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 exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Teen drivers pay extremely high insurance rates; however, there are ways to lower those rates
  • Teen drivers are considered high-risk clients because of their lack of experience driving
  • Teen drivers can qualify for good student discounts and discounts for taking a defensive driving class

There comes a point in the life of every parent when he must accept the fact that his teenager has a driver’s license and is now ready to take advantage of newfound independence.

This is a stressful time for parents that can be exacerbated when trying to decide how to insure their teenage drivers. Thankfully, there are some discounts that favor teens when buying auto insurance.

The thing to remember about teenage drivers and insurance is that they are already behind the eight ball when it comes to the rates they pay. The reason for this should be obvious if you think about.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, as measured on a per mile basis, than drivers aged 20 and older.

Start searching for the cheapest auto insurance for your teens right now by entering your ZIP code into the FREE search tool on this page!

High Crash Rates Means High Insurance Rates

The crash rate statistics among drivers ages 16 to 19 naturally result in higher premiums being charged. As a parent, you need to consider this when you decide how your teen should best be insured.

The most obvious choice is to simply have your teenager added to your policy as a part-time driver of one of your vehicles.

If you choose to go this route, make sure your teen is assigned to the oldest and least expensive vehicle in your household to keep rates as low as possible.

Should you decide your teenager needs his own vehicle for work or school, be prepared to pay higher rates. A car dedicated for his use, whether titled in his name or not, is considered a full-time vehicle for that teenager.

Your insurance company will charge a rate reflecting him as a full-time driver even if he’s not.

Regardless of whether or not your teen has his own car, there are certain discounts that can help offset premium increases, at least partially.

Some of the discounts apply directly to your teen driver while others apply to you and your spouse.

Be sure to ask your insurance provider about all the discounts available to you when it’s time to add your teen to your policy.

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Driver Training Discount

Almost every major auto insurance company offers a driver training and discounts for new drivers whether they are teenagers or not.

In fact, the Minnesota Safety Council states on its website that senior drivers are eligible for safe driver discounts if they complete an eight-hour safe driving training course. However, let’s get back to teenagers.

Like Minnesota, Florida offers a driver-training course specifically aimed at teaching teenagers to be as safe behind the wheel as possible.

The Florida Safety Council refers to their program as a one-on-one driver’s education course that includes several hours of behind the wheel training and professional evaluation at the conclusion.

Teen drivers who complete this course will be eligible for an auto insurance discount.

Good Grades Discount

The only other discount aimed specifically at teenagers is the good grades discount offered by some insurance companies.

Those who offer it do so based on statistical evidence that suggests students who get good grades tend to be safer drivers.

In terms of personal responsibility, it is believed by some that a student who gets good grades is demonstrating a higher level of personal responsibility than a student getting poor grades is.

The one with high grades is assumed to be putting more effort into his education and, if he stays true to form, would put forth a greater effort to be safe on the road.

This assumption may or may not be true. But it seems that parents tend to feel their students with good grades are more responsible.

As far as the ability to concentrate is concerned, it is common knowledge that drivers who concentrate better are less likely to be involved in accidents because distractions are fewer.

Again, it’s assumed that students with good grades are better able to concentrate on the task at hand.

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Discounts for Parents

As previously stated, there are quite a number of discounts for parents that can help offset rate increases caused by adding teenage drivers to your policy.

You should be asking for these discounts anyway, but they are more helpful when you’re adding new drivers.

Be sure to ask your auto insurance company about:

  • Loyalty Discounts  This type of discount is given to customers who stay with their insurance companies for long periods of time
  • Safe Driver Discounts Auto insurance companies also love to reward safe drivers because they are better for the bottom line
  • Bundling Discounts Another good way to offset rate increases is to ask for a discount for bundling multiple policies together

If you own a home, have life insurance, or have an umbrella policy, bundling them all together with the same provider should result in at least a little savings on each one.

The more policies you have bundled together, the greater the savings you’ll experience.

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Preventing Rate Increases with Teens

Once you take advantage of all the discounts you and your teen are eligible for, your next task is to try to prevent rate increases in the future.

Where your teenager is concerned, the task begins with setting ground rules for driving and insisting your teenager comply.

If you need help with driving rules the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a good starting list on their website.

The point of setting ground rules for driving is not necessarily to punish your teenagers.

It is to make up for their lack of driving experience that could lead to a serious accident simply because they have not driven long enough to understand how to avoid trouble.

Once you establish your rules, you’ll obviously be looking for your teen to exercise a bit more self-discipline on his own. As he does so, you can relax your rules.

Set a Good Example

Another thing you can do for your teen drivers is to set a good example for them. It’s one thing to tell your son or daughter not to speed down the expressway at 85 mph; it’s another thing to obey that rule yourself.

Keep in mind that children, regardless of the age, learn more by the example you set than the words you speak. 

If you’re making a point to talk to your teen drivers about road safety you can cancel out every word spoken by being an unsafe driver.

Being a safe driver is about more than just avoiding accidents. A safe driver also obeys the laws of the road. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of accidents, it also reduces the likelihood of moving violations.

Keep in mind that every accident and violation that appears on your teen’s record will cause an increase in his insurance rates.

When it comes to car insurance, discounts for both you and your teen are a good tool to offset inevitable rate increases.

Rest assured that even though auto insurance for your teenager is probably double what you and your spouse pay, his rates will go down at age 25.

As long as your teen is patient and safe, he won’t be paying a small fortune for insurance for the rest of his life.

Entering your ZIP code into our FREE search tool gets you started on your search for the best auto insurance quotes anywhere!