Teen drivers have higher insurance rates due to inexperience behind the wheel and risk-taking behaviors. And increased risks mean higher insurance rates. Teenagers are also the most likely to be involved in accidents, with 16-year-old drivers over 2.5 times more likely to be in a crash than 20- to 24-year-olds. Racking up tickets or accidents can quickly put your teen driver in the position of having to find SR-22 insurance, which will penalize them with higher rates as a hard to insure driver.

Your teen driver can lower his car insurance rate by:

  • Maintaining good grades for a Good Student discount
  • Completing a driver’s education course
  • Paying a higher deductible
  • Driving a sensible vehicle (a sedan vs. a sports car)

Steps you can take to lower your teen driver’s car insurance rate:

  • Ask about multiple vehicle auto insurance discounts
  • Check into multiple policy insurance discounts if you have the same home and auto carrier
  • Ask if you can include your teen driver on your policy as an “occasional” or “pleasure-use only” driver

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)

To lower the teen drivers’ death rate, all states have enacted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that phase in driving privileges upon successful completion of specific Graduated Driver Licensing program requirements. GDL programs allow teen drivers to safely gain driving capability before earning full driving privileges.

Most Graduated Driver Licensing programs include three stages:

  • Learner Stage beginning no earlier than age 16 and:
    • Lasting at least 6 months
    • With at least 30-50 hours of parent-certified supervised practice
  • Intermediate Stage that lasts until at least age 18 and includes:
    • Nighttime driving restriction starting at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
    • No (or no more than one) teen passengers (teens were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior when driving with another teenager versus driving alone; three times with multiple passengers)
  • Full Privilege Stage
    • Issued a standard driver’s license

A complete chart of requirements for all states can be found here.

Adding a teen driver to your policy

Many insurers require that all licensed drivers in your home carry some form of car insurance.

Do I need to add my teen driver with a learners permit to my policy?

That depends on your state’s insurance requirements, but in most cases, your policy will cover your teen driver until he or she is licensed.

While many states don’t require insurance for a teen driver who has a learners permit, all states, with the exception of New Hampshire, require coverage for licensed drivers.

Do teen drivers have to be insured on all cars under the same roof?

Virtually every insurer will require that all licensed family members in the same home be included on your policy, whether they drive your cars or not. In states that do require car-driver matching, each driver in your home will be named as the primary driver for one car, so you can identify which car your teen will be the primary driver on.