Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 27, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Young drivers who are shopping for auto insurance should expect to pay more than drivers with experience
  • Drivers who are aged 16 to 19 fall into the most expensive auto insurance risk class because they are risky
  • It’s best for young drivers to buy insurance under one of the family members policies to keep rates low
  • It’s possible to buy a policy for a month if you purchase a special short-term plan through a special carrier
  • It may be cheaper to just buy a standard policy and then cancel the policy after the month you need it

When parents watch their teenagers grow up, they feel a mixture of different emotions. They are proud of who their child is becoming, nervous every time they leave the home, and sad that they are no longer babies.

Some parents are confused by modern trends and others find themselves missing the good old days and how it felt to be young and carefree.

As much as you might miss your youth, there’s one thing that you won’t miss and that’s how much you were stuck paying for auto insurance when you were first licensed. Now that you have children of your own, you’ll have to worry about insuring your child.

Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to see how much you could save on car insurance. If you only need coverage on your teen for the short term, here’s what you need to know:

Why does age matter to car insurance companies?


Some people love the saying that age is just a number. In the world of auto insurance, you’re going to be lumped into a group of people when the insurer is assessing risk. One of the groups you’re lumped into is age.

Age matters for a few different reasons. Data shows that teens have higher crash rates than any other age group and one in five teens will have an accident within the first year of being licensed.

Since the statistics show that the probability of a loss is high, insurance premiums will be high.

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Is age the same thing as experience?

Age is a rating factor that affects your auto insurance premiums but it’s not the only one that can bump up your rates when you’re young. If you’re searching for young driver auto insurance, you’ll discover that it’s both age and driving experience that dings you.

Age is a rating factor that can only be used in some states. Other states have concluded that setting rates that are dependent on a driver’s age is discrimination.

You’re not in the clear when age can’t be used because the insurance company is still free to use your driving experience.

The two might not be the same thing but age has a direct effect on driving experience. When you’re a teen, you can’t acquire any experience until you reach the minimum age of licensing.

Automatically, a young driver who is under the age of 20 isn’t going to have much experience. It’s also possible for older drivers who are 30+ to have little experience when they waited to apply for their license.

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What are the benefits of adding a young driver to an existing policy?

One of the best ways to cover a young driver who’s living in your home is to add them to your insurance policy. Getting insurance through a parent or another resident relative will save the teen time and money.

There are a few reasons why you should add your new driver to your policy instead of encouraging them to buy their own policy:

  • You can call to add the driver without having to submit a new business application
  • The rates for the teen driver will be lower because there will be other primary drivers on the policy and the teen will be secondary
  • The teen will receive the loyalty and insurance history discounts that the parents are receiving
  • If there are multiple cars on the policy or multiple policies, the teen will receive a multi-car discount or a multi-line discount
  • You won’t have to pay a new down payment for coverage and can remove your teen when you want to

How much will a teen increase a current policy?


There’s no telling how much a teen will increase your policy. It all depends on the types of cars that you have on the policy and whether or not there are safe drivers in the home to balance out the new risk.

Typically, experts say adding a teen can almost double your rates without the addition of a new car.

If the teen buys their own insurance, the young driver will pay three or four times what a driver with experience pays.

When the teen is buying insurance on a car with poor safety ratings, the difference could be even higher. Just remember that male drivers pay more than female drivers in their teens.

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Why should you buy standard insurance instead of short-term insurance?

Some insurance carriers sell special policies for drivers who only need a month of coverage. This type of insurance is called short-term coverage.

One of the problems with short-term coverage is that it already costs more than standard coverage, especially when there’s a young driver.

You’ll be better off buying standard insurance and then canceling the insurance after the month. This way, you’ll get the standard rates and you won’t pay even more inflated premiums.

Just be aware that you may have to pay a cancellation fee for ending the policy early.

Why won’t the insurer remove the teen from my policy?


It’s easy to add a young driver to your policy but it’s not as easy to remove them. This is especially true if they’ve only been on the policy for a month. The carrier might not want to process the removal because of the risk.

You’ll have to either show proof of coverage elsewhere or you’ll have to sign a driver exclusion form.

You should always hunt for the best price when you need auto insurance for a month. Take advantage of discounts for non-driving behaviors like getting good grades and completing training.

When you want to find the best price in one place, use our online rate comparison tool.