Adding a teenage driver to your car insurance policy will add more than anxiety to your life—it will add to your premiums. You don’t just pay for another driver. You will typically pay a higher rate to insure a teenage driver.
You might be wondering, how does car insurance work for teenagers? With less experience than drivers over 25, teenagers lack a proven driving record and are statistically more likely to get into accidents. These factors mean their insurance rates will naturally be higher.
Finding the right insurance and knowing how much car insurance costs for a 16-year-old to 19-year-old driver will help you get the coverage you need at the right price. Common questions about how car insurance works for teenagers are answered below to give you a better idea of what to expect.
I’m 16-19 years-old, currently insured, with a clean driving record.
If you are a driver between the ages of 16 and 19, you will face higher insurance rates than drivers over 25. If you are already insured and want to keep the policy, work hard to keep your rates as low as possible. Here are some tips for keeping your rates down whether you are insured or still shopping around:g around:
- Drive responsibly – Speeding tickets, accidents, and other traffic violations will affect your rates.
- Drive a safe vehicle – Driving a car with standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags will reduce your risk of accident and injury and, therefore, your cost.
- Establish good credit – Insurance companies want to insure people who are responsible both on and off the road. Pay your bills on time and your efforts will be reflected in your rates. Don’t have a credit history? Maybe it’s time to start building good credit.
- Discounts – Ask about them! Every company is different but some offer discounts for being a good student, low mileage driving, and even for volunteering.
I’m 16-19 years-old, not currently insured, with a clean driving record.
You may wonder why rates are so high for young drivers. What’s so special about turning 25 that lowers insurance rates? Actually, there are a variety of reasons for the higher rates based on tons of data. For one thing, your age group hasn’t been driving long enough to prove yourselves responsible drivers. Another factor is the number of motor vehicle crashes young drivers are involved in. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, 16-year-olds have a higher crash rate than any other age group. Your gender will also affect your rates. In 2009, two of every three young drivers killed in a motor vehicle crash were male. This statistic tells insurance companies that males are more risky drivers and the rates for males are adjusted accordingly.
I’m 16-19 years-old with an accident(s) on my record.
Being involved in an auto accident will always affect your insurance policy. Every company has different regulations when it comes to accidents, but some factors remain consistent. If the accident is determined to be your fault expect a significant increase in your premium. This is especially true if the accident was the result of a moving violation such as speeding or running a red light. If you are shopping for a new policy with an accident on your record you should know that an accident can stay on your driving record for three to five years. Be prepared to be turned down by several companies and expect a very high premium when a company does decide to take a chance on you.
The number of claims you’ve previously filed will also affect your rate following an accident. More claims mean you are labeled as a high risk driver, so decide wisely before filing a claim. Insurance companies can legally drop your coverage if you reach a certain quota of claims.
I’m 16-19 years-old with a DUI or a current suspended license on my record.
Since it is illegal to drive with a suspended license, most companies will not insure you while yours is in a suspended state. You do have the option to apply for a hardship license which will allow you driving privileges to and from work or school only. However, your insurance will inevitably increase, and the reason for the suspension will impact your rate.
Receiving a DUI is a much more serious matter when auto insurance is concerned. Your rate will be affected for three to five years and can quadruple in price. Some companies will even drop your coverage upon arrest for a DUI, and finding another insurance company will be incredibly difficult. If you receive a DUI and are underage, the penalties are even stiffer. Your driving privileges will be revoked for at least 90 days or for as long as three years. No license means you won’t have insurance, and this will lead to a lapse in coverage. Obtaining a policy following a lapse in coverage is difficult because insurance companies question why you were not driving.
I’m 16-19 years-old and need motorcycle insurance.
If you are a young driver looking for motorcycle insurance, you will encounter more difficulty finding a competitive rate than you would for a vehicle policy. Some states won’t even insure motorcycle drivers if they are under the age of 21. The reason behind the high rates and stiffer regulations is statistics. Motorcycle riders of any age are more likely to drive faster. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, 34 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involved speeding compared to 22 percent of similar crashes involving vehicles. That, combined with an already-inexperienced new driver, means sky-high rates.
Since it is illegal to drive with a suspended license most companies will not insure you while yours is in a suspended state. You do have the option to apply for a hardship license which will allow you driving privileges to and from work or school only. However, your insurance will inevitably increase and the reason for the suspension will have an impact on your rate.
Receiving a DUI is a much more serious matter when auto insurance is concerned. Your rate will be affected for three to five years and can quadruple in price. Some companies will even drop your coverage upon arrest for a DUI, and finding another insurance company will be incredibly difficult. If you receive a DUI and are underage the penalties are even stiffer. Your driving privileges will be revoked for at least 90 days or as long as three years. No license means you won’t have insurance, and this will lead to a lapse in coverage. Obtaining a policy following a lapse in coverage is difficult because insurance companies question why you were not driving.
How can I get the best car insurance rate for my teen?
Finding the best insurance rate for your teen typically depends on several factors. The most significant factors are usually your teenage driver’s age and the state in which you live. You will likely pay more for a 16-year-old driver in a higher-priced state or an urban area with many cars on the road.
You can do things to find a better rate, but research options can take some time. Fortunately, you can turn to an experienced insurance broker like Cheap Insurance to research for you. With access to many insurance companies throughout the country, a good broker can do the legwork for you and find the best options for your teenage driver.
How can a teenage driver qualify for a lower rate?
Getting a good insurance rate is like getting a good interest rate. The best thing a driver can do is to build a solid record. As a brand new driver, your teen’s rate will start off higher because insurance companies take a risk by insuring an inexperienced teenager.
To get car insurance for teenage drivers down to a lower rate, the best thing your teen can do is to establish a solid driving record. That means:
- Driving safely and avoiding accidents and traffic violations.
- Making sure your teen’s vehicle is safe and sound.
- Insurance rates benefit from good credit by getting a credit card that gets paid off every month or taking other sound financial measures.
What insurance discounts are available for teenage drivers?
Teenage drivers can reduce their rates by seeking out special driver discounts. You can be proactive about finding the best discounts for your teen. The good news is that many of these discounts involve practices that parents want to encourage for their teens anyway. These include:
- Doing well in school—good student discounts are common for teens who can demonstrate good grades.
- Driving less so you can seek out a low mileage discount.
- Standing out in your community—doing things like volunteering can help you access an even better discounted rate.
What causes insurance rates to increase for teenage drivers?
The same driving issues that increase insurance rates for older drivers also apply to teenage drivers. In fact, teen drivers can face even stiffer rate hikes than older drivers due to their shorter track record. Factors that can increase a teenage driver’s insurance rate include:
- Traffic violations like speeding tickets
- Car accidents, especially if the teenage driver is at fault
- High mileage driving
- Gender, a factor that traditionally penalizes male drivers, especially teenagers
What does a breakdown of insurance costs look like?
When you pay for car insurance for teenage drivers, you select from a menu of options. Some options like liability are required, while other components are optional. You can choose to add elements like roadside assistance, for example. These add-ons can increase your rate, but sometimes they are included as part of the insurance package.
A breakdown of insurance costs includes factors about you as the driver, such as your age, state of residence, and driving record. Other parts of the breakdown include the coverage options like liability coverage and roadside assistance.
What is the best way to insure a teenage driver?
The best way to insure your driver is to get several options to compare. A good insurance broker can find a list of options that fit your criteria so you can compare more than just rates. You can also compare types of coverage so you can decide how much insurance you want for your teen and at what price.
An insurance broker can also help you see what discounts are available from each insurance company. If your teen qualifies for specific discounts, this will affect the available rates and could help you make the right choice for your teen’s coverage.
The key to finding the best way to insure a teenage driver is to get a good look at the options out there and find the right match for your teen.
How can I lower my teenage car insurance?
Being proactive about your insurance coverage is a great way to lower car insurance rates for teenage drivers. You will likely start with a higher rate due to your teenager’s age and lack of a driving track record.
Work with your insurance broker to find out what discounts are out there, and check back each year to see if you can get a better rate. As your teenager gains experience and a track record as a safe driver, you can look for new options. You can set goals for grades, volunteering, and lowering driving mileage to get better rates each time you shop around.
What is the average cost of car insurance for a teenager?
Rates for insuring teenage drivers depend on factors like age, state of residence, and the make and model of vehicle they drive. Another factor is whether a teenager is being added to their parent’s plan or is on a policy all by themselves.
On average, insurance rates for teenagers tend to be around $99 to $122 per month when added to their parent’s policy. For a policy of their own, the cost increases to around $400 per month.
The most effective strategies for finding the best car insurance rates for teenagers involve a little work to find the right coverage and discounts. Fortunately, an experienced insurance broker can do most of the legwork for you.
Once you and your broker have found the right rate for your teenage driver, the next step is to drive safely to establish a solid track record that shows your teenage driver is less of an insurance risk. Safe driving and being proactive about finding discounts and the best rates available can save you a lot of money on teenage car insurance.