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: Oct 18, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Several factors point to teen drivers being a high risk on the road
  • Consequently, there are high auto insurance rates for teens because of high-risk factors
  • But there are certain things a teen driver can proactively do to lower their auto insurance costs

There are not many places where you can find cheap teen car insurance. Car insurance for teenage drivers is one of the highest compared to drivers of other ages.

That being said, some companies may be able to offer lower rates than other providers. It will just take some time to search and find.

When it comes to teenage drivers, cheap car insurance rates are pretty tricky to find. The risk presented to insurance companies is too great. There are, however, some things that you can do to lower your rates a bit.

Speak with your agent or insurance representative to see for which types of discounts or savings you would be eligible.

Enter your ZIP code above as well and compare at least three to four policies today to find better and more affordable auto insurance!

Reasons for High Teen Car Insurance Rates

Drivers who are ages 15 to 20 years old pay the most for car insurance rates. High rates continue until drivers hit the age of 25. There are multiple reasons for this.

The biggest reason is related to the age and inexperience of the drivers. Not only do teenagers have less experience with life in general, but they also have very little experience on the road.

Speeding tends to be more frequent, and dangerous situations are not as recognized by a teenage driver, which means that accidents tend to occur more frequently.

In fact, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 have four times as many driving violations and accidents as other drivers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,  males are at an even higher risk than female teen drivers are.

Immaturity also plays a part in high insurance rates. When teenagers drive with friends in the car, there is an even higher risk of accidents occurring. There is more distraction with more passengers in the car, and showing off to peers tends to increase.

Studies have shown that teenagers, especially males and those in high school, wear seatbelts less than any other age group.

The CDC reports that more than half (52 percent to 59 percent) of teens (13-19 years) who died in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.

Alcohol use and driving are extraordinarily high among teenagers. Alcohol has been the cause of many accidents, and out of every ten teens surveyed, three reported that they had been in the car of someone who had been driving after drinking in the past month.

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Join Your Parents’ Insurance Policy

One way to have slightly lower insurance rates as a teenage driver is to be insured under your parents’ policy. Unless your parents fall into the high-risk category themselves, this is usually an easier and cheaper way to be insured than finding your own policy.

One reason for piggy-backing your parents’ policy is that there are usually discounts involved.

Your parents are probably already receiving a discount for bundling their auto and home policies. Also, if there are multiple vehicles in your household, your insurance company should be giving you a discount.

Shop for Car Insurance Companies

If you are unable to be insured under anyone else’s policy, you will need to find insurance on your own in order to drive. Because you are just starting out, you may want to try a few different avenues to find the best rate.

You can visit local offices in your area or choose a company from the myriad number of insurance advertisements. The best idea may be to meet with an agent face-to-face to discuss what you want and need from your car insurance policy.

An agent will be able to evaluate the vehicle you are driving and other risks that you may present. They will be able to recommend the types of coverage that will protect you the best.

You can also use an insurance broker, who has access to a number of different companies that can help you.

One of the benefits of working with a broker is that they will often have some flexibility in finding a more affordable policy. Some of the providers to which they have access may have more to offer you as a teen driver.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

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An even quicker way to find an insurance policy is to go online. Most insurance companies offer the ability to apply for a policy online.

There are other places on the Internet where you can get quote offers from multiple insurance providers. Shopping online will save you quite a bit of time, but you do want to have a good idea of what you are doing.

The benefit of going online is that it’s quick. The downfall is that you aren’t able to have your insurance questions answered.

Since you are new to driving, it is important to understand all aspects of insurance in order to get the best policy, as well as the best rate.

As a teenager, you may do better to work with an agent or broker, or at least do some additional research about car insurance.

Understand Car Insurance Terms

Whether you are a teenager or an older driver, it is essential that you understand what insurance means.

There are different types of coverage from which to choose and, if you don’t understand what each of them covers, you may not make the best choice when it comes to your policy.

You want to make sure you choose the right coverage without paying money for options that you don’t need.

It is also important to understand what liability limits and deductibles mean. If you don’t, you may be surprised and disappointed if you ever have a claim. These two things can also affect how much you pay for your policy.

Because teenagers are at a higher risk for accidents, it is often advisable to carry full coverage.

However, some teenage drivers are driving hand-me-down cars that are older and have a lot of miles on them. Make sure you or your agent look into the market value of the vehicle you are insuring.

The Kelly Blue Book is an excellent resource for this; enter as much of the vehicle’s information as you can, such as:

  • Year, make and model
  • Car’s condition
  • Safety features, etc.

Compare the estimated value with the deductible that you are considering.

If the deductible is close to the value of your vehicle, there are certain coverage types that you can avoid, such as comprehensive insurance and collision coverage.

Since comprehensive and collision are some of the most expensive types of coverage, dropping these will save you quite a bit of money.

Even if you are not carrying full coverage, most states will mandate that you carry liability coverage. Although certain liability limits are required, it is recommended to carry higher limits.

Carrying higher coverage limits is true for almost all drivers, but for teenagers it is especially important because of the high incidence of accidents that they cause.

If you are not working with a broker or agent, or you would just like to do some additional research on your own, the Insurance Information Institute has information about many aspects of consumer auto insurance policies.

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Safe Driving Benefits

When you first get a car insurance policy as a teenager, you have no driving history, which places you in the high risk — aka high rate — category. However, how you drive over time will affect whether your rates increase, stay the same, or decrease.

Focusing on driving safely will help to decrease the incidence of accidents and tickets. This will decrease your rates in the future.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is focused on keeping teens safe on the road. It has put together a program to help prevent injuries and deaths related to teenage motor vehicle accidents.

It is a strategy that focuses on:

  • Reducing alcohol access for teens
  • Increasing the use of seatbelts
  • Increasing parental responsibility
  • Graduated driver licensing

Graduated driver licensing, also known as GDL, has been shown to reduce non-fatal and fatal accidents by almost 40 percent.

GDL allows drivers to begin their driving experience under conditions that are considered to be low risk. As they become more comfortable on the road, the conditions become more real and risky. At this point, many teenagers can handle them more responsibly.

Check with your state to see what is available for graduated driver licensing.

Good Student Discount

As a new teenage driver, possibly the last thing you want to focus on is school. However, doing so will help lower the rates you or your parents pay for your car insurance premiums.

Many car insurance providers acknowledge that there is a direct correlation between good students and good drivers and will reward you as a result.

If you work hard in school and get good grades, most companies will give you a good student discount.

For most insurance companies, a good student is one who has a B average, which is also a 3.0 GPA, or better.

If you are already getting these types of grades, talk with your agent about how to save some money.

Enter your ZIP code below as well and start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates!