Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Teenage drivers are considered to be among the highest risks for auto insurance and pay correspondingly high rates for their first few years of coverage
  • Auto insurance for teens after an accident will increase those already high rates
  • Once your children reach their teen years, you may want to consider increasing your liability coverage or adding an umbrella policy to your existing homeowners’ insurance package

Teenage drivers are considered to be among the highest risks for auto insurance and pay correspondingly high rates for their first few years of coverage.

For teens that have had a chargeable accident, reasonable rates after an accident may be even harder to find.

Auto insurance for high school students is offered by most companies and the best way to get the cheapest rates is to compare quotes.

Shop and compare the best insurance rates with the best companies for teens when you use the FREE comparison tool above!

Table of Contents

Teen Insurance Costs

Auto insurance for teens is much more expensive than for adults. Teens lack time behind the wheel and experience in general, which in turn means they are more likely to be in an accident. Insurance companies charge them more with that expectation.

Each company will offer different rates for teen coverage. For example, the Geico teenage driver’s insurance cost will be different from State Farm, USAA car insurance, and so on.

Let’s look at just how much does it cost to insure a teenage driver and what factors are involved when determining rates.

How much does it cost to add a teenager to car insurance?

You’re here because you want to know:

  • How much will my insurance go up if my teenager has an accident?
  • How much does it cost to add a teenager to car insurance on my Allstate or other auto insurance?
  • What is teenage car insurance average cost?
  • Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

Let’s try to answer your questions.

Insurance rates for teen drivers are already sky-high, even before adding in an accident. So just how much does it cost to add a 16-year-old to auto insurance?

Let’s look at just how much age and gender play a part in auto insurance rates. This table shows you the average annual auto insurance rates based on demographics.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Marital Status, Age, & Gender
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a Married 60-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 60-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old Male
USAA$1,449.85$1,448.98$1,551.43$1,540.32$1,988.52$2,126.14$4,807.54$5,385.61
State Farm$1,873.89$1,873.89$2,081.72$2,081.72$2,335.96$2,554.56$5,953.88$7,324.34
Progressive$1,991.49$2,048.63$2,296.90$2,175.27$2,697.73$2,758.66$8,689.95$9,625.49
American Family$1,992.92$2,014.38$2,202.70$2,224.31$2,288.65$2,694.72$5,996.50$8,130.50
Travelers$2,051.98$2,074.41$2,178.66$2,199.51$2,325.25$2,491.21$9,307.32$12,850.91
Nationwide$2,130.26$2,214.62$2,360.49$2,387.43$2,686.48$2,889.04$5,756.37$7,175.31
Geico$2,240.60$2,283.45$2,302.89$2,312.38$2,378.89$2,262.87$5,653.55$6,278.96
Farmers$2,336.80$2,448.39$2,556.98$2,557.75$2,946.80$3,041.44$8,521.97$9,144.04
Allstate$2,913.37$2,990.64$3,156.09$3,123.01$3,424.87$3,570.93$9,282.19$10,642.53
Liberty Mutual$3,445.00$3,680.53$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,959.67$4,503.13$11,621.01$13,718.69
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How much is insurance for a 16-year-old a month? To find out how much is teenage auto insurance per month, we just divide out the numbers. For example, if you went with Geico, a 17-year-old would pay around $500 per month. And that’s before an accident. A 16-year-old would have similar rates.

Even drivers just out of their teens, age 25, will pay less than half that of a 17-year-old. If a teenage driver has an accident or receives a traffic ticket for the same incident, the auto insurance company involved will likely hike up their insurance rates.

Surcharges are likely to last for three years or at least until the young motorist reaches the next age plateau.

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What factors influence rate hikes?

Auto insurance surcharges will depend on the seriousness of the charge, the cause of the accident, and resulting injuries and property damage. The most serious charges will most often stem from alcohol or drug-related traffic offenses and accidents.

For example, if your teenager totaled a car while drinking, you can expect much higher rates than if it was a fender bender and the driver was sober.

This table will show you the average annual auto insurance rates based on driving history. Drivers with no accidents or tickets will pay less, but let’s look at just what one of those things will do to your rates.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driving History
CompaniesAverage Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Rates with 1 AccidentAverage Rates with 1 DUIAverage Rates with 1 Speeding Violation
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24$3,506.03$2,193.25
GEICO$2,145.96$3,192.77$4,875.87$2,645.43
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95$4,543.20$3,113.68
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04$3,969.65$4,002.28
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74$5,741.40$4,260.80
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73$4,718.75$4,079.01
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68$6,260.73$4,483.51
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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Now that you can see what happens when you have an accident or get a ticket, you can see that a teen who’s already paying higher rates will have a huge rate increase for bad driving.

Other factors impact the cost of auto insurance for a teen driver such as the kind of car the teen is driving.

Cars that are more expensive will naturally cost more to insure, as will sports cars, classic automobiles, or other specialty or high-performance vehicles.

This video offers more information on choosing a vehicle for your teen driver.

Where you live will also affect your insurance rates. If you carry full insurance coverage, surcharges for tickets or accidents will rise proportionately. If you carry only minimal coverage, rate increases won’t hit nearly as hard.

Most experts agree that it’s almost always cheaper for teens to hitch on to their parents’ auto insurance policies. Parents often have long-term established relationships with their insurance providers, multiple policy discounts, and other benefits.

While parents can expect their insurance rates to rise if Junior has a chargeable accident, the results wouldn’t be nearly as disastrous as they might be if Junior were to have an accident under his own policy.

In many cases, where accidental damage is minimal and no police report has been filed, it may be well to pay the repair costs out-of-pocket and not report the mishap to the insurance company. The rates you save will definitely be of some consequence.

Having an emergency fund or other savings for just such occurrence is always a good idea.

In this way, you can protect your son or daughter from the results of reporting a fender bender to your insurance provider and thus avoid the shocking insurance rate increases that could follow.

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Teenage Drivers

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has published several helpful articles on the subject of teenage drivers. NAIC warns of higher rates when you add a teenage driver to your existing auto policy.

While some states disallow gender differences in pricing insurance, you can expect your rates to increase by 50 percent by adding a female driver in her teens, while you may see as much as a 100 percent increase when you add a male teen to your current policy.

What other factors should be considered?

If your son or daughter will be going away to college and you are thinking of providing them with a car to take with them, you may want to think twice.

Many insurance providers will require your college student to take out their own policy if they are living away from home and have their own car.

Once your children reach their teen years, you may want to consider increasing your liability coverage or adding an umbrella policy to your existing homeowners’ insurance package.

In this day and age, coverage of a million dollars or more isn’t too much when protecting your family against potential lawsuits arising from injury accidents.

Controlling costs is possible, says the NAIC if you observe a few simple rules.

Shop around and compare the rates of a number of auto insurance providers. From company to company, there may be significant differences in how they treat teen drivers.

Always check insurance rates for the make and model of the car you are considering for your teen. Family wagons and economy cars are most often the least expensive to insure, while SUVs, sports cars, and convertibles are amongst the most expensive.

Parents should encourage their teens to earn good grades as most insurance companies are willing to discount rates for good students as well as good drivers. Taking a driver’s safety or education class will also help to lower auto insurance rates for teen drivers.

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Why is insurance so expensive for teenage drivers?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a recent web article on teenage drivers, focusing on the reasons that they are at such a high risk for potential injuries and even death from motor vehicle accidents on the streets and highways of America.

Teens are much more likely to underestimate or fail to recognize perilous situations than their older counterparts. Teenage drivers are also more likely to speed and tailgate the drivers in front of them. Teenagers, especially males, are also more likely to show off for their peers if there are teenage passengers in the car.

Traffic accident statistics do not favor teenagers behind the wheel. Drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were 5.4 percent of the driving population but accounted for eight percent of the drivers in fatal crashes in 2017.

The risk of crashing is especially high during the first year a teenager is on the road. Among teens 15 to 20 who were involved in fatal auto accidents, 37 percent had been speeding while 26 percent had been drinking. Young men are twice as likely to die in an automobile crash as young female drivers are.

Other statistic based factors are: to car crashes.

  • Teens are less likely to use seat belts than older drivers do.
  • Teenage drivers also engage in a number of other risky behaviors that can be directly linked to car crashes.
  • High percentages of teens don’t wear their seatbelts when riding as passengers as well.
  • Teen drivers are also distracted easily by friends in the car or by their cell phones, iPods, or other electronic devices. In the last few years, many states have passed motor vehicle laws making it a crime to text while driving in addition to using a cell phone without a hands-free device.
  • According to the CDC, a survey completed in 2007 found that almost 30 percent of teens reported riding with a driver in the previous month that had been drinking. In 2008, of those teens killed in an auto accident after drinking, 75 percent were not wearing their seat belts.

Most fatal accidents involving teens occur on the weekends between the hours of three in the afternoon and midnight.

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What is assigned risk coverage?

Teens who have suffered serious accidents or received multiple traffic violations may find their state’s assigned risk pool the only available insurance coverage if they intend to continue driving.

All avenues should be pursued since obtaining insurance through a private company may still be possible and is usually preferable to the risk pool.

If you can’t get insurance through regular channels, your state will provide at least minimal coverage, but you will certainly pay rates several times those of conventional coverage for the privilege.

Not just teenagers could be caught in the assigned risk pool. Anyone with a poor driving record or whose insurance may have lapsed for a period of years may need pool coverage.

Adults who have not driven in a number of years may also be classified in the assigned risk category.

Residents of high-crime and therefore high insurance risk areas will also be subject to very high insurance rates.

Your state insurance department can provide you with information about assigned risk insurance programs in your area.

Assigned risk pools are created by the voluntary contributions of insurance providers in a particular state.

Some states have created joint underwriting associations to handle the problem of higher risk motorists. In either case, auto insurance is available for any eligible driver, though rates will be quite high.

Summary

Teenagers pose a number of risks when they first learn to drive and head out on their own. Their newly found freedom, however, comes with a steep price. Thousands of teens lose their lives each year because of traffic accidents.

Tens of thousands of others end up in emergency rooms around the country suffering from injuries because of car crashes.

It is up to us as parents, teachers, friends, and community members to help educate teens and guide them to the proper and safe use of a driver’s license and an automobile.

Driving is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility that should be treated in a serious and adult fashion.

In order to find out what is the cheapest car insurance for a teenager, you need to get multiple quotes to compare. Not all companies offer the same coverages at the same rates.

Shop now for the best auto insurance rates for teens now when you click here to enter your ZIP in our free search tool!