Car insurance for teens can be tricky. Insurance companies know teens pose more risk as less experienced drivers, and monthly premiums are higher when younger operators are behind the wheel. Teens still need comprehensive, affordable coverage, so Benzinga has put together this guide to help you find the best car insurance for teens.
*Quotes obtained using the following profile: 18-year-old female, 2015 Ford Taurus in Arizona. For an accurate quote based on your metrics, get a custom quote here.
Explore Car Insurance for Teens
Tip: compare 2-3 quotes
Best Car Insurance for Teens:
- Best Overall for Teen Drivers: Dairyland
- Cheapest for Teen Drivers: Freedom National
- Best for Minimum-Limit Requirements: GAINSCO
- Best for Insuring High-Risk Drivers: The General
- Best for Additional Coverage Options: Commonwealth Casualty
Best Car Insurance for Teen Drivers
Here’s Benzinga’s list of the best auto insurance companies for teen drivers.
1. Best Overall: Dairyland
Dairyland’s auto insurance policies are available in almost every state, so your policy can follow you if you decide to move to a different state for college or a new job.
Dairyland offers a discount when you pass a defensive driver course or switch to Dairyland from another insurance company.
You can use the Dairyland app to manage your policy, and claims service is available 24/7.
2. Cheapest: Freedom National
Freedom National also has a number of discounts to save you up to 20% on your insurance rates.
The biggest discount is available if you’re a good driver, but you can also receive discounts for remaining claims-free. Freedom National offers smaller discounts for paying for your insurance in-full or being a good student.
3. Best for Minimum-Limit Policies: GAINSCO
Each state has its own minimum requirements for how much coverage you need to have.
GAINSCO specializes in minimum-limit policies customized to meet your needs and offers competitive rates no matter your coverage level.
GAINSCO policies are sold through independent agents, but you can still get a free quote from its website.
4. Best for Insuring High-Risk Drivers: The General
Teens are considered high-risk drivers, and if you’ve had a car accident, finding affordable coverage can be doubly difficult.
The General is one of the best options for high-risk drivers.
You’ll receive a discount for switching and for paying your annual policy premium upfront. You can manage your policy through The General’s online portal or mobile app.
5. Best for Additional Coverage Options: Commonwealth Casualty
Commonwealth Casualty offers all the standard coverage options you expect as well as a number of additional coverages you can add on. Additional options include rental reimbursement, coverage for custom equipment on your vehicle and roadside assistance.
Commonwealth Casualty may also reduce your deductible by $100 if you remain claim-free for 1 year. Remain claim-free for five years and earn a maximum savings of $500.
Tips For Lowering Car Insurance for Teens
If you’re a teen, you’re not absolutely doomed when it comes to car insurance rates. Take the time to learn more about car insurance discounts — there are actually a number of things you can do to lower your premium.
- Take a safe driving course. You can take a safe-driving course at any age, but it’s especially important for teen drivers. A safe driving course can take many forms, but all options are designed to help you learn and review the standard rules of the road.
Some insurance companies offer discounts if you take an online course, while others require an in-person course with your instructor in the passenger seat. Driving simulation courses are even accepted by some providers.
- Be a good student. Many of the major auto insurance companies offer a discount if you’re enrolled in high school or college full-time and can prove above average achievement. This can be a B average or higher, dean’s list or honor roll. You may also qualify if you rank in the upper 20% on a standardized test. Home-schooled students can still qualify, and good student discounts can save you up to 20%.
- Choose your car wisely. Older cars generally bring lower premiums than newer vehicles, so a hand-me-down from your parents or older sibling might be a good idea. Or you can purchase a used car from a dealership or private seller if you’d rather go that route.
If a newer model is a must, focus on safety features. Most cars come with anti-theft devices, anti-lock braking systems and airbags. Also be sure to look into newer safety features, such as lane departure warning, blind-spot warning and rearview cameras. These safety features can help lower your risk of accident by alerting you to hazards.
- Monitor your driving. Some insurance companies offer the option to install a small device in your car to monitor your driving habits. The insurance providers analyze how often you drive, how fast you drive and if you frequently slam on your brakes. Safe driving habits make you eligible for a discount on your auto insurance.
Parents Policy vs. Own Policy
If your parents are up for it, you may be able to choose between being on their auto insurance policy or having your own. As much as you might want independence, you should consider all of your options before deciding.
You can stay on your parents’ auto insurance policy as long as they approve, and when you begin driving, it’s probably a good idea. However, in most states, when an adult adds a teen driver to their insurance policy, rates may cost twice as much — if not more.
Some insurance companies allow your parents to remove you from their policy temporarily if you’re away at college and not using your car. Others may offer a discount instead and discourage your parents from removing you from their policy. No matter your choice — be sure your car is covered when in use.
The right time to switch to your own policy depends on a number of factors, including your age and your driving record. A driving record with no accidents or traffic violations can earn your own low rate. Get a quote to see if it makes financial sense to go on your own policy.
As a young, inexperienced driver your insurance options can be more limited and often more expensive. Talk to your parents about car insurance before you even get your permit or driver’s license. Your parents’ current provider can discuss the options available to your family, but comparing quotes from several insurance companies is the only way to find the best, most affordable coverage for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I bundle my car insurance with another policy, and should I?
Q: Is there any way I can lower my insurance premiums?
Q: How much is my car insured for?
With a standard auto insurance policy, your vehicle is insured using actual cash value, which means that a deduction may be taken for depreciation based on age or usage. As your vehicle ages, it’s worth less money which reduces the insurable value. If you own a collectible or classic car, you’ll want to consider a specialized classic car insurance policy that insures your vehicle to its full value without a deduction for depreciation.