How to Find Cheap Car Insurance for Teens

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teen driver smiling while holding her keys in the car

Getting their driver’s license is one of the most exciting milestones teens look forward to. But before they can hit the road, it’s essential that they have the proper insurance coverage.  It might surprise you when you see premiums for teen drivers – the rates are expensive! But, thankfully, with a little bit of leg work, you can take steps to secure cheap car insurance for teens.  

The Average Cost of Car Insurance for Teens

Adding a teen to your auto insurance can dramatically increase your premiums. At Compare.com, we crunched the numbers finding that when you allow your teen to drive a vehicle that’s currently on your plan and simply add them as a covered driver, your premiums can increase by as much as 111%. If you buy them in a car and add them to your existing car insurance policy, that premium increase can be as high as 156%. Those rates are hard to swallow and, for many, simply unaffordable. 

While drivers under age 25 pay more for their car insurance premiums than most other drivers, their insurance premiums gradually decrease as they age.

Age

Average Monthly Rate

18

$227

19

$196

20

$189

21

$161

22

$151

23

$145

24

$136

25

$131

Why Teen Auto Insurance Rates Are High

Your car insurance company isn’t trying to take advantage of you with those rates. 

In fact, they’re justified because  statistics show teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident than those who are older with more experience behind the wheel. 

Your insurance company knows they’re taking a risk by insuring your young driver, and they pass on the risk to you in the form of higher premiums. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers 16 through 19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal car accident than those over age 20. And Cambridge Mobile Telematics reports that distracted driving is a major issue for teens.  It found  52% of crashes involving teen drivers occurred when they were distracted by their cell phone. 

It can be tough to cover the cost of car insurance for teens, especially when you’re paying for other expenses like high school sports and clubs. But teens need to be well-insured to protect them while on the road. By strategically shopping for car insurance, you can keep those costs down as much as possible while still getting your teen behind the wheel.


Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Your Teen Driver


8 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Teens

If you get auto insurance quotes for your teen from 10 companies, you’ll likely receive different prices from each one. Since auto insurance companies use varying factors to set their rates, the amount they charge can cover a wide range. In looking for the insurers that offer cheap car insurance for teens, you’ll want to consider these 8 companies. 

Car Insurance Company

Average Monthly Rate

Travelers

$109

Grange

$132

USAA

$133

Mercury

$140

Progressive

$152

State Farm

$158

Safeco

$169

Liberty Mutual

$172

As you can see, there’s a major price difference between the most affordable insurer on this list (Travelers at $109/month) and the most expensive (Liberty Mutual at $172/month). And these are just the cheapest insurers we found. Prices can go far beyond what you see here. 

While these are average rates, how much your teen pays for auto insurance  will depend on several factors, including where you live, their age and gender. 

To get the most accurate idea of what your teen will pay for car insurance, it’s best to use an auto insurance calculator to compare quotes from different auto insurance companies. 

Cheap Car Insurance for Teens by State

teen driver holding license in car

Where you live can also impact how much you pay for auto insurance. Insurers adjust rates based on your state  because of crime rates, natural weather events, population,  state regulations and more. 

This table highlights the  cheapest auto insurance companies for teens from The Big Apple to The Golden State and everything in between. 

State Auto Insurance Company Average Monthly Premium
Alabama Assurance America $78
Arkansas Gainsco $103
Arizona Assurance America $97
California Hugo $71
Colorado Sun Coast $106
Connecticut Liberty Mutual $244
Washington DC Liberty Mutual $228
Delaware Dairyland $196
Florida Assurance America $135
Georgia Clearcover $147
Hawaii Twenty First Century $76
Iowa Dairyland $107
Idaho Dairyland $106
Illinois Mercury $75
Indiana Dairyland $70
Kansas Dairyland $108
Kentucky Safeco $130
Louisiana Clearcover $187
Maryland Clearcover $186
Maine Liberty Mutual $192
Minnesota Safeco $135
Missouri Clearcover $120
Mississippi  Answer Financial $109
North Carolina Liberty Mutual $90
Nebraska Clearcover $135
New Hampshire Safeco $118
New Jersey MetroMile $165
New Mexico Gainsco $93
Nevada Sun Coast $172
New York TSC $262
Ohio Gainsco $88
Oklahoma Mercury $104
Oregon MetroMile $119
Pennsylvania Clearcover $113
South Carolina Gainsco $181
Tennessee Gainsco $86
Texas Commonwealth Casualty $98
Utah Sun Coast $87
Virginia Mercury $80
Washington Foremost $151
Wisconsin Clearcover $77
West Virginia Liberty Mutual $129
Wyoming Dairyland $104

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance for Teens

Get a Quote from Your Current Insurance Provider

As you explore the different car insurance options for your teen, start by calling your current insurance provider. Ask your provider what it would cost to add your teen to your existing policy. It’s important to have this information on hand so you can compare this rate to the other quotes you receive.

Compare Quotes from Outside Auto Insurance Companies

Next, it’s time to shop around. You can use an auto insurance comparison calculator to  compare insurance rates in two different ways. 

First, start by getting quotes for how much it’ll cost your teen to take out an insurance policy on their own. Then, see how much it’ll cost them to join your policy with another company. 

At this point you’ll have all of the information you need to begin narrowing down your decision. 

If the cost to add your teen to your current plan is the cheapest, then you can move forward in that direction, however, if changing companies and adding them to your plan or getting them their own plan is more affordable, that might be the route to go. 

Spoiler alert: It’s almost always more affordable to add your teen to your insurance policy than for them to get a separate plan. 

Research Auto Insurers

Keep in mind that when you compare auto insurance quotes, you’ll see prices from lots of different companies. It can be tempting to only look at cost, but you want to dig a little deeper. Once you narrow down the most affordable options, do more research on the companies to learn about their customer service rating, communication options, financial stability, claims process and more.

Getting quotes from multiple insurance companies can help you determine  which insurer gives you the best deal based on the level of  coverage you need. Our auto insurance comparison tool makes it easy to get those quotes. Just enter your zip code below and within a matter of minutes, we’ll compare rates from over 65 top auto insurance companies. 

Compare.com users save an average of $720 per year on their car insurance. 


See How Much You Can Save


Additional Ways to Save on Car Insurance for Teens

father and son smiling while standing in front of their car

While starting with a cheaper policy is the foundation for getting cheap car insurance for teens, it isn’t the only way to save.  Incorporating some or all of these strategies can help you further reduce your young driver’s auto insurance premium.  

Be Strategic When You Buy a Car for a Teen

Teen drivers are naturally attracted to  eye-catching, powerful sports cars and luxury vehicles. But all that power encourages risky driving and high speeds, which doesn’t mix well with having minimal behind the wheel experience. 

While teens may want a vehicle that will stand out and make their friends jealous, purchasing them a more reasonable vehicle can pay off with increased safety and savings. 

A good choice may be to purchase a reliable used vehicle, or if you want to buy them something new, opt for a reasonably priced one. 

You’ll save money, and once your teenager has more driving experience and has aged out of those super high insurance premiums, they can explore the idea of making their luxury, sporty vehicle ownership dreams a reality. 

Look for Discounts

As you explore different insurance companies or plan to add your teen to your insurance, look for these standard discounts that can help you save money. 

Good Student Discounts

Some insurance companies offer discounts for teens who get good grades. Insurance companies often view good students as lower-risk, so they pass the savings on to you. It’s one more reason why it pays off to do well in school! 

Telematics Discounts

Insurance companies increasingly use telematics to gather data about drivers and offer customized rates. Your teen can agree to drive with telematics monitoring through an app on their phone or device installed in their vehicle. Your insurance company will  track their driving habits, including behaviors like hard braking and sharp turning that can indicate a high-risk driver. However, if your teen consistently demonstrates safe driving habits, the insurer may discount their insurance policy. 

Accident Forgiveness 

While accident forgiveness will increase the price of a teen’s insurance policy, it can be a worthwhile investment in the long run. Having accident forgiveness can prevent your teen’s insurance rates from increasing if they are ever at fault for an accident. 

Carefully Consider the Coverage Options

You can also save by carefully selecting the best auto insurance coverage for your teen.   You’ll have to meet your state minimum coverage requirements, but beyond that, it’s up to you just how much coverage your teen gets. 

Here are 3 standard insurance policies.

  • Liability insurance is required by most states and covers bodily injury and property damage that results from an at-fault accident. Liability insurance is a must for any driver, including teens. Given that young drivers are more likely to get into an accident, you may want to invest in liability insurance with higher policy limits, just in case.
  • Collision insurance helps pay for vehicle damage that results from an accident. This will kick in if your vehicle is in motion during the accident like if they run into a car or a fence.  Since teens are at an increased risk of getting into a car accident, collision coverage is often a worthwhile investment. 
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damage that occurs as the result of something other than a collision. This might include events like vehicle theft, vandalism, weather related damages, and more. 

You may also want to pay for other types of coverage, like roadside assistance, GAP insurance, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage  for your teen. Be sure to talk to your insurance company and do your research to find the right level of protection. 

Decide on Your Coverage Limits and Deductibles

As you evaluate the different types of coverage available, you will also want to consider the coverage limits that are right for your family. Opting for minimum coverage limits may save you money. Still, it could leave you in a tight spot financially if your teen or anyone else on your policy is ever at-fault in an accident. 

For example, suppose your teen is in an accident that results in vehicle damage and medical bills – expenses can quickly add up. If your policy maximums are low, the accident expenses could exceed what your insurance company is willing to pay and you’d be responsible for paying the remaining expenses. Families who can’t afford it can be sued by the other driver and be required to pay their legal fees. These situations can be financially devastating. 

You will also need to consider the deductible that you’re comfortable with. It might be tempting to choose a higher deductible since that will lower your monthly premiums. This can be a mistake, especially if your teen is in a car accident. You will need  to pay your deductible in full before your insurance company will cover expenses. If the deductible is too high and you can’t pay it, your insurance coverage won’t kick in. Consider how much money you have in savings and what you could comfortably pay in an emergency when selecting the right deductible. 

FAQs About Getting Cheap Car Insurance for Teen Drivers

How can I get cheap car insurance as a teen? 

You have several options to get cheap car insurance for teens. You may have luck if your parents add you to their car insurance plan. Alternatively, you can compare auto insurance quotes between different companies to see which insurer gives you the best deal. 

Which insurance is best for teens? 

The best insurance company for your teen depends on several factors like their  location, age and driving history along with your overall preferences. The best way to find good insurance for your young driver is to compare auto insurance rates from different companies. Once you find a list of options that fit your budget, you can compare what they have to offer and choose an insurance company from there. 

Why is car insurance for teens so expensive? 

Since teen drivers lack experience and are at a higher risk of getting into an accident than experienced drivers, car insurers charge them higher rates. That rate will gradually decrease over time. 

Should I put my 16-year-old on my car insurance? 

You can add your 16-year-old to your policy, but you don’t have to do this. They would need to be insured somewhere. Once they have a valid driver’s license, they’re required to be insured on their own policy or their parents’ policy. Insurance rates tend to be cheaper when you add a teen to your policy than if they get a separate policy. 

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