If you're about to buy car insurance for your teen driver, prepare to open your wallet.
The cost of adding a teen to your auto insurance policy will more than double your annual insurance premium in almost every state, according to data gathered by Insurance.com, and make finding cheap car insurance difficult. Since car insurance companies offer drastically different rates for adding a teen, compare auto insurance quotes to ensure you're getting the best value. Only parents in Hawaii -- where laws prohibit use of age and experience as rating factors -- escape this financial wallop.
"A newly licensed teen in your household is a problem for both you and your insurance company," says Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com. "Insurance costs a lot because there's a very high risk of using it."
Teens are more expensive to insure than older drivers because they're more likely to get in car accidents. The crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is four times higher than the risk for older drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk is highest for 16-year-olds, who have a crash rate twice as high as 18- and 19-year-olds.
Insurance.com compared rates in 10 ZIP codes in each state on a 2014 Honda Accord driven by a 40-year-old man buying full coverage, then added a 16-year-old teen to the policy.
Behind each state average is a wide swing in rates from company to company. For example, in Irvine, California (ZIP 92408), the rates for the adult driver alone ranged from $956 to $1,776 a year. Adding a teen male to the policy, the rates ranged from $2,369 to $6,186.
"You can see why the first words out of any insurance expert's mouth tend to be 'shop around'," Toups says.
The value of discounts is never more apparent than when your bill has suddenly soared. See "Cheap car insurance for teens" for 10 ways to find savings that may take out some of the sting.
|State||Adult alone||With teen||Increase|
|District of Columbia||$1,628||$3,527||118%|
Methodology: Insurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate auto insurance rates from six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm) in 10 ZIP codes per state. Rates were compiled in January 2015.
Rates are based on full coverage for a single, 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. A second set of rates was compiled with a newly licensed teenage male and female added to the policy.
Actual rates will depend on individual driver factors.
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