Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com 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: Oct 18, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Drivers in their teens land in the highest rate bracket for car insurance compared to all other ages
  • Insuring your car under your parents’ policy is usually going to be the cheapest way to go
  • Accidents with teenagers, in general, will cause every teenager to be placed in a high-risk category. The higher risk you are, the higher your rates will be
  • Make sure you take the responsibility seriously and make choices that are smart, which includes choosing the right coverage and a reputable company

The recommended car insurance for teens is full coverage on their parents’ policy. Drivers in their teens land in the highest rate bracket for car insurance compared to all other ages.

There are multiple reasons for this, but the biggest one is because, statistically speaking, teenagers get into the most accidents and have the worst driving records.

If you would like to search for car insurance rates, just fill your ZIP code into the FREE quote tool above!

Whether you are a teenage driver or an older driver, there are many factors that make up a car insurance rate. Many deal with the vehicle you drive and the driver itself.

The type of coverage you have on your policy will also affect how much you pay. When you are first starting out and getting insurance, you need to take all of these into account.

Table of Contents

Recommended Coverage for Teen Drivers

No matter in which state you live, the state has a say as to the type of insurance coverage you have to carry. It will vary, but oftentimes liability coverage is the only type that is a requirement. Liability covers you if you are at fault for an accident and there is another party involved.

It will help to pay for damages not only to the other vehicle or property but also for any bodily injuries that the other party might have incurred.

As a teenager or a parent of a teen, seeing a rate quote for car insurance may give you sticker shock. Carrying only the state minimum may be tempting at that point, as it is the cheapest coverage you can get. Minimum coverage is not usually recommended for teenagers, however.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proves that carrying more coverage for accidents is a smart move. It states that, if you are a driver between the age of 15 and 19, your chances of getting in an accident is increased four-fold compared to other drivers.

Accidents result in a lot of damage. If there are other vehicles involved, there is probably damage to them, as well as damage to your own vehicle. There may also be injuries to not only yourself but to the other drivers and passengers as well.

Also keep in mind that fatal crashes are more common with teenagers, which brings a whole other aspect to the picture.

Basic insurance will only pay for the other party and it usually will not be enough. If the accident was your fault, which as a teen driver it probably was, there would be no coverage for any damage to you or your vehicle.

Anything not covered by the meager insurance you are carrying will be your responsibility. Since your ability to pay is likely pretty low, your parents will ultimately be responsible.

Comprehensive coverage, as well as collision insurance, is recommended for most teenage drivers.

These will protect you if your own car is damaged and needs repairs or, even worse, if it is totaled and needs to be replaced. Even the costs of a minor fender bender can add up, and having insurance will help.

It is also recommended that liability limits are increased on your policy. The state minimums are quite low in most states and once the limits are reached, you are on your own.

The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you carry at least $100,000 in coverage for bodily injury per individual and $300,000 in coverage per accident.

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Recommended Insurance Companies for Teens

You may be wondering if there is a car insurance company out there for teen drivers that are better than others. The answer is, not necessarily.

The best place to look initially, however, is at the company with which your parents insure their vehicles, especially if they are happy with their results, rates, and service.

Insuring your car under your parents’ policy is usually going to be the cheapest way to go.

It is also the easiest. Your parents have a relationship with the company and your agent, as well as a history. They are also probably already getting discounts such as multiple policies and maybe even multiple vehicle discounts.

Being listed on their policy will definitely increase the premium that they are currently paying, but it will be less than if you were to go out on your own and find a policy. It is definitely worth looking into.

How to Find a Teen Insurance Policy

Another recommendation, if it falls through with your parents’ insurance, is to work with an insurance broker. A broker will have the ability to tap into more insurance providers to find the appropriate one for your budget and needs.

A broker will also be able to answer the questions that you have, as car insurance can be confusing and it is part of your responsibility as a driver to understand it.

Another source through the Internet is Insure U, which offers ten tips to help in your insurance buying process.

You can also find a policy on your own. You can visit local offices in your area or do an Internet search. If you do go about it by yourself, make sure you have at least a basic understanding of car insurance in terms of what it entails and how it works.

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Average Rate for Teenage Drivers

As insurance rates are determined individually, it is almost impossible to predict what your rates will be. However, looking at the national average is a decent indicator as to how much you may be expected to shell out for a car insurance policy.

Looking at the national average, auto insurance rates for teenage drivers is around $2,200 annually.

Some teens will end up paying rates as low as $1,200, while others may pay upwards of $4,900. It will vary according to which state you live in as well as other factors.

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Reasons for High Car Insurance Rates for Teenagers

As was stated previously, teen drivers cause more accidents than anyone else on the road. This does not help you when you are searching for affordable car insurance. Insurance companies rate each driver and assess their risk level.

Accidents with teenagers, in general, will cause every teenager to be placed in a high-risk category. The higher risk you are, the higher your rates will be.

In general, teenage drivers who are male will be charged higher rates than their female counterparts. Teenagers in their first year of driving will also pay higher rates, as they have the least experience on the road.

One factor when it comes to car insurance rates is credit history. Insurance companies relate how well you take care of money with how good of a driver you are.

If you have poor credit or no credit at all, which most teenagers do, you will be placed in the higher risk category.

How to Keep Car Insurance Rates Lower

Teenage rates can be kept on the lower end of the financial scale by certain actions. Obviously, there are some things that are pretty difficult for you to change, such as where you live, your age, and which gender you are. Other things are easier to control.

First of all, stay in school and go to college, if at all possible.

Students, especially those in college and graduate programs, are given more of a rate decrease than those drivers who didn’t continue on with their formal education.

Once you are in school, concentrate on getting good grades. Check with your insurance company, but many will give you a discount for a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Drive a vehicle that has features for safety and to prevent theft. If your parents are looking to get a car for you to drive, choose it wisely if insurance rates are a concern.

Many people think that buying an older, used car is the best choice to save money. This is sometimes true, but not always.

Many of the top stolen vehicles are older models. The National Insurance Crime Bureau lists the top ten vehicles that thieves prey upon every year.

In 2011, some of the vehicles included the 1994 Nissan Sentra, 1994 Honda Accord, 1991 Toyota Camry, 1998 Honda Civic, and 2000 Dodge Caravan. Don’t choose one on the list.

Most states have outlined their program for teenagers to get their licenses. The majority follow the Graduated Driver Licensing, which recommends a three-tiered strategy.

It includes permit licensing, intermediate licensing, and official licensing, and outlines the recommended steps and restrictions for each stage. GDL has been shown to drastically cut down on crashes by teenagers, even up to 50 percent.

Although the majority of states use GDL, most of them do not follow it to a tee. It is recommended that states require 50 hours of guided parenting instruction driving while a young driver has their permit before they move on to their intermediate license.

If your state only requires, let’s say, 35 hours of instruction driving but you took private driving instruction and racked up 60 hours, many insurance companies will take that into account and charge you a lower rate.

As a teenager, one of the biggest things you look forward to is getting your driver’s license. The next step is to be responsible and purchase car insurance.

Make sure you take the responsibility seriously and make choices that are smart, which includes choosing the right coverage and a reputable company.

Begin your car insurance rate comparison now by placing your ZIP into the FREE quote tool below!