your teen more equipped, but some of these classes can be taken online, which is an easy and convenient way to save.
Having a clean driving record goes a long way. After several years, your teen may be eligible for a safe driver discount if they have no violations on their record. Be sure to keep this in mind and look up specific requirements with your company to be sure to enroll in their program.
These discounts and more could help you save on your teen’s annual premiums. Who doesn’t like the idea of saving cash to allot for other expensive or fun times?
Sounds great, right?
How can good grades help you save money on auto insurance for your teenage driver?
Many companies offer discounts when students obtain good grades in school. The rationale is that if students are responsible in school, they may be responsible in other areas, such as how they handle driving and their driving skills.
Having good grades could lower your teen’s insurance premiums. More than often, your teen would qualify if their GPA is at 3.0 or higher.
If your teen has recently obtained their license, check with your insurance company to see if they have discounts for good grades. Discounts may have different age ranges or vary by state, so simply inquire.
If so, talk with your teen and encourage them in their schooling. They can do their part by getting good grades and lowering the amount of money you pay out of pocket for auto insurance.
Remember, most of the major companies listed earlier have good student discounts for teen drivers. So be sure to check with your insurance company and inquire about the specific qualifications of your company of interest.
It’s official: when it comes to auto insurance for teenagers, you can say you’ve seen it all. That includes the rates, the companies, and the savings.
Now, it’s your turn. Get started on getting the most affordable auto insurance rates by doing some comparison shopping for teen auto insurance. Start now and enter your ZIP code below for personalized rates.