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Car insurance for 19-year-olds
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Most 19-year-old drivers have a few years of driving experience under their belts, but they are still typically still considered youthful operators by car insurance companies. Whether they have their own policy or are listed as an active driver on their parents' policy, 19-year-old drivers typically pay above-average car insurance rates. Knowing how your age and driving experience can impact your car insurance rates may help you make informed coverage decisions and potentially even save some money.
How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old?
Our insurance editorial team gathered data from Quadrant Information Services to compare quotes from dozens of auto insurers. The average cost of car insurance for a 19-year-old on their own policy is $4,720 a year for full coverage and $1,472 a year for minimum coverage. This means 19-year-old drivers pay 134 percent more for full coverage than the national average cost of car insurance for adult drivers. However, average costs are a little less when 19-year-olds are added to their parents' policy, at $3,345 annually for full coverage and $1,070 annually for minimum coverage.
Due to a lack of a lengthy driving history, car insurance companies typically consider young drivers — including those under the age of 21 — risky to insure. Teen drivers have a crash rate about four times higher than other age groups. Although age and gender are not allowed to be used as insurance rating factors in some states, historically, both age and gender tend to be strong indicators of driver risk.
Average cost of car insurance for 19-year-olds
Why does car insurance typically cost more for 19-year-old males than 19-year-old females on average? Each car insurance company has underwriters who determine the cost of car insurance based on several factors set by the insurance firm, including the driver’s stated gender. Based on the fact that men are statistically riskier drivers than women, according to actuarial data, insurance companies often factor gender into rates. Hawaii and Massachusetts do not use age and join California, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in banning the use of gender in setting insurance rates.
The table below breaks down the average costs of minimum and full coverage car insurance for 19-year-old males and females.
|Average annual premium||19-year-old male on their parents’ policy||19-year-old female on their parents’ policy||19-year-old male on their own policy||19-year-old female on their own policy|
*19-year-olds on their own policy are renters.
Best car insurance companies for 19-year-olds
There are many options for 19-year-old drivers seeking auto insurance coverage. To make the insurance landscape clearer, we leveraged 2023 average premium data and considered standout coverage options from each insurer to highlight some of the best car insurance companies for consideration. The following carriers have high Bankrate Scores, calculated on a five-point scale measuring performance across several categories. These include average premiums, coverage options, discounts, state availability, financial strength ratings, customer satisfaction scores and digital accessibility.
|Insurance company||Bankrate Score||Average full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their parents’ policy||Average full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their own policy|
*Amica insurance is not available in Hawaii
Amica tied with Geico as the 2023 Bankrate Award winner for best auto insurance company overall, partly due to its high customer satisfaction scores and the ability to earn dividends as a policyholder. Amica could also be among the best companies for 19-year-old drivers because of its many discount opportunities for younger people. Eligible 19-year-olds could get a driver training discount, a good student discount and a student away at school discount. However, perhaps most unique is Amica’s loyalty discount — 19-year-old drivers whose parents have been insured with Amica for at least five years could get a discount on their own separate policy. It may be worth noting, though, that Amica car insurance isn’t available in Hawaii. You can learn more about Amica by calling 1-800-242-6422 or visiting www.amica.com.
Learn more: Amica Insurance review
Geico isn't the cheapest average carrier on our list for 19-year-olds, but it doesn’t have eligibility restrictions, and it offers a long list of discounts that may help drivers save on their premium. In addition to having coverage from a nationally trusted company, policyholders have access to Geico’s top-rated mobile app. With it, you can conveniently view your ID cards, make a payment, file a claim, request roadside assistance and check the status of your claim. However, compared to companies like Amica, Geico’s suite of coverage add-ons is sparse.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
USAA is a unique insurance provider because it only provides coverage to active-duty military, veterans and their eligible immediate family members. However, even though the carrier has strict membership requirements, it consistently earns high J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores from its covered drivers and exhibits superior financial strength, according to AM Best. If you qualify, getting a quote from USAA could provide you fairly unique coverage and savings opportunities like its SafePilot program, which offers up to a 30 percent discount for safe driving behaviors. It also offers the cheapest average full coverage premiums for 19-year-olds on our list.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
For drivers who prefer face-to-face communication with their insurer, Auto-Owners may prove to be a great option. Auto-Owners’ distribution network includes 48,000 independent licensed agents who can personally guide you through the insurance buying experience. In addition to the expertise its agents offer, policies through Auto-Owners have potentially valuable optional add-ons, such as diminished value coverage, which ensures your claim payout accounts for the expense to repair your car to its original value prior to damage. If managing your car insurance through your mobile phone is a priority, Auto-Owners may not be the best fit, as you can’t file a claim via its app.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
Although Progressive isn’t the cheapest on this list, the company’s Name Your Price Tool could be a valuable benefit for young drivers new to car insurance. Rather than needing to know exactly what coverage limits and add-ons you want, the Name Your Price Tool does the work for you. Progressive is available in all states, and its mobile app is highly rated by both Google Play and iOS users, which could be appealing to younger drivers.
Learn more: Progressive Insurance review
Cheapest car insurance for 19-year-olds
Because price is often a top consideration when choosing coverage — especially for younger drivers who tend to pay more for car insurance — many 19-year-olds may be looking for the cheapest auto insurance available. We compared rates from providers across the country and found five that stand out in offering the cheapest car insurance out of providers available in most of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Price may be an important factor when seeking coverage, but you may also want to consider any special discounts or optional coverage types you might benefit from, as well as how easy it will be to get customer assistance and manage your policy.
Below are some top-rated car insurance companies that also offer some of the most affordable average rates for 19-year-old drivers both on their own policy and on their parents’ policy. USAA ranks as the cheapest overall, according to our research, although it is only available to active-duty military members, veterans and their qualifying family. Nationwide is the next cheapest option for 19-year-olds still insured on their parents' policy, with Auto-Owners being the second-cheapest carrier for 19-year-olds on their own policy.
Average car insurance cost for 19-year-olds by state
Car insurance companies can use location to determine car insurance rates in most states. This means that if you move to a different ZIP code, city or state, your car insurance rate could be affected. Two exceptions are Michigan, which does not allow the use of ZIP codes in determining car insurance premiums, and California, which has limitations on how ZIP codes can be used.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their parents’ policy||Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their own policy|
|District of Columbia||$3,403||$4,815|
How can 19-year-olds save on car insurance?
Finding cheap car insurance for 19-year-olds may be challenging, but there are many strategies you could employ that might help you lower your car insurance premiums. If you’re a young driver looking to save, you may want to try these tips:
Requesting and comparing quotes from multiple companies could be one of the most impactful ways to ensure you’re getting a competitive rate. To make the process easier, you may also want to consider what you find most important in your insurance company outside of cheap premiums. Do you want excellent customer service? If so, you may want to seek out carriers who score highly on the most recent J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. Are you tech-savvy? In that case, reaching out to companies with functional mobile apps and other digital tools might be in order. Once you’ve narrowed your list of needs and wants, you can request quotes from carriers using Bankrate’s average 19-year-old driver premium data as a touchstone.
Maintain a clean driving record
Car insurance companies may use more than a dozen factors to determine how much to charge you for coverage, and your driving history is among the most significant. Since 19-year-old drivers have less driving experience and history than older drivers, it might be especially important for them to keep their driving records clean. Younger drivers are already considered higher risk than their older counterparts, so adding in accidents or tickets will only increase that risk and likely your rate.
Drive an older or safer car
New cars typically cost more to replace. Driving an older vehicle could be one strategy to reduce your premium. However, it may be worth considering how insuring an older vehicle may affect other costs, such as those associated with a higher likelihood of mechanical breakdown. If you are in the market for a new car, it may be worth it to keep in mind that cars with added safety features tend to cost less to insure. A car with a favorable crash rating, for example, would likely earn you a lower premium due to you and your passengers being less likely to suffer severe injuries in an accident.
Choose usage-based car insurance
If you are a full-time student, a usage-based car insurance policy may be worth considering. Many 19-year-olds attending college live on or near campus and walk to class or take public transit. If you only drive a few dozen miles each week, usage-based programs may help you reduce your premiums significantly.
With a usage-based policy, the amount of money you pay each month depends on:
- How far you drive
- How long you drive
- The type of car you drive
- How fast you drive
- How well you drive
Not every provider offers usage-based car insurance, so you may need to do a little research before you choose.
Take advantage of discounts
There are a variety of discounts 19-year-old drivers may be able to take advantage of. Some of the most common offered by many carriers include:
- Good student
- Defensive driving course
- Pay in full
Each company offers different discounts and has different requirements for each. Before you purchase coverage from any provider, ask which discounts you are able to apply for and how much each one would affect your monthly rate.
Opt for a higher deductible
If you opt for a high deductible, you will likely pay less each month for insurance. However, choosing an appropriate deductible is often a balancing act. If you choose a high deductible as a way to cut insurance costs, you’ll be facing a higher out-of-pocket expense in the event of an at-fault accident. Outside of meeting state insurance requirements, insurance is about financial protection. If you choose a deductible amount that would cause hardship if you had to pay it unexpectedly, then this protection is diminished. Insurance agents often recommend reviewing your budget to ensure you choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford.