How Much is Car Insurance For Teens?

Teens pay more for car insurance than many other drivers, but they can cut their costs by looking for discounts from car insurance companies.
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A typical teen can expect to pay much more for car insurance than most drivers. And while parents who add a teen to their own policy can keep the cost down a bit, they still pay 17% or more depending on the state, in car insurance premiums per year, according to InsuranceJournal.com. Luckily, many car insurance companies offer discounts to help teens keep insurance costs down. In this article, Part 1 explains why teenagers pay more for car insurance, Part 2 describes how to add a teen to their parents’ policy, Part 3 details how much it costs for a teen to have his or her own insurance, and Part 4 lists relevant discounts.

Part 1 of 4: Why teens pay more for car insurance

Riskier driving habits represent the main reason teens pay way more for car insurance than other drivers. Statistically, teens tend to have more car accidents, commit more traffic violations, and get more traffic tickets than more mature drivers. All of this increases the risk profile of drivers below the age of 21.
In addition, male drivers pay more for car insurance than female drivers. The main reason for this include a tendency by male drivers to:
  • Drive more than female drivers
  • Drive around with more passengers in the car, leading to more distractions
  • Drive sportier and faster cars
  • Drive without wearing a seatbelt more often
  • Receive more traffic tickets, including speeding tickets and DUIs

Part 2 of 4: How to add a teen to a parent’s car insurance policy

As a parent, adding a teen to your current car insurance represents one way of acquiring cheaper car insurance than if the teen bought it on their own. You should still expect to see a hike in your premiums of roughly 79% for adding a teen to your policy, according to InsuranceJournal.com.
For instance, a 40 year old male who adds a teen to their policy should pay on average about $1,266 more per year. Premium increases also vary according to the state in which you live. The following table from InsuranceJournal.com details how much an insurance policy increases by state when adding a teen driver.
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Average Percentage Increase by State for Adding a Teen Driver to Your Car Insurance Policy
State Percent Increase
Alabama 88.20%
Alaska 79.55%
Arizona 109.36%
Arkansas 68.88%
California 82.77%
Colorado 73.07%
Connecticut 96.33%
Delaware 79.32%
Florida 81.77%
Georgia 85.73%
Hawaii 16.93%
Idaho 90.18%
Illinois 90.29%
Indiana 79.65%
Iowa 89.11%
Kansas 77.94%
Kentucky 82.62%
Louisiana 86.43%
Maine 99.13%
Maryland 70.77%
Massachusetts 66.37%
Michigan 57.60%
Minnesota 80.62%
Mississippi 73.74%
Missouri 78.26%
Montana 65.07%
Nebraska 87.23%
Nevada 91.25%
New Hampshire 125.39%
New Jersey 79.30%
New Mexico 64%
New York 51.81%
North Carolina 56.87%
North Dakota 77.55%
Ohio 100.17%
Oklahoma 74.11%
Oregon 99.87%
Pennsylvania 81.31%
Rhode Island 119.19%
South Carolina 86.98%
South Dakota 59.32%
Tennessee 92.21%
Texas 91.73%
Utah 88.14%
Vermont 95.06%
Virginia 80.23%
Washington 85.19%
West Virginia 88.74%
Wisconsin 71.79%
Wyoming 105.77%
National Average 79%

Part 3 of 4: How much does it cost a teen to getting their own car insurance policy?

Is it worth it for a teen to get their own car insurance policy? While more expensive than adding them to your policy, making a teen get their own, separate policy can instill a sense of responsibility. Plus, it keeps your premiums from going up if they get in an accident or get a ticket.
You can compare how much teenagers pay for car insurance to get a better understanding of the increased costs that teen drivers pay. The following table, from Insurance.com, highlights how much teen drivers can expect to pay for car insurance per year:
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Average Annual Car Insurance Premiums by Age in the U.S.
Age Amount Teens Pay on Average Per Year for Car Insurance in the U.S. (as of 2015)
16 $3,989
17 $3,522
18 $3,148
19 $2,178
20 $1,945

Part 4 of 4: Common car insurance discounts for teen drivers

In order to save money on insurance, teens should look for discounts from insurers. Some of the more popular driver discounts for teens include:
  • Good grades: Keeping good grades while attending school can garner a teen a discount from some insurers.
  • Defensive driving course: In addition to improving a teen’s driving habits, taking a defensive driving course can get them a discount with many car insurance companies.
  • Safety features: Buying a vehicle with added safety features can lead to discounts from a teen’s car insurance company.
  • Low mileage: Driving a low amount of mileage per year can also warrant a discount with some car insurance companies.
Ultimately, the best way to keep car insurance premiums down for a teen is for them to practice good driving habits and allow their insurance to go down progressively as they get older. As a parent, you can put them on your policy for somewhat less than they would pay on their own, but you should still expect a big increase in your car insurance premiums.
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