Auto Insurance for Under 21-Years-Old

You can get auto insurance if you're under 21, however, your rates may be more expensive. Consider combining your policy with a family member's to save.

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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: Nov 13, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Purchasing car insurance is a necessity for almost anyone driving in the United States; being under 21 does not change this
  • Insurance providers often take your age into account when deciding how to price your coverage
  • When you are under the age of 21, you may be considered young and inexperienced behind the wheel; this may cause you to be labeled as a high-risk driver
  • In this situation, you will normally face higher premiums that are used to offset the risks associated with providing you with coverage
  • Your insurance provider will also review your insurance history and your driving record before they make their decision about your policy coverage and your rates

When you’re under the age of 21, purchasing car insurance may be an eye-opening experience; at your age, you may often be considered a high-risk driver.

Insurance providers often take your age into consideration when trying to determine if providing you with coverage is in their best interest.

It’s important to understand what your provider will be looking at when they try to determine your policy rates and the coverage options you are qualified to purchase.

Compare coverage options today. Just enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to begin.

Buying Coverage When You’re Under 21-Years-Old

Just because you can purchase coverage doesn’t mean it’s as simple as 1-2-3.

Due to your age, you may experience difficulty finding a company that can provide you the coverage you want at the price you can afford; insurance providers often charge young, inexperienced drivers higher premiums to offset any potential losses.

When you’re under 21, you may have started to do the following:

  • live on your own
  • be responsible for your bills
  • purchased your first car

However, this does not mean that you have purchased car insurance coverage on your own.

Many young adults will remain on a parent or guardian’s policy until they are more established, sometimes waiting until after completing college or landing their first “adult” job.

If you choose to purchase your policy when you’re under 21, it can be another way to increase your knowledge of what being an adult truly entails; managing car insurance, choosing your coverage, and managing your budget are all necessary skills.

Your previous choices up to this point can affect your available coverage options, meaning you may be limited in what insurance companies you can buy coverage through or what coverage options you can select.

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Things You Can Expect When Purchasing Coverage

There are several things that an individual under 21 can expect when shopping for a car insurance policy, including:

  • Higher premium rates
  • Difficulty obtaining coverage
  • Limitations on coverage options

As a younger driver, your lack of experience behind the wheel often means insurance companies will see you as a higher risk compared to someone that has had many more years experience behind the wheel.

While you may not be a poor driver yourself, insurance companies use statistics that aggregate large amounts of data and provide a generalized estimate based on that data. This means that, due to being in your age group, you will be looked at as a higher risk.

Higher risk individuals often face higher premium rates when purchasing coverage. These higher rates help to preemptively offset the costs that insurance companies predict they will incur while insuring you.

As you continue to grow older and show responsible behaviors, insurance companies will often start to lower your premium as an incentive to continue being responsible behind the wheel.

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You may also encounter difficulty obtaining coverage from some insurance providers.

Insurance companies are not obligated to provide an individual with coverage in most cases, meaning they can deny coverage to an individual based on their risk assessment of that individual.

When you are deemed to be a higher risk than they want to insure, they may direct you to search elsewhere.

There may be instances where a provider is willing to provide you with coverage, but they may place restrictions or limitations on the coverage options you can purchase.

This could be as simple as requiring a high-dollar deductible for certain coverage options, or they could restrict entire coverage options from being selected.

You may have to speak to multiple providers to find one willing to work with you and your unique situation.

Where can I get cheap car insurance for new drivers under 21?

Cheapest Rates for Drivers Under 21
ProviderYearly Rates
Mercury$665
USAA$750
Progressive$969
Esurance$1,097
Capital$1,189
Grange$1,371
AAA$1,389
Geico$1,559
Kemper$1,763
Liberty Mutual$1,766
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How much is car insurance for a 21 year old?

Car insurance for a 21 year old will cost a little under $1,600. That’s still over $800 more than the country’s average. A 21-year-old driver is in a unique category. They are not considered teen drivers, yet the auto insurance company still views them as a risk.

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Factors That May Influence Your Rates and Coverage Options

Insurance providers will take many factors into consideration when determining if they should provide you with coverage, what coverage options to provide, and what rate they should charge to properly match the risk.

Some of the most common factors they consider include:

  • The driving record of anyone on the policy
  • The insurance history of anyone on the policy
  • The history of claims for each driver

When you are under 21, you will have potentially created years of driving information and insurance histories that any potential or current provider will want to review.

Your driving record is a listing of any citations, violations, or incidents that occur while operating your vehicle; a speeding ticket is one example of this.

Individuals that have a poor driving record may encounter higher premiums as a result; insurance providers do this to offset the potential losses they foresee you claiming through your policy.

If your driving record is exceptionally poor, you may find yourself unable to obtain coverage through traditional insurance carriers.

Your insurance history is another factor that many carriers will review, as this is a record of your interactions with your previous insurance carriers and a record of your previous claims.

Your history helps provide your potential or current company with a snapshot of how you work with insurance companies as well as how often you file claims, the amount of the claim settlement, and the number of parties involved.

If your insurance history shows a record of late or incomplete payments, high-value claims, or multiple claims within a short amount of time, your potential or current provider may find themselves unable to provide you with coverage.

These factors are all indicators that you may be a higher risk than they are equipped to cover.

Conclusion

Anytime you purchase coverage, regardless of your age, there are multiple things to keep in mind. Your age is always going to be a factor that any insurance provider will look at when trying to decide if they should provide you with coverage and for what price.

Factors like this are something that insurance providers collect a lot of data about, this then allows them to make informed guesses about your potential risk.

This means that you will need to anticipate higher premium costs when you purchase your policy. As you grow older and show responsible driving habits, your insurance provider may reward you with lower rates.

However, this is something that cannot be changed overnight; you will need a long-term history of responsible habits to show your provider that you are a low-risk policyholder.

Your previous insurance history and your driving record are both going to influence your available coverage options.

Current and future insurance carriers often look at your history with previous insurance companies; this allows them to make some reasonable determinations about what kind of policyholder you may be.

Your driving record, on the other hand, provides an idea of your driving habits and how cautious you are behind the wheel.

Any questions or concerns you have about how your age, your driving record, your insurance history, or any other factors will affect your coverage should be directed to your carrier before purchasing your policy.

Each insurance carrier will address rates and coverage options in different ways, so one carrier may be able to provide you better rates and coverage options compared to another.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how much you could save on the coverage you need.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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