Best Car Insurance For Teen Drivers

Most teens can't wait for the freedom and independence of the day they get their driver's license. What is less fun to think about is car insurance. Unfortunately for new and teen drivers, car insurance can be quite costly. That doesn't mean you can't still get a good deal though. Here we break down which car insurance companies are the cheapest for new drivers. We also examine the cost of being added on to your parent's car insurance plan, and the cost for an adult new to driving.

Table of Contents

Which Car Insurance Company is Cheapest For New and Teen Drivers?

We looked at over 200 cities and 103 companies to see which one was the most affordable for young drivers based on a sample 17 year old male driver. Like in our findings for the overall cheapest company, the cheapest for young drivers was also Erie Insurance. We found Erie on average to be about 3.2x less expensive than the national average.

Graph showing the cheapest auto insurance companies for new and young driver

Interestingly, none of the "Big Five" car insurance companies, State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers are in the top five. Overall we found these companies to not be the most economical option for a young driver to pick as their first car insurer. Of the five above, Nationwide is the largest, being available in nearly every state with the exception of a small few. In the table below you can see the 15 cheapest insurance companies for young drivers, and their rates for our sample driver.

Rank

CompanyYearly Rate

1

Erie$2,411

2

The Cincinnati$2,969

3

Chubb$3,607

4

Grange Insurance Association$3,673

5

Nationwide$4,059

6

Country$4,316

7

State Farm$4,661

8

Grange Insurance$5,207

9

GEICO$5,208

10

Allied$5,265

11

Motorists Mutual$5,672

12

Unitrin$5,991

13

Progressive$7,017

14

21st Century$7,520

15

Safe Auto$7,529

Some Notable Companies by Region

Unfortunately, not every cheap company is available in every state. Some car insurance providers are more prominent in certain parts of the country, where they may be most affordable. Other companies may actually be more expensive in certain areas and should be avoided.

Best for Teenagers in the North East and Near Mid-West: Erie

Erie is the overall cheapest insurer for teen drivers. In every state we found Erie, it always beat the state average, and was frequently the first or second most affordable company overall. In Ohio and New York for example, the average price for Erie was nearly 3x under those states' average.The main issue with Erie however, is that it is only located in nine states (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). If you live in any of those states though, Erie should be your first choice for affordable insurance.

Best Auto Insurance for Teens in the West: Grange Insurance Association

For those in the West, Grange Insurance Association (not to be confused with Grange Insurance which operates in the south and mid-west), is a great alternative to Erie, The Cincinnati and Chubb which are all located in the east. Grange operates in California, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. In Oregon, rates from Grange were about 75% less expensive than the state average. For those looking for car insurance in California, Unitrin is also another cheap alternative.

Best Insurers for Teens Nationally: Nationwide & State Farm

In many states, State Farm beat the cost average, and in some cases like Utah, by as much as 2x. The ubiquity of State Farm makes its a viable option for people in an area not served by the more affordable companies we show above. Another benefit of State Farm is its highly touted customer service track record. Backed by one of the largest agent networks in the country, State Farm is regarded as the best for customer service amongst the large insurers. As we discuss here, forming a bond with an agent, especially at a young age, can actually end up saving you a good deal of money in the long run.

Nationwide is one of the most affordable large companies we found, being available in 46 of the 50 states, making it just a tad short of the "Big Five" in terms of availability. In states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Nationwide turned out to be the most affordable provider, even beating out the overall cheapest in Erie. There are several other states where Nationwide was the second or third least expensive provider as well.

Most Affordable Auto Insurers for Teens in Each State

The cheapest insurance in your state may not actually reflect the cheapest overall insurers we list above. While Erie and The Cincinnati are usually the first or second least expensive in the states they are available, there are also states like Arizona where the cheapest company is Ameriprise--a company that does not even appear in the top fifteen cheapest overall. Take a look below to see what is the best option in your state.

State

First CheapestYearly RateSecond CheapestYearly RateThird CheapestYearly Rate

Alaska

Umialik$1,164Allstate$1,284State Farm$1,764

Alabama

ALFA$1,272Nationwide$2,433The Cincinnati$2,673

Arkansas

Columbia Insurance$2,980Southern Farm Bureau$3,184Shelter$4,092

Arizona

Ameriprise$4,220Progressive$4,394Allied$4,490

California

GEICO$2,564Unitrin$3,329Grange$4,086

Colorado

Colorado Farm Bureau$2,840Grange Insurance Association$3,176American Family$3,820

Connecticut

Unitrin$5,208Middlesex$6,375GEICO$8,325

Delaware

GEICO$4,590Grange$5,748Nationwide$5,994

Florida

Electric$4,13121st Century$5,345Mercury$6,221

Georgia

Country$1,092State Farm$1,495Encompass$5,947

Iowa

Pekin Insurance$927Progressive$1,326Farm Bureau$1,539

Idaho

Grange Insurance Association$2,634GEICO$2,790Mutual Enumclaw$2,952

Illinois

Erie$3,158The Cincinnati$3,210Hastings$3,504

Indiana

Erie$2,400The Cincinnati$2,745GEICO$2,916

Kansas

GEICO$3,204Farm Bureau$3,612Allied$3,720

Kentucky

The Cincinnati$3,234Kentucky Farm Bureau$3,744Motorists Mutual$4,749

Louisiana

Southern Farm Bureau$2,778State Farm$6,672Allstate$10,106

Massachusetts

Plymouth Rock$2,247GEICO$2,811Commerce Insurance$3,267

Maryland

Erie$3,039Penn National$4,320State Farm$5,079

Maine

Concord$2,460Countryway$2,856GEICO$3,384

Michigan

Chubb$3,299Hastings$3,345Miller$3,668

Minnesota

Farm Bureau Mutual$3,225Western National$4,158Allied$4,308

Mississippi

ALFA$1,553Unitrin$2,472Mississippi Farm Bureau$2,599

Montana

Progressive$2,680State Farm$3,244Farmers$3,980
North CarolinaNationwide$1,452GEICO$1,884Titan$2,424

North Dakota

Allied$3,180North Star$4,056State Farm$4,488

Nebraska

American Family$3,282GEICO$4,032State Farm$4,110

New Hampshire

Commerce Insurance$1,056Nationwide$2,124Concord$2,664

New Jersey

Penn National$5,390State Farm$5,661Allstate$10,479

New Mexico

GEICO$3,144Allied$4,536State Farm$4,746

Nevada

Allied$2,352Oregon Mutual$3,462GEICO$3,630

New York

Erie$1,967GEICO$3,713Central Insurance$4,885

Ohio

Erie$812Grange Insurance$1,320Nationwide$1,488

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Farm Bureau$3,396Shelter$4,152State Farm$4,752

Oregon

Grange Insurance Association$4,300State Farm$4,728GEICO$5,072

Pennsylvania

Nationwide$1,944Erie$3,304Chubb$3,958

Rhode Island

State Farm$4,020Grange Insurance$4,188Quincy Mutual$5,784

South Carolina

Southern Farm Bureau$2,666Nationwide$5,686GEICO$7,572

South Dakota

Unitrin$2,760Farmers$2,784Western National$3,216

Tennessee

Erie$1,160Utica National$2,456The Cincinnati$2,907

Texas

Texas Farm Bureau$2,873State Farm$4,054GEICO$6,893

Utah

State Farm$2,414GEICO$2,645Farm Bureau$4,404

Virginia

Chubb$1,332Nationwide$1,752ALFA$1,986

Vermont

GEICO$2,394Concord$2,604Grange$2,952

Washington

Capital$2,882Grange$3,110PEMCO$3,823

West Virginia

Pekin Insurance$1,076Western National$3,026GEICO$3,192

Wisconsin

Erie$3,348State Farm$4,732GEICO$5,308

Wyoming

Progressive$2,160State Farm$3,888Grange Insurance Association$3,888

The Cost of Joining Your Parents' Car Insurance Policy

If the above prices are too expensive for you to afford on your own, a cheaper alternative will be to see if you can be added to your parents' policy. The person most affected in this case is your parent, who is taking on a significant risk by adding a new, teen driver to their policy. As a result, insurance companies will increase their yearly payments. Nonetheless, the increase is still far less than the yearly price of getting insurance on your own, as you can see below.

Graph shows differences between a teenager getting car insurance through a parent or by themself

On average, adding a 17 year old male driver to an existing policy will add about $2,600 more per year. Compared to the national average of getting coverage yourself, a seventeen year old would save about $5,100 if you would come to an agreement with your parent in which you would pay for your portion of the car insurance. Whether they'll want to add you to their policy is another question.

If your parents happen to insure their car with GEICO, you'll get one extra perk. GEICO is unique, in that if you opt to join your parents' policy, you can eventually leave to start your own, and receive a better rate due to your family being apart of GEICO.

More Ways to Make Your Car Insurance More Affordable

There are a several ways as a young driver to save money on your premium. The first is by qualifying for discounts. Most major insurers will give you a discount for being a good student or taking a driver's education course for example. If you go on your parent's policy as well, most large insurance companies will knock down their premium if you are away at school, and have limited access to the vehicle.

Another significant way to reduce costs is by selecting your coverage carefully. The values above for our sample 17 year old driver are for getting full coverage, as in, all components of car insurance. Full coverage insurance is significantly more expensive than the minimum required by states. The reason being when you opt for full coverage, you are also buying collision and comprehensive coverage. The cost for just your collision insurance can make up half or almost half of your entire premium. The downside to not having collision coverage however, is that your insurance company will not pay to fix your vehicle if you are the one to crash it. You can read more about collision and comprehensive insurance here. It is for this reason we would recommend you only opt for basic coverage if your car is not worth much money--less than a few thousand dollars. If you were to crash a valuable car, then the cost of fixing it will end up being more expensive than what you would have paid for full coverage.

How Much is Car Insurance if You Are a New, Adult Driver?

This scenario is actually quite common, where a person decides to start driving well into their adulthood. While the risk-taking behavior of your teens may be gone, you are still an inexperienced driver. This makes you a riskier driver in the eyes of insurance companies. As an inexperienced adult driver, you should expect prices to be higher than what peers who have been driving for many years are paying. We looked at one GEICO quote from New York and found that an experienced adult of 30 years of age would pay $1,368 per year. In contrast, a teenager would pay nearly $10,000 per year, and an inexperienced adult of 30 years of age $4,296 per year. Overall, we expect prices for this group of driver to be less than a teenager, but significantly more than for an experienced adult.

Profile of Driver

Yearly Average Rate (NY)

30 year old Adult with 14 Years Driving Experience

$1,368

30 year old Adult with Less than One Year Driving Experience

$4,296
Teenager With No Driving Experience$10,000

How Did We Get Our Info?

For the cheapest insurers, we acquired quotes from over 103 companies in 200 cities across the U.S. for a sample, 17 year old male driver who drives a 2011 Toyota Camry. We specified that he previously did not have insurance, and was opting for full coverage (see limits below). We restricted the top 15 cheapest companies to ones that were found in at least 25 cities nationwide. For adding onto a parent's policy, we assumed the parent was a 45 year old male, married, with no previous accidents or incidents in their driving record.

Coverage Type

Study Limits

Bodily Liability

$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident

Property Damage

$50,000 per accident

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI

$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property

$50,000 per accident

Comprehensive & Collision

$500 Deductible

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