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Car insurance after teenager gets a license

How car insurance rates change after adding a young driver.


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You can expect steep rates for insuring a teen driver on your policy or on a separate one. However, encouraging safe driving and qualifying for student discounts can help drive those high rates down.

How does car insurance change after your teenager gets a license?

Teenage drivers have a negative effect on car insurance rates because insurers see them as an increased risk for accidents. Consider whether adding the teen to your policy or getting a separate one works best for your situation.

  • Adding a teen to your policy. Most of the time, this option proves the most cost-effective since your provider factors in your driving record and discounts along with the teenager’s risk.
  • Getting a separate policy. You might opt for a separate policy if your teen lives away from home. However, even teens with their own policies might need to be added as a secondary driver to your policy if they live with you.

When should I add my teen to my car insurance?

You should add your teen driver to your policy before the teen makes their first solitary drive. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most states require drivers to have proof of insurance before they can legally drive on public roads.

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How much does a teenage driver affect car insurance rates?

Statistics show that teens have more accidents than older, more experienced drivers. Several factors contribute to your teenage driver’s steep rates:

  • Exact age. Whether your teen driver got a license as soon as legally possible or waited a few years makes a difference to your premium. A longer driving history shows lower risk to an insurer.
  • Primary or secondary driver. You could save money by adding the teen as a secondary driver if your child only drives your car occasionally. This puts less emphasis on your teen’s lack of experience versus the primary driver’s record.
  • Vehicle type. Your company considers car type as one of the risk factors for your teen. For example, a teen with access to a speedy convertible will skyrocket rates compared to an older sedan. You can exclude your teen from driving your convertible to help save on insurance costs.
  • Driving record. While young drivers get high rates either way, a recent accident will make matters worse. Encourage safe driving habits to lower your chances.

How to get cheap car insurance for a teenage driver

Giving your teens driving freedom may get pricey, but you can still find ways to save money. A few ideas:

  • Look at multiple providers. Your long-trusted insurance company might not be giving you the best value as another teen-friendly insurer out there.
  • Take safety courses. Keep teens safe and smart by having them complete safe driver training, no matter your state’s requirements.
  • Get a good student discount. Many insurers reward high grades at school with a lower premium.
  • Notify when your student is away. Student away at college? You could save money during times when teens don’t have access to your vehicle.
  • Use a family car. Since companies consider the type of car, you could assign your teen to drive the cheapest car you have to insure. Sedans, vans, hybrids and compacts all stick to the lower end for car insurance.
  • Stay accident-free. Your family can keep rates as low as possible with safe driving all around.
  • Consider usage-based driving. Your company might offer pay-as-you-go car insurance with a smartphone or telematics device. Tracking driving habits could encourage safe driving and lower rates based on your family’s safe driving.

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How do I update my car insurance after my teenager gets a license?

You can follow several steps to let your insurance company know about your newly licensed teenager:

  1. Call your insurance company to add the teen’s information or enter details from your online account.
  2. If required, assign your teen to the vehicle driven most regularly or list them as a secondary driver.
  3. Get quotes from other providers to see if they provide better value for your new driving situation.
  4. Consider extra coverage, such as lower deductibles, new car replacement or towing coverage.
  5. Verify your current insurer’s cancellation policy, cancel if desired and start a policy with a new provider.

What should I watch out for with car insurance for a teenager?

Before insuring a teen driver, remember these situations that are easy to overlook:

  • Shop around. You might find it convenient to add your teen to an existing policy, but comparing several providers could save you thousands on insurance.
  • Rate spikes after an accident. Even one accident or traffic violation could increase your premium. Avoid rate hikes by encouraging safe driving any time your teen is behind the wheel.
  • Look for student discounts. In the flurry of school season, remember to let your company know about good grades and college students who are away from home.
  • Get enough coverage. Your teen has a higher risk of causing vehicle damage. So you might opt for add-ons, such as gap insurance, new car replacement or towing coverage.

Bottom line

A teenage driver can cause a rate increase, but the specific rate depends on age, vehicle driven and any qualifying student discounts. Look into several insurers for the best teen driver rates.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance with teenage drivers

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