The 10 Lowest Teen Auto Insurance States

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Things to Remember...
  • The first thing any parent must understand when seeking the lowest possible rates for a teenage driver is that statistically speaking, teenage drivers present the highest insurance risk possible
  • Teens tend to rebel against seatbelt laws and have the lowest rate of seatbelt use
  • The states offering lower insurance rates for teens typically require young drivers to complete a Graduated Drivers Licensing Program (GDL)


When looking for the 10 lowest teen auto insurance states there are several factors that need to be considered in order to obtain the best quote possible.

These factors may include considerations such as if your young driver will be operating a family car or one of their own.

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The first thing any parent must understand when seeking the lowest possible rates for a teenage driver is that statistically speaking, teenage drivers present the highest insurance risk possible.

One reason is that more teenagers die in motor vehicle crashes than any other cause. In the year 2009, motor vehicle crashes killed eight youngsters ages 16 to 19 per day, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The Risk is Huge

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Again, according to CDC statistics, teenage drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 have a death rate per mile driven due to vehicle crashes that is four times greater than older drivers.

In addition to the nearly 3,000 teenage drivers killed in road accidents in 2009, vehicle crashes accounted for more than 350,000 injuries.

Although this age bracket only accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s population, male teenage drivers cause 30 percent of annual costs associated with accident injuries. Females account for 28 percent of these costs that, when combined, total $26 billion annually.

Females account for 28 percent of these costs that, when combined, total $26 billion annually.

Teens Cause Accidents Due to Many Factors

Unfortunately, factors including the amount of driving experience along with life experience tend to put teens at a higher insurance risk for many reasons including:

Younger drivers do not possess enough road experience to recognize dangerous situations that often lead to making poor driving choices.

Younger drivers tend to speed more often than their older counterparts do. They fail to recognize the need to maintain adequate distances between the front of their car and the rear of the car they are following. This is one example of risky driving behavior.

Male teenage drivers killed in car crashes during 2005 were speeding in 37 percent of the incidents; 26 percent were also drinking at the time of the crash.

Teens tend to rebel against seatbelt laws and have the lowest rate of seatbelt use.

 A survey of students in 2005 revealed 10 percent reported they either never or rarely fastened a seatbelt when riding with others.

Male students outpaced female counterparts 12.5 to 7.8 percent when it came to not wearing seatbelts.

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Parents Can Make a Difference

The high-risk teenagers possess when driving on the nation’s roads has not escaped state licensing authorities.

The states offering lower insurance rates for teens typically require young drivers to complete a Graduated Drivers Licensing Program (GDL). These are fully comprehensive steps that research shows reduce

These are fully comprehensive steps that research shows reduce fatality, as well as injury crashes, by up to 40 percent among teenage drivers.

These GDL systems typically delay licensing teen drivers by providing the necessary time teens need to accumulate driving experience.

This helps to better prepare teens for taking to the nation’s roadways once the stair-step system is completed. Parents need to know the GDL laws in the state where they reside.

GDL Addresses Teen Driver Risks

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The goal behind a GDL system is to focus on the high risks new, young drivers face. States that follow this type of system first offer learner’s permits allowing teens to practice drive in a supervised situation.

The next phase is the issuance of a provisional license. The provisional license typically restricts a teen’s unsupervised driving. The common restrictions imposed usually limit nighttime driving and the number of passengers allowed.

The restrictions are removed once the teen has gained driving experience time. The requirements vary from state-to-state for advancing through the three GDL stages: learner’s permit, provisional and then permanent full license.

The result is that the system provides a safe environment for young, new drivers to gain valuable real-world experience.

Statistics accumulated concerning GDL effectiveness prove this type of program works.

 In fact, if a strict GDL was adopted by every state in the nation, more than 500 fatalities could be avoided, according to a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The same report claims some states could even reduce the occurrence of fatal teen crashes by 50 percent if instituting the toughest GDL system.

Both the IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have actively been promoting for states to adopt or improve their GDL programs.

Currently, the best GDL practices found in the United States include New Jersey where the minimum driving age is 17.

The states imposing a permit age of 16 are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Delaware, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia.

Pennsylvania adds a little bit of toughness requiring a minimum of 65 supervised hours for practice during the permit stage.

Night driving restrictions beginning at 8 p.m. are imposed by Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Idaho. Additionally, 15 states and the District of Columbia place a ban on any teen passengers as well.

Consider States with Strong GDL Programs

Parents looking for the lowest teen auto insurance rates need to check if their state has an effective GDL system. Some do including Connecticut where the GDL is probably the closest to representing what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety considers the best practices.

Here, unlike many western states (such as Idaho and Wyoming where permits are issued at age 14) teenagers have to wait until they’re age 16 to obtain a driver’s permit. There is a ban on carrying teenage passengers when operating during intermediate stage of licensing.

Yet, the IIHS indicates that Connecticut also adopted a set amount of practice hours as well as restricting night driving, the state may realize an additional 17 percent reduction in deadly crashes as well as a 13 percent drop in teenage driver collision claims.

Another state with a strong GDL program happens to be New York. Teenagers have to reach the age of 16 to obtain a permit. Licensing can be obtained at 16 1/2, but there are restrictions for night driving that begin at 9 pm and allowing only one teenage passenger in the vehicle.

There is an additional provision demanding 50 hours of supervised practice driving during the permit stage.

Just like Connecticut, if the state of New York adopted the most stringent GDL provisions, it would reduce deadly crashes in the teenage bracket by 24 percent. Collision claims from teenagers would drop to about 7 percent.

Collision claims amount to a factor that weighs heavily upon calculating teenage driver auto insurance rates. Therefore, any state adopting strict GDL systems will invariably help to reduce the amount of annual claims, which in turn should help to reduce auto insurance rates.

IIHS findings reveal that strong rate benefits result from restricting teenagers’ driving privileges that include such factors as amount of hours allowed to drive during the day as well as restricting teenage passengers.

Statistics point to the fact that when teenagers travel together they experience a greater degree of poor driving behavior.

In states where both permit and license age requirements have been raised, there have been reductions in fatal teenage vehicle crashes. Insurance companies operating in these states also tend to offer lower rates to teenage drivers.

Other Factors Contribute to Rate Determination

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Other factors weigh heavily when determining a particular rate structure in any state. Some of these factors have to deal directly with that state’s history for making claims and states.

The state of Maine, for example, there are fewer drivers filing fewer claims than other states, so it experiences a lower rate structure across the board.

There are states that do deliver better rates for drivers under the age of 25. This is the determining age the insurance industry uses as a cutoff point when considering a mature driver.

Therefore, if an individual receives a driver’s license at the age of 16, the insurance industry considers this driver to have an appropriate amount of experience by age 25 to be considered for a rate structure in what is basically an adult category.

Yet, up until attaining the age of 25, young drivers looking for the lowest rates possible may find favorable rates in the following 10 states:

  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin
  • New Hampshire
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • North Carolina
  • Arizona
  • Tennessee

Even though states like New York provide tough GDL laws, there are factors such as area population, road conditions, traffic scenarios, as well as local laws setting medical coverage limits that play into the determination of auto insurance rates.

Therefore, when living in a more expensive state, parents should prepare a teenage driver by making sure their children avail themselves of all the necessary discount-driving factors.

This would include completing an appropriate driver’s education program and operating a safety-certified vehicle with the latest and greatest protection equipment.

Comparison-shopping is always highly recommended, but the first place to look for low teenage auto insurance rates should be the parents’ present policy.

Find affordable car insurance rates by typing your ZIP code into our FREE quote tool on this page!

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