Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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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 Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If your rates are high because of the age rating band that you fall into, you will start to see the rates drop over time
  • If a driver is licensed at 16, right around the time that they turn 20 they should see their renewal rates drop
  • There can be drops for drivers in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, but the drops will be much less frequent

If you were to ask any first-time driver if they feel like they are paying too much for their auto insurance, they are almost certainly going to answer yes.

When shopping for coverage for the first time, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed.

Since all states have some form of mandatory auto insurance law or financial responsibility law, it almost feels as if you are backed into a corner and forced to pay for car insurance premiums that are difficult to keep up.

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How Age Affects Your Rates


Car insurance may be a financial product that you as a driver really never want to put to use, but it is a necessity in a society with such a heavy reliance on the automobile.

With life revolving around the use of vehicles, states have recognized that anyone who owns a car needs to be financially responsible and capable of paying for the damages that they could potentially cause to others.

Since the average person could not withdraw $15,000 to pay for medical bills or to pay a collision repair center, insurance is a product that really is necessary regardless of the cost.

Auto insurance rates typically decrease as you get older.

There are several different rating factors that are used to rate risk and as determinants for premiums, but age is perhaps the most important because of the dramatic effect it can have.

If your major concern is how long it will take for your rates to go down and you are an inexperienced operator, there is a good chance that the answer is somehow connected to your age and how long you have been driving.

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Why is age so important to insurers?

You might understand that some teens or young adults can be impulsive or easily influenced, but it can be difficult to understand why you are being penalized for the actions of others if you are a safe driver.

The accident statistics released by the Center for Disease Control also show that teens with very little experience operating a car are responsible for 58 percent of the total cost of car accident injuries.

Unfortunately for young drivers who do not fit the model, the statistics show that drivers between 16 and 24 are 3 times more likely to get into a serious accident.

Not only is the data scary, it also signifies that drivers who are young are higher risks than drivers who are experienced.

Since more risk of paying a claim is present in the age group, the company must create a base rate that is much higher for drivers in this category.

There are other factors that can drive the rates down, but the base rate in the age bracket will be much much higher because the age factor alone puts the driver in a high-risk class.

When do rates begin to drop based on the age factor?


If your rates are high because of your age, you will start to see the rates drop over time. Rates may be high in the beginning, but many times these rates go down.

The drop might not be as quick as you would like, but it will happen as long as you show that you are not as high of a risk as the accident statistics show.

Here are some of the milestones to look for:

Drivers Between 16 and 19

This is the highest priced age range because the driver has no experience and there are no habits for the insurer to reference during underwriting.

Males pay much more than females, but even young females pay more than a 60 percent surcharge compared to their experienced counterparts.

Luckily, drivers in this age group tend to be listed on a parent’s policy until they are an adult or they legally own their own car.

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– Drivers Between 20 and 25

Once drivers who have been licensed for 3 years, they can receive special accident-free and good driver discounts.

If a driver is licensed at 16, right around the time that they turn 20 they should see their renewal rates drop.

In addition to the discount, the base rate for drivers 20 and up will drop gradually.

Most report seeing their rates go down each year as long as they did not make changes and they maintained their good driving record.

– Drivers 25 and Up

By the age of 25, age will no longer be a negative rating factor.

At this time, the driver will not be high-risk because of their experience.

There can be drops for drivers in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, but the drops will be much less frequent.

When can insurers use tickets and accidents against you?

Another factor that can take time to fall off of your record is blemishes on your driving history.

If you have tickets or accidents, it shows the insurer that you do not obey the law and that your actions can lead to damage and injury.

This is why insurers can surcharge you even if they do not make a claim payment.

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How long can a ticket or accident be surcharged?

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In some states, the percent of the surcharge will drop each year.

It is possible for the blemishes to make you ineligible for discounts that can lower your premiums by as much as 30 percent.

Most of the other rating factors consider will change as your lifestyle changes.

If you feel like your rates are not going down as much as you would like to see, you should price the rates with other carriers.

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