How to pick the right car insurance for your teen driver

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When picking the right car insurance for your teen driver, a good place to start is by getting quotes from different carriers. This way, you can compare discounts and pricing for the same coverage to get the best rates for an inexperienced driver. Though it can be expensive to insure a teen driver, picking the right car insurance can help you maximize the savings and reduce the stress of paying a high insurance bill.

Why is car insurance for teens more expensive?

Teen drivers are among the most expensive to insure because their inexperience behind the wheel makes them more likely to cause an accident that will lead to filing a claim and the insurance company having to pay out money. When adding a 16-year-old driver to their parents’ policy, the average rate increase is $2,531 per year. Adding a 17-year-old driver increases the cost by an average of $2,376 annually.

As your teen gains experience and gets older, rates should drop — as long as they maintain a clean driving record.

Insuring your teen driver

It is a good idea to call your insurance company when your teen gets their learner’s permit. You should not have to add them to your policy and pay for them to be covered until they get their driver’s license, and they are covered to drive with their permit. This will depend on the insurance company, as well as the state you live in – but generally speaking this should be the case.

It is almost always cheaper to add a teen driver to the parents’ policy rather than get them their own policy. If you buy a car that is in their name only, you may need to get a separate policy for them. If this is the case, consider getting insurance with the same carrier to take advantage of multi-policy discounts.

What should I look for in a carrier when I have a teen driver?

When looking for a carrier with a teen driver, check for discounts and endorsements offered that are specific to teens. These insurance companies usually offer better pricing for teen drivers than insurers that do not have teen-specific discounts and features.

There are several discounts available for teens, including:

  • Distant student: This discount is reserved for college-aged drivers. Teens and young adults who go away to college at least 100 miles from home and do not take a car with them may receive this discount. The student is still covered if they drive a car when they are home for vacation or other reasons.
  • Driver training: In some states and with some carriers, teens may be able to take a driver training course to get a discount. The training is designed to make them more attentive behind the wheel and avoid behaviors that could lead to tickets and accidents.
  • Good student: This potential discount rewards teens and young adults who get good grades. A full-time high school or college student may be able to get and keep a good student discount as long as they maintain a specific GPA in school.
  • Low mileage: If your teen does not drive many miles, you may be able to get this discount. Each carrier has their own limit for low miles, but if your car is driven less than the limit, you can save on your car insurance. Some companies also offer pay-per-mile insurance.

Ways to save when you have a teen driver

When you have a teen driver, the increased cost to insure them can be high. By finding ways to save, you could insure a teen driver with the best coverage at an affordable rate.

Consider usage-based insurance

Some companies offer usage-based insurance, or telematics, for drivers looking to save on insurance. With usage-based insurance, the insurance company tracks the user’s driving habits through a device plugged into the car or a mobile app. Most companies offer an initial discount for allowing them to track usage, and then will adjust your premium based on driving habits. This method is also a good way for you to track your teens driving to see if they are being responsible behind the wheel.

Choose your car wisely

The type of car you drive has an effect on your car insurance premium, and can make a significant difference when insuring a teen driver. If you are in the market for a new car for your teen to drive, consider a used car instead. Used cars may be cheaper to insure and you may be able to save even more if you don’t need full coverage insurance.

Review coverage options

Removing unnecessary coverages may help you save when you add a teen driver. If you have an older used car, you may not need full coverage insurance. For newer cars or if you still want to keep full coverage, raising deductibles is another way to save. If you have more than one car in the family, think about if you need to pay extra for coverages like rental car reimbursement.

You should also consider the liability limits you have and if you need to increase them. While it may increase the premium, having higher liability limits may help protect your finances if your teen causes an accident with injuries or property damage.

Discuss habits with your teen

When teens get their license, they have a new set of responsibilities to adhere to. Discuss with your teen how their habits can affect them and others. Being a good driver can help them prevent tickets and accidents, which helps keep everyone safe on the road and allows you to keep discounts on the policy. For example, if your teen qualifies for the good student discount, let them know how much it saves and how important it is to maintain good grades.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest way to get car insurance for a teenager?

The cheapest way to get car insurance for a teenager is to add them to their parents’ policy instead of them getting their own. Giving them an older car to drive and shopping for the best rates are other ways to save.

Should I insure my teenage driver?

If your teenage driver lives with you, you are required to insure them or have them get their own policy. Motor vehicles and insurance companies are linked electronically, so the company will know the teen is licensed and place them on the policy if you do not.

At what age does car insurance go down?

For teen drivers, each year they get older, you should see car insurance rates go down, as long as they have a clean driving record. With most insurance companies, once you turn 25 is the age when car insurance goes down.