Car insurance for teen drivers

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Bankrate found Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm to offer the best car insurance for teens based on several factors, including average rate data from Quadrant Information Services, third-party customer satisfaction ratings and financial strength scores.

In every state except Hawaii, car insurance companies use age to determine a driver’s premium. Since teen drivers have just a few years of experience behind the wheel and the highest crash rates of any group, teen car insurance premiums are typically increased. However, it’s still possible to find competitive rates from the following companies.

Key takeaway
  • Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm are some of the best car insurance companies for teens, based on average rates, available discounts, customer satisfaction and more, according to our research.
  • Student discounts are some of the best ways for qualifying teenage drivers to save on their auto insurance rates.
  • Teens aged 16 and 17 are legally considered minors and will likely have to be listed on their parents’ auto insurance policy rather than having a separate policy. Teens aged 18 and 19 can typically stay on their parents’ policy unless they move out of their parents’ home for a reason other than college.

Best car insurance for teen drivers

We chose the best car insurance companies by analyzing various factors, such as average auto insurance rates pulled from Quadrant Information Services, available discounts, technology, third-party customer satisfaction rankings and financial strength. We compiled these factors to create an individualized Bankrate Score for each company, calculated on a scale of 0 to 5. While your age factors into your car insurance premium in most states, Hawaii prohibits this practice. Likewise, in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, car insurance companies are prohibited from using gender as a rating factor.

Allstate

Bankrate Score: 4/5

Allstate received 4 out of 5 stars for financial strength, customer experience and technology. These high scores make Allstate a solid choice for policyholders with teen drivers, especially those who hope to manage their policies online.

Allstate offers car, home, life, business and other insurance products for families, including those with young drivers. Parents may want to take advantage of discounts such as multi-policy, multi-car and safe driving to get cheap car insurance when adding a young adult.

Allstate average car insurance premiums for teens added to their parent’s policy (reflects added cost, not total cost)

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $859 $2,614
17 $731 $2,308
18 $680 $2,202
19 $556 $1,921

Unmarried young adult drivers may be able to take advantage of Allstate’s smart student discount to lower car insurance rates. To qualify, you must have at least a 2.7 GPA as a full-time student.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Geico

Bankrate Score: 4.73/5

Geico tied with State Farm for having the highest Bankrate Score on our list. The company scored highest in the financial strength and technology categories, thanks to its easy-to-use mobile app and online portal.

Like Allstate, Geico offers a wide range of insurance products for parents and young drivers. If the entire family of drivers maintains a clean driving record, the family will likely see significant savings. In addition, taking a driver’s education course may result in cheaper auto insurance rates.

Geico average car insurance premiums for teens added to their parent’s policy (reflects added cost, not total cost)

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $596 $2,009
17 $522 $1,779
18 $439 $1,519
19 $329 $1,165

Geico also offers a good student discount, which full-time students with a B average or above can use to lower car insurance costs. Belonging to certain fraternities, sororities or honor societies can also help a young driver get cheap car insurance rates on their parents’ policy.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Progressive

Bankrate Score: 4.4/5

Progressive received the second-highest Bankrate Score on our list. The company received its highest scores in the customer experience and financial strength categories. If you’re looking for a company with accessible customer service, you may want to consider Progressive.

Progressive’s average car insurance rates fall between Allstate and Geico, but drivers can participate in the company’s Snapshot program to potentially get cheaper premiums. This program tracks your driving in real-time and rewards you for safe practices. If your teen is a safe driver, this program may be a great way to lower your family’s car insurance premiums.

Progressive average car insurance premiums for teens added to their parent’s policy (reflects added cost, not total cost)

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $749 $2,085
17 $748 $2,098
18 $589 $1,727
19 $452 $1,398

Progressive offers a teen driver discount for drivers aged 19 and younger to help offset car insurance costs. With a good student discount, young adult drivers might also save an average of 10% by achieving a B average or better in school.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

State Farm

Bankrate Score: 4.73/5

State Farm tied with Geico for the highest Bankrate Score on our list. The company scored highest in the financial strength and technology categories. If you’re looking for a financially stable provider with a top-notch mobile app and online portal, you may want to consider State Farm.

Like other top car insurance companies, State Farm offers several ways to save on car insurance premiums. Drivers in certain states can take a defensive driving course and may save up to 15%. In addition, State Farm’s Steer Clear program rewards drivers for safe practices behind the wheel. The company’s accident-free discount can help those insured with State Farm for three consecutive years without an accident.

State Farm average car insurance premiums for teens added to their parent’s policy (reflects added cost, not total cost)

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $898 $2,193
17 $767 $1,860
18 $657 $1,615
19 $521 $1,330

At State Farm, the good student discount may save young drivers up to 25% with a 3.0 or above GPA. Participating in the Steer Clear program is another way for young adults under 25 to save as much as 20% on car insurance premiums.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Average cost of car insurance for teen drivers

The average cost of car insurance varies for male and female young drivers, with female teen drivers generally paying less than males. Keep in mind, however, that Hawaii bans the use of age to calculate car insurance premiums, and the following seven states prohibit the use of gender as a rating factor: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Female drivers typically pay less than their male peers since male drivers are seen as riskier to insure. Studies show that males speed more and, in general, exhibit more risky behavior behind the wheel than female drivers. Teen drivers and young adults also have the highest cell phone usage of all age groups, which may increase the risk of causing an accident or getting a ticket due to distracted driving.

Average annual cost of full coverage car insurance for teen males and females added to their parents’ policy (reflects added cost, not total cost)

Age Male Female Difference
16 $2,783 $2,280 $503
17 $2,612 $2,141 $471
18 $2,197 $1,753 $444
19 $1,729 $1,327 $402

Car insurance rates generally decrease as drivers get older and gain more experience behind the wheel. By maintaining a clean driving record and taking advantage of discounts, young adult drivers can typically expect lower car insurance costs with each policy renewal. However, around the age of 70, car insurance costs typically begin to increase again slightly.

Average car insurance costs for teen drivers by state

The state where you live also affects your auto insurance premium, as illustrated in the table below. Hawaii is the only state that prohibits age as a factor in determining car insurance rates, which makes it the cheapest state for young drivers. Florida has the most expensive rates for car insurance when adding a young driver to their parents’ policy. These rates are based on the top insurers in the country and are for full coverage car insurance for teens added to their parents’ policy and thus reflect added cost and not the total cost.

State Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 19
Alabama $2,714 $2,437 $2,136 $1,694
Alaska $2,245 $1,918 $1,630 $1,418
Arkansas $2,711 $2,421 $2,145 $1,701
Arizona $2,704 $2,458 $2,101 $1,813
California $3,744 $3,286 $3,010 $1,823
Colorado $2,936 $2,687 $2,339 $1,879
Connecticut $2,927 $2,578 $2,265 $1,611
Delaware $2,491 $2,135 $1,922 $1,644
Florida $4,343 $4,042 $3,675 $2,728
Georgia $3,007 $2,736 $2,428 $2,023
Hawaii $35 $35 $35 $35
Idaho $2,313 $2,023 $1,197 $974
Illinois $1,954 $1,711 $1,760 $1,561
Indiana $1,537 $1,404 $1,505 $1,180
Iowa $1,705 $1,406 $1,223 $976
Kansas $2,099 $1,878 $1,660 $1,366
Kentucky $3,593 $3,094 $2,673 $2,026
Louisiana $4,333 $3,859 $3,181 $2,448
Massachusetts $1,389 $1,262 $1,708 $1,100
Maryland $2,787 $2,509 $2,276 $1,781
Maine $2,002 $1,850 $1,124 $937
Michigan $3,403 $3,122 $2,735 $2,238
Minnesota $2,217 $1,920 $1,643 $1,383
Missouri $2,192 $1,971 $1,772 $1,443
Mississippi $2,387 $2,019 $1,687 $1,361
Montana $2,298 $2,067 $1,847 $1,476
North Carolina $1,627 $1,487 $869 $237
North Dakota $3,398 $2,930 $1,152 $883
Nebraska $1,735 $1,650 $1,322 $1,051
New Hampshire $2,353 $2,078 $1,429 $1,130
New Jersey $2,035 $1,737 $1,834 $1,568
New Mexico $3,573 $3,182 $1,458 $1,145
Nevada $1,765 $1,078 $2,646 $2,231
New York $1,507 $1,351 $2,819 $1,936
Ohio $1,647 $1,479 $1,314 $1,036
Oklahoma $2,455 $2,170 $1,893 $1,486
Oregon $2,133 $1,851 $1,581 $1,323
Pennsylvania $2,372 $2,206 $1,881 $1,525
Rhode Island $2,927 $2,715 $2,361 $1,742
South Carolina $2,140 $1,873 $1,622 $1,247
South Dakota $1,535 $1,416 $1,251 $1,033
Tennessee $2,116 $1,903 $1,640 $1,313
Texas $2,860 $2,562 $2,298 $1,959
Utah $2,462 $2,120 $1,861 $1,451
Virginia $2,401 $2,248 $1,627 $1,303
Vermont $2,084 $1,840 $1,956 $1,707
Washington $1,935 $1,729 $1,528 $1,103
Washington, D.C. $2,506 $2,235 $1,939 $1,568
Wisconsin $2,276 $2,074 $1,235 $981
West Virginia $1,701 $1,508 $1,775 $1,335
Wyoming $2,071 $1,969 $1,752 $1,341

*Hawaii does not use age as a rating factor

How rates are determined for teen drivers

Car insurance companies consider several factors when determining teen car insurance rates. A few of the main considerations include:

  • Car make and model: Your vehicle’s make and model affect car insurance rates for several reasons. Certain cars are made with more expensive parts and are costlier to repair, which increases insurance costs. Certain vehicles come with more sophisticated safety features, which may lessen a car insurance company’s risk, and as a result, decrease your premium. However, some of those sophisticated safety features might actually drive your costs higher as they can be expensive to repair. In addition, vehicles have different crash statistics. If your vehicle make and model has a high rate of collisions, your car insurance company may charge you a higher price.
  • Driving history: If a teen has a history of car accidents and moving violations, the car insurance company may see them as riskier to insure, and as a result, increase their premium.
  • Types of car insurance coverage: Minimum coverage car insurance is cheaper than full coverage car insurance. However, most insurance experts recommend purchasing more than the minimum coverage insurance required to better protect your finances. There may be some additional coverage options, however, that you don’t need. For instance, if you drive an older vehicle that you own outright, you would not be required to have comprehensive or collision coverage.

Discounts for teen drivers

Teen drivers and young adults may be able to lower their car insurance premiums by benefiting from some of the best car insurance discounts for students and various other discounts.

Good student discounts

Unmarried, full-time students may be able to get a good student discount by maintaining a 3.0 or above average. As noted above, Allstate only requires a 2.7 GPA. The amount of savings and eligibility criteria vary by company, as does how often the young driver has to recertify their grades.

Distant student discounts

A distant student discount, also called student away at school, is another way to save for college-aged drivers. This discount typically applies to students who go to college at least 100 miles from home and do not take a car with them.

Driver training discounts

Driver training programs not only make young drivers safer and more responsible behind the wheel, but they may also save money on car insurance. The requirements and savings differ by carrier.

Usage-based program discounts

Most insurance companies offer a way for all family members to save on car insurance with a usage-based program, also known as a telematics program. Telematics programs require a smartphone or plug-in device installed into the car to monitor driving habits and miles driven. Maintaining safe driving habits can earn you cheap car insurance rates.

Frequently asked questions

Besides age and gender, what factors do insurers use to set my premium?

Car insurance companies use the following characteristics (and sometimes more) to determine your car insurance premium: the make and model of your vehicle, driving history, claims history and age of the car. Your age can also be used as a rating factor in every state except Hawaii. Gender is also used to determine your premium in every state except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Car insurance companies also factor in your credit score, but this practice is prohibited in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan. Your ZIP code will also likely factor into your premium in every state except California, Michigan and Hawaii. Keep in mind that one insurance company might place more weight on your credit score, while another might care more about your claims history.

How can I find the best car insurance for my individual characteristics?

To find the best car insurance, you may first want to determine what matters most to you in a car insurance policy. If you’re looking for the best price, you may want to compare quotes from multiple providers. If you’re a student, it may be helpful to look into which companies have the best student discounts. If you care most about customer service, you may want to look at reviews and third-party customer satisfaction ratings. An independent insurance agent may be able to help you nail down your needs and decide on a company that’s right for you.

Does the average car insurance premium vary significantly among states?

The national average full coverage premium in the United States is $1,674 annually, but average rates vary by state. While full coverage premiums in some states hover around the national average, others vary drastically. For instance, in Maine, the average full coverage premium is $965 per year, whereas the Louisiana average is $2,724.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 16- to 70-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, 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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 16-70 (base: 40 years) applied and reflects the cost of adding those ages to their parents’ policy (Bankrate’s base premium). Hawaii does not use age as a determining factor in calculating premiums.

Gender: the following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.