Auto Insurance for Young Drivers

Getting affordable coverage for a young driver will likely be difficult to do, but the more insurance companies you get quotes from, the more likely you are to find the best deal. Teenagers and other younger motorists usually cost more to insure because their lack of experience and their relatively high crash rates mean they may be more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.

Crash statistics for young drivers

The statistics show that younger drivers are more at risk of being injured in a car accident than older drivers. According to national crash data for 2010, 16- to 24-year-olds were injured in car accidents at nearly twice the rate of Americans that were 25 years old and older.

Younger drivers make up only about 14 percent of the American population, but they account for about 29 percent of the nation’s motor vehicle injury costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC also notes that “Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.”

There are many reasons why teens are more at risk than other drivers. The following are some of the biggest factors outlined by the CDC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association:

  • They are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations.
  • They are more likely to not recognize hazardous situations.
  • They have the lowest rate of seat belt use.
  • They have a greater risk of getting into a crash than older drivers if they have any level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • They are more likely to speed and leave less distance between them and the car in front of them.
  • They are among the groups most likely to text and talk on a cell phone behind the wheel.

How to keep costs low

Just as in any other insurance shopping situation, the best ways to keep insurance costs low for younger drivers are to shop around, to take advantage of as many discounts as possible, and to keep a clean driving record. Some insurers may be more welcoming of teen drivers and may provide affordable rates, so you’ll have to shop around and find which ones offer the best deals. When you do find one, make sure to ask about discounts for being a good student or taking a driver safety course to see if you qualify. Once you’re on the road, make sure to steer clear of accidents and traffic violations in order to preserve your clean record.

Another thing you can do is choose a car for you or your teen that has relatively low insurance costs. Getting a sportier, more expensive car may leave you or your teen paying higher premiums, while buying a low-key, mid-priced model that has good crash and safety ratings may lower the cost of coverage. You can always get quotes for different vehicles before heading to the dealership to decide on a car.

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Did You Know?

Residual market enrollment

Enrollment in the residual market is relatively low. The residual market, which helps high-risk drivers get coverage after they couldn’t find a policy on their own, accounts for less than 1% of total annual premiums written by insurers.

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