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Car insurance for 17-year-olds
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Seventeen-year-old drivers may have a year of driving experience, but they are still fairly inexperienced behind the wheel. This means their car insurance premiums may be lower than when they were first licensed yet higher than the nationwide average. Below, Bankrate shows you why 17-year-olds pay higher rates, how rates vary by location and insurance company and how you can find a lower premium.
How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?
The average cost of a car insurance policy for two adult drivers, one 17-year-old and one vehicle is $4,102 per year for full coverage. Before adding a teen, the average full coverage premium for a married couple with one vehicle is $1,898 per year, which means the 17-year-old driver would cause a 116 percent increase in premium — nearly $184 more per month in car insurance costs.
Even the best car insurance companies view teens as a higher risk due to their inexperience and charge higher premiums. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teen drivers between 16 years old and 19 years old are at a greater risk of car accidents than any other age group. Since there is a greater likelihood that teen drivers will cause accidents, insurance carriers charge more to cover them.
Average car insurance costs for 17-year-olds
Understanding the average cost to add a 17-year-old to your policy might help you better prepare your finances for when your teen starts driving. The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-olds compared to the average premium for their parents before adding a teen driver:
|Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
|Average premium increase||$2,204||$767|
*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 17-year-old driver added to their married parents’ policy.
**Average rate reflects the average premium for a married male and female couple with one vehicle.
These rates are for good drivers with a clean motor vehicle record (MVR) and do not reflect if a driver has at-fault accidents or traffic violations. Drivers with incidents like these on their MVR will usually have a higher car insurance rate. Additionally, other individual rating factors impact your car insurance premium, like the make and model of your vehicle, number of miles driven annually and auto claim history.
Average car insurance cost for 17-year-olds by state
Each state has its own laws surrounding insurance coverage, causing rates to vary depending on your location. Every geographic area of the country also has its own statistics pertaining to the volume and severity of car accidents, the cost of car repairs and the likelihood of weather-related damage.
The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage car insurance premium for 17-year-olds by state. In most states, your premium will also likely vary by the city and even the specific ZIP code you live in; some cities are more expensive for parents of teen drivers. Michigan bans the use of ZIP codes as a rating factor, and the use of ZIP codes in insurance rates is limited in California.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium||Average monthly full coverage premium|
*Hawaii and Massachusetts do not allow insurers to factor age or gender into rates.
Best car insurance companies for 17-year-olds
Choosing a company with coverage and discount options tailored to the needs of 17-year-old drivers can be important. We chose these companies based on a review of their average rates, coverage offerings, discounts and third-party scores.
Based on our research, the following companies might be worth your consideration as you search for the best car insurance for 17-year-olds:
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium|
Allstate may not be the cheapest car insurance option for a 17-year-old, but they do have a lot of savings opportunities to offer. Consider the company’s Drivewise program, which could help your teen learn safe driving habits and allow you to monitor their driving patterns — all while saving you money. The company also offers a Safe Driving Bonus to everyone who qualifies, including teen drivers. This program rewards drivers $100 for every six months they don’t have an accident. Plus, Allstate’s teenSMART safety program allows any driver under 25 who is a full-time student the ability to earn a discount by completing a driver education course.
Amica offers drivers a plethora of perks and discount options, all for a great price. The average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-olds isn’t the cheapest option, but it is more affordable than the national average. Looking for add-ons? Roadside assistance, gap insurance, glass coverage and rental car reimbursement are available from Amica. Additionally, it offers several discounts specifically for parents of student drivers. The company’s Young Driver Program offers a discount to any driver under 21 who completes an accredited driver program. In addition, Amica’s Good Student discount provides savings for any full-time college or high school student ages 15 to 25 who maintains at least a B average. And, if your 17-year-old is thinking about college, Amica even has a discount for families who have a student away at college.
Erie provides competitive rates for teen drivers and plenty of coverage types and discounts tailored for this age group. For example, the carrier’s roadside and rentals bundle might give you peace of mind that your 17-year-old driver would be taken care of during a roadside emergency. Additionally, with Erie’s Rate Lock feature, policyholders lock in their rates, only experiencing a change if they make certain adjustments to their policy, like changing their address or adding a vehicle. Erie also offers a discount to unmarried drivers under 21 who live with their parents in all states where it offers auto coverage (except North Carolina). Erie is only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C., so it may not be an option for drivers in many parts of the country. However, the company carries an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.
Aside from its affordable rates — the lowest on our list — Nationwide is one of the best insurance companies for 17-year-old drivers for its coverage options and available discounts. Nationwide offers special auto coverage options such as accident forgiveness, which helps you avoid rate increases following your first at-fault accident. Additionally, full-time high school and college students between the ages of 16 and 24 who maintain at least a B grade average are eligible for a discount on their premium. Nationwide does have a lower-than-average claims satisfaction score from J.D. Power, though, which means that current customers may be less than satisfied with the carrier’s claims process.
For teens whose parents like to keep all their policies in one place, State Farm might be a good option. The company offers a wide range of insurance and financial products, sold and managed by an exclusive network of more than 19,000 local agents. Teens might be able to save money with State Farm by being good students, taking a driver education course and participating in the company’s Steer Clear safe driving program that tracks the driving habits of young drivers. One downside is that the carrier has a higher-than-average overall complaint index rating from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which indicates that NAIC receives more policyholder complaints about State Farm than average.
Cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds
Because car insurance can be expensive for 17-year-old drivers, finding a cheap car insurance company can be important too. Bankrate analyzed average premium data for the largest insurance companies by market share in the U.S. to find the cheapest companies for teen drivers. Because the price isn’t the only important factor, we also researched these carriers’ coverage offerings and discounts to ensure they were well suited to teen drivers. Although average rates for teens are still higher than for other age groups, choosing a company with cheap average rates can go a long way toward keeping your costs down.
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
How to save on car insurance when insuring a 17-year-old
Although the price of insuring a teenage driver can be unnerving, there are numerous ways to save money. Most insurance companies offer car insurance discounts for students to help offset the premium increase you will likely experience after adding your 17-year-old driver.
Good student discounts
A lot of insurance providers give a discount to full-time students with good grades. The qualifications for these discounts may differ, but they typically apply to full-time college and high school students who meet the grade requirements of the company. State Farm, Nationwide and Progressive all offer discounts like this. For example, Progressive offers a discount to any full-time student under 23 years old who maintains average grades of B or higher. The discount amount varies by state but is usually around 10 percent. So if your annual car insurance premium is $3,000, you could potentially save around $300 per year.
Reduced mileage or mileage tracking discounts
Many insurance carriers offer reduced rates for drivers who drive under a certain number of miles per year. This can be an ideal solution to lower premiums for teens, who may only be driving to and from school. Your provider may also offer pay-per-mile telematics programs, which will track your teen’s mileage and adjust your premium based on the actual number of miles your teen has driven.
Safe driving discounts
One of the easiest ways to reduce your car insurance premium is by maintaining a good driving record. Many insurance carriers will apply a safe driving discount when drivers have avoided accidents and traffic violations for a certain number of years, which varies by carrier. Some carriers offer discounts for tracking your driving patterns via a mobile app or plug-in device in usage-based insurance programs.
How to get the best car insurance for a 17-year-old
Since teen drivers are viewed as a higher risk, they tend to be expensive to insure. However, by obtaining quotes from multiple companies, teaching your teen safe driving habits and taking advantage of available discounts, you may be able to find an insurance policy that works for you and your family.