Although they might have a year of experience on the road, 17-year-olds are still inexperienced drivers. If you have a teen to insure, it is important to understand the costs associated with obtaining car insurance for them. While the initial cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old will be relatively high, their premium should decrease with time and can be made more affordable by taking advantage of available discounts.
Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to obtain current premium information. Understanding the factors that affect the premiums for 17-year-old drivers and what measures you can take to keep costs as low as possible will help you find the best car insurance for your family.
How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?
Teens are relatively expensive to insure. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are at a greater risk of car crashes than any other age group. Since there is a greater likelihood that they will file a claim, insurance carriers charge more to cover teenage drivers.
The average annual cost to add a 17-year-old driver to their parents’ policy is $2,250. If paid monthly, that is a premium increase of about $188. Because 17-year-olds are still minors, they must be insured as a licensed driver on a policy with their parents, or with another licensed driver who is at least 18-years-old.
This average annual premium for a 17-year-old is the additional cost to the parents’ policy, with one vehicle that has full coverage, and not the total rate for all three drivers on the policy. This figure does not include insuring a vehicle purchased for your 17-year-old to drive. If you need to insure an additional vehicle for your teen, the premium increase to your policy will be higher than just adding the teen alone.
Average car insurance costs for 17-year-old males and females
In addition to age, gender is often a factor in determining car insurance rates. In general, males will pay more for car insurance. This is because men are more likely to be risky drivers, engaging in driving habits like speeding and not wearing seat belts. For this reason, males are seen as a higher risk and are charged accordingly.
The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old male and female drivers.
|Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old male||Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old female|
These rates do not account for accidents or traffic violations. Having incidents like these on your driving record will result in a higher car insurance rate. Additionally, there are other factors that impact your car insurance premium, like where you live.
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 number and severity of car crashes, 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-old males and females by state. Some states, like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, bar insurance companies from using gender in determining premiums.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old male||Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old female||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
|District of Columbia||$2,520||$1,750||$2,135|
*Hawaii does not factor age into rates for 17-year-old drivers so this data is not available.
**These states do not allow insurers to rate consumers differently based on gender.
Cheapest car insurance companies for 17-year-olds
With the high costs of insuring 17-year-old drivers, parents are likely to want to save money where they can. If you are considering changing companies to find a lower rate for your teen driver, remember that 17-year-olds cannot be insured on their own policy. You will have to switch your policy to the new company and rate your 17-year-old as a driver.
If you are considering a new insurance carrier to save money when insuring your teen, the car insurance companies in the table below provide the lowest rates for 17-year-old drivers.
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old males||Average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old females||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
Aside from its affordable rates, Nationwide is one of the best insurance companies for 17-year-old drivers for its coverage options and available discounts. Nationwide offers special auto coverages such as accident forgiveness, which helps you avoid rate increases following your first at-fault accident or minor traffic violation. Additionally, full-time students between the ages of 16 and 24 who maintain at least a B grade average are eligible for a discount on their premium. Drivers can also take advantage of the vanishing deductible option, which allows you to earn $100 off your deductible for each year of safe driving, up to $500.
Erie Insurance also provides competitive rates for teen drivers along with plenty of coverage options and discounts tailored for this age group. For example, the carrier’s roadside and rentals bundle will help ensure your 17-year-old driver is taken care of during a roadside emergency. Additionally, with Erie’s Rate Lock, 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 the age of 21 who live with their parents in all states except North Carolina.
When it comes to accident forgiveness, few insurance carriers offer more protection than The Hartford. As long as all the drivers on your policy have a clean record for five consecutive years, you will qualify for first accident forgiveness, which means that your policy will not be charged after your first at-fault accident. The Hartford also provides a driver training discount. Drivers under the age of 21 who complete an approved training course may receive a discount. Good students can also save money through The Hartford’s good student discount.
While not everyone is eligible for car insurance through USAA, those who are will enjoy the benefits the company provides for 17-year-old drivers. Active or retired military members with teen drivers can take advantage of special savings and discounts for defensive driving courses, good grades and driver training. Additionally, if a teen driver continues coverage with USAA after moving out of their parents’ household, they can save up to 10% on their own policy through the family discount.
How to save on car insurance when insuring a 17-year-old
Although the price to insure a teen driver can be unnerving, there are numerous ways to save money. Insurance companies offer multiple discounts to help you offset the premium increase you will experience after adding your 17-year-old driver.
Good student discounts
Most insurance providers offer discounts to students who are able to maintain good grades in school. Every company has its own qualifications, so be sure to check with your carrier to see if your 17-year-old qualifies. The table below illustrates how significantly a good student discount can reduce your annual premium.
|Without good student discount||With good student discount||Difference|
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 usage-based driving 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.
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 can find an insurance policy that works for you and your family. When selecting car insurance for 17-year-olds, be sure to review the quotes from several carriers, as well as to compare coverage options and offered discounts.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company?
Selecting the best car insurance company means finding the insurance provider that is capable of meeting your unique needs. Because everyone brings a different set of factors to their search for insurance, the best company will vary. Reviewing quotes from multiple insurance providers and comparing discounts and coverages can help you find the right policy for your needs.
Should I adjust my coverage when adding a teen driver?
Adding a teen driver to your policy can dramatically increase your premium. Because of this, you may be tempted to reduce your coverage to save money. Since teens are high-risk drivers, insurance professionals do not recommend that you lower your coverage limits. Taking advantage of as many discounts as you can is often a better way to save money and maintain the peace of mind that your insurance coverage is sufficient.
Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?
If you have a 16- or 17-year-old driver, they will need to be added as a licensed driver to your policy, or to a policy belonging to someone over 18. Once a driver reaches 18, they can purchase their own insurance policy. However, older teenagers will likely pay more on their own policies than if they stay on their parents’ policy. As long as your teen lives in your household, or is living on a college campus, your insurance company will likely allow them to stay on your policy.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on the additional cost of a 17-year-old male and female teen driver added to their 40-year-old parents’ policy (with clean driving records, good credit and the following full coverage limits):
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.
Rates are determined based on 2021 Quadrant Information Services data.