Auto insurance rates for teens and young drivers are higher than anyone else. Insurers view these drivers as the riskiest, so they charge them the highest car insurance rates. However, there are ways to find cheap car insurance for young drivers if you do your research.
There’s no avoiding that car insurance rates are the absolute highest for teenagers. Young adults drivers can expect to pay a great deal more until they are 25, or even sometimes until you’re 30.
Why? Young drivers are more likely to get into motor vehicle crashes.
“In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here you the average car insurance rates by age for the following coverage sets:
- State minimum — what you need to drive a car legally in your state
- Liability car insurance — $50,000 limit to cover bodily injury you cause to others in an accident, up to $100,000 per accident, with $50,000 to pay for damage you cause to another car or property
- Full coverage — liability with a $100,000 limit to cover bodily injury you cause to others in an accident, up to $300,000 per accident, with $100,000 to pay for damage you cause to another car or property, plus comprehensive and collision insurance, with a $500 deductible.
Average Car Insurance Rates by Age Chart
Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2017 Honda Accord LX for 10 ZIP codes in each state using six large carriers — Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where one of the insurers doesn’t return a rate, another major carrier in that state is substituted.)
Now that you’ve shown you the costs, here are some ways to keep your car insurance on the cheaper side if you’re a young driver. The appropriate car insurance is going to depend on a variety of factors, including price and available coverage in your state.
How do you find cheap insurance for young drivers?
You can find cheap, or at least cheaper, ways to secure some car insurance if you’re under 25. However, you must be willing to do some digging and ask questions.
Experts recommend devising a short list of companies that cater to the younger driver, based on research. A good place to start is on Insure’s Best Auto Insurance Companies.
Check availability in your area to be sure you can even get the insurance.
Next, make sure you shop around.
“Get multiple quotes for sure,” suggested Mike Jelinek, head of content at ConsumersAdvocate.org. “But going with the cheapest is not always the best. You need someone to have your back when the claims process occurs. It might be cheap on the front end, but if you have an accident, you might find that they are more expensive on the back end of the claims process, or don’t pay out the claim at all.”
Another good idea is to buy a safe, affordable, reliable car. Loretta Worters, vice president of media relations at Insurance Information Institute, suggested buying a used car rather than new in an effort to get cheaper insurance.
“Also, pay attention to the type of car,” she said. “Cars that are more expensive to repair or have a higher theft rate should be avoided.”
Auto insurance discounts for young drivers
Many car insurance companies offer discounts geared to younger drivers. Several companies jump out as particularly appealing to those under 25 (or even 30).
Allstate is one. The insurer has “accident forgiveness. ” The program means rates won’t jump after just one claim. Allstate also pays out the equivalent of a new car replacement should you crash it within the first year; many car insurance companies only dish out the car’s depreciated value.
Esurance, which is under the Allstate umbrella, has a handful of discounts that particularly benefit the young driver. Those discounts are specific school alumni, good driving, good grades, and purchasing emergency road assistance from a third party.
Metromile is only available in seven states currently, but it’s pretty neat for the young driver. If you drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year, this car insurance company is a go-to because you pay by the mile. Take your bike, the bus, or carpool as much as you can the rest of the time. You’re young; you can do it.
Geico’s witty, sometimes downright hilarious, commercials aren’t just tailored to the young viewer; their insurance model is also appealing. Young adults can take advantage of Geico’s discount after being accident-free for five years, taking driver’s ed courses, good student discounts, military, and federal employee discounts. They’re also affiliated with more than 500 membership and employee groups.
Speaking of funny commercials, Progressive boasts the famous “name your price tool.” That’s a plan that tries to tailor your car insurance policy to your financial situation, which is particularly helpful to the young driver. Safe-driving, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, paying in full, online policy purchase, and good grades are among Progressive’s discounts avenues.
State Farm offers several ways that young adults can get cheaper car insurance. State Farm provides the “good grades” discount as well as a “Drive Safe and Save” program.
“State Farm’s usage-based insurance program uses information from your smartphone or your vehicle’s OnStar communication service to calculate your discount,” explained Vicki Harper, State Farm’s public affairs specialist focusing on auto safety. “In some states, you could qualify for a discount if all the operators of your vehicle under the age of 21 complete an approved driver education course. “
That’s just a smattering of ways to cut costs. Dig around and look closely. Ask your agent a slew of questions and ask them, “what can YOU do to put me in THIS car insurance today?”
In general, see if you can let your insurer track your fantastic driving skills. That’s one of the better ways to chip your car insurance liability payment down. Many auto insurance companies now have devices called telematics, which transfers data on your driving habits directly to your car insurance company.
That can translate into discounts and rewards, provided you’re a good driver. Companies such as Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide, State Farm, and Safeco have this option.
“When tracking, insurers look at things like daily mileage, rapid acceleration, and how hard you brake, or anything that shows erratic driving,” said Worters. “They will also look at the time of day, or night, that you drive. All of these things show how risky a driver you are…or how good a driver.”
What you shouldn’t do to save money
You may think you’ll skimp on liability coverage if you don’t have a home or assets. Be careful not to get less than you need.
The higher the liability, the higher your insurance quote. At this point in your life, a young person may not be able to afford $300,000 coverage for liability insurance. However, experts remind you that huge liability settlements are few and far between. Should you lose a liability settlement, it could ultimately result in garnishment of your wages. That means you’d be shelling out payments for years.
When figuring out liability coverage, evaluate your finances carefully if you do have assets you need to protect. If you’re married, have children, and money in savings, you’ll likely need more than the minimum liability limits.
Consider that if you have large investments and you cause an accident, those liability limits that saved you on your bills could ultimately make you vulnerable should someone sue you for damages. Once your damages max your coverage, the injured party can come after your personal assets.
As you can see, there are ways to save — even for young drivers. However, in the end, young people should brace themselves to pay more for car insurance than their elders. Sure, you can find cheap car insurance, but if you’re a teen or young driver, expect to pay more for years. Then, as your rates drop, it’ll be among the things you can appreciate as your youth slips away.