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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 are still fairly inexperienced. As such, their premiums may be lower than when they were first licensed, but their average car insurance costs are still quite a bit higher than average. Bankrate can show 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 car insurance with two adult drivers, one 17-year-old and one vehicle is $3,580 per year for full coverage. Before adding the teen, the average full coverage premium for a married couple with one vehicle was $1,668 per year, which means the 17-year-old driver caused a 115% increase in premium, which is nearly $160 a month more 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
In addition to age, gender is often a factor in determining car insurance rates. In general, males pay more for car insurance 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 generally seen as a higher risk and are charged accordingly, typically regardless of age. However, auto insurance companies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are banned by state insurance regulations from using gender as a rating factor when setting premiums.
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||$1,912||$668|
*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 17-year-old driver added to a married parent’s policy
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-old males and females by state. Insurance companies cannot use gender in determining auto premiums in six states. 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. Thus, this data is not available in these two states.
**These states do not allow insurers to rate consumers differently based on gender.
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:
Allstate’s average premium for 17-year-olds might be the highest on our list and higher than the national average for 17-year-olds, but the company has a lot to offer. The Drivewise program can help your teen learn safe driving habits and allow you to monitor their driving patterns, all while saving you money. Smart students could also earn a discount. Perhaps the most alluring feature of all is the teenSMART safety program. This program is specifically geared toward teen drivers and addresses the driving behaviors that account for the overwhelming majority of teen crashes. The program has a participation fee, but Allstate customers get a discounted rate.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
While Amica’s average 17-year-old rate isn’t the cheapest on our list, it is cheaper than the national average. Amica could be a good choice for parents of young drivers because it offers discounts for families, such as its legacy discount and good student discount. Amica also offers discounts for safety features installed in their vehicles, like forward-collision warning and electronic stability control. For policyholders who qualify, these discounts could add up to even more savings.
Learn more: Amica Insurance review
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.
Learn more: Erie Insurance review
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.
Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review
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.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
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.
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
Most insurance providers offer discounts to students who can maintain good grades in school. Every auto insurance company has its qualifications, so check with your carrier to see if your 17-year-old qualifies. Some major companies that offer good student discounts include Allstate, Geico and Nationwide, to name a few.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2020 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.
Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.
Age: Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.