How Much Is Car Insurance for a 19 Year Old?

Younger drivers pay more for car insurance because they have less experience behind the wheel, placing them at a higher risk.

If you’re about to celebrate your 19th birthday or you have a teen driver on your policy, you may wonder, “How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old?”

Insurance coverage for young drivers is higher than for older, more experienced drivers because of the risk that insurance companies face with an inexperienced person behind the wheel. The cost of car insurance is different depending on the driver’s age, gender, and place of residence.

While you may have little control over your age, you may be able to control other factors, such as your credit score or the vehicle you drive. A good driving record is also an important factor in cheaper car insurance rates. We’ll review the average rates for teen drivers and offer a few tips to help 19-year-old drivers reduce their car insurance costs.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost for a 19-Year-Old?

According to Marketwatch.com, the average American pays around $1,730 annually for auto insurance. You can expect a 50% to 100% rate increase when adding someone aged 16 to 19 to your policy.

Rates change drastically as young drivers reach 25 years of age. This is due to the risk associated with younger drivers and insurance companies wanting to be prepared to cover any accidents, even if they’re just fender benders.

Why Younger Drivers Pay More for Car Insurance

Younger drivers pay more for car insurance because they have less driving experience, which places them at higher risk. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that even though teens spend less time on the road than older drivers, they make up a significant portion of auto accidents. The number of fatal driving accidents involving teen drivers has increased consistently since the agency began recording data in 1975.

Despite higher insurance costs for teen drivers, sufficient coverage is very important. Teen drivers are more likely to be in an accident than more mature drivers. They’re also less likely to have the funds to cover the damages or injuries from an accident. This means the cheapest option may not always be the best insurance policy for a 19-year-old driver.

To avoid expensive penalties or fees, teen drivers should, at minimum, meet their state’s insurance requirements.

What Factors Affect Car Insurance Rates for 19-Year-Olds?

Understanding what factors go into a teen driver’s insurance rates can help you identify ways to save. Insurance companies typically consider the following when calculating 19-year-old drivers’ insurance costs:

Gender

In some states, gender may influence how much a teen driver pays for auto insurance. Male drivers tend to have higher premiums than female drivers, especially in their earlier years of driving. The Insurance Information Institute claims that male drivers are more likely to be in a car accident or have a DUI on their driving records, meaning a 19-year-old female will usually pay less than a 19-year-old male driver.

Some states prohibit insurance companies from using gender as a determining factor in insurance premiums. The following states don’t allow for differences in auto insurance premiums based on gender alone:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (only certain areas)
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

Age and Experience

On average, new drivers pay more for auto insurance because their lack of experience produces higher risk. This means that a 19-year-old driver who just got their driver’s license can expect to pay a higher insurance premium than a 19-year-old driver who first got their license at 16.

Typically, auto insurance rates slowly decrease with each year of experience. A brand-new 16-year-old driver will pay a little more than a 17-year-old driver but much more than a 19-year-old driver.

Location

Location also plays an important role in auto insurance rates. Teenage drivers living in busy cities with a lot of traffic or high theft rates may pay more for a full-coverage insurance policy than drivers in rural locations. Insurance companies often adjust rates based on the zip code you enter when requesting rates. For example, the average cost of car insurance in New York is around 11% higher than in the rest of the country.

Vehicle Make and Model

The vehicle’s make and model also affect insurance rates, especially with a full-coverage policy. Insurance companies calculate rates based on how much it will cost them to repair or replace a vehicle. A vehicle that’s cheaper to replace can earn teen drivers a discount, whereas an expensive sports car will increase rates. Teens may also qualify for a discount for cars with safety or anti-theft features because these reduce the risk of filing an insurance claim.

Insurance Coverage and Deductible

The level of coverage and deductible also factors into car insurance rates. The cheapest car insurance is usually liability only, a policy offering minimum coverage. Teen drivers and young adults may be tempted to choose this policy because of the cheaper rates. However, it’s important to evaluate your coverage needs. A minimum policy won’t cover repairs or vehicle replacement if damages aren’t accident-related.

A deductible is how much you must pay out of pocket when you file a claim. Increasing your deductible means you’ll owe more if you have to file an insurance claim, but in the meantime, you’ll enjoy lower rates. If you decrease your deductible, you won’t have to pay as much to file a claim, but you’ll have higher rates.

Driving History

Driving history is one of the factors that influence your insurance rates the most. Car insurance companies consider speeding tickets, traffic violations, and at-fault and not-at-fault auto accidents when measuring your risk as a driver. You can expect more expensive rates if you’re deemed a high-risk driver.

Credit Score

Some states also consider credit scores when calculating insurance rates. 19-year-old drivers may be less likely to have credit scores, which could influence how much they pay for insurance. Car insurance companies are prohibited from using credit scores to price auto insurance policies in some states, including:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan

Tips for Affordable Car Insurance for 19-Year-Old Drivers

Teen drivers typically pay more for car insurance. However, there are ways that you can save on insurance, even as a 19-year-old driver.

Add the Teen to a Family Policy

An easy way to save money while insuring a young driver is to keep that driver on a family plan as long as possible. Many states even require drivers to be at least 18 years old before purchasing their own insurance policy.

It’s important to note that parents can expect a significant increase in insurance rates after adding a teen driver to the policy. While the rates may be lower than if a 19-year-old driver purchased their own policy, they can still be expensive. The rates should slowly decrease with each birthday if the teen driver maintains a good driving record.

You may be able to offset the increase in insurance rates by bundling policies or taking advantage of a multi-vehicle discount.

According to NASDAQ, drivers can remain on their family’s car insurance policy if they live at home. Other types of insurance require people to get individual policies or start their own family policies once they reach 26 years old.

Shop Around and Compare Rates

The best way to find better rates is to shop around. Each insurance company uses a combination of factors to determine their premiums, so two different 19-year-olds might find different premiums with the same company.

Insurance rates are constantly changing, so you should always be willing to shop around, especially if you think you’re paying too much or have been practicing safe driving and good credit usage for a while. 19-year-old drivers may also want to compare insurance quotes with each birthday to ensure they receive the best car insurance rates.

Maintain a Good Driving Record

Maintaining a good driving record is an excellent way to qualify for cheaper car insurance rates. Citations and car accidents where you are at fault will always raise your insurance premiums. Certain citations raise your premiums even more drastically due to their dangerous nature, such as DUIs and street racing violations.

Taking a defensive driving course may also help teen drivers reduce their premiums. Some insurance companies offer drivers a discount in return for completing a safe or defensive driving course.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also suggests that teens and their families should know their state-specific Graduated Driver Licensing laws. Understanding these laws is crucial for obtaining full licensure in your state, which can also help you qualify for more affordable insurance rates.

Find a Telematics or Usage-Based Plan

If you feel you’re an exception to the increased risk of a 19-year-old driver, a telematics insurance plan may be right for you. Telematics plans monitor your driving habits using a device in your car. The device collects driving data, such as speed and brake use, to better calculate a driver’s risk. If a young person is a careful, good driver, this type of plan can help them save money.

Build Good Credit

Another factor in determining insurance premiums across all ages is credit history. Opening responsible credit lines and making payments on time can help young drivers build good credit, which will help with insurance rates and many other financial needs down the road.

Choose a Safe Vehicle

Choosing a safe vehicle can also help teen drivers lower their insurance rates. Sports cars and high-performance cars tend to have the highest rates. Reliable, sensible vehicles with many safety features can help you qualify for car insurance discounts. You can always save the expensive cars for when you’re older with more driving experience to avoid high insurance premiums.

Take Advantage of Discounts

There are many discounts available for young drivers, including:

  • Good student: Students with good grades may qualify for discounts with a report card.
  • Defensive driver: Certain insurance companies offer this discount to drivers who take a professional driving class and pass the test.
  • Student away from home: Some college students who go to school 100 miles or more away from home may qualify for this discount.
  • Multi-policy: 19-year-olds who rent an apartment may qualify for a discount by bundling auto insurance with rental insurance.

Wait a Year

Debt.org claims that the automobile crash rate for a 16-year-old new driver is approximately 1.5 times higher than for 18- or 19-year-old drivers. This means car insurance for 19-year-olds may be cheaper than insurance for 16-year-olds. With each year, you can expect your rates to slightly decrease. If you have already combined policies, shopped rates, and are actively working on maintaining a clean driving record, your only option may be to wait until you qualify for a cheaper rate.

How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old? That depends on many factors, including gender, location, and vehicle. However, teen drivers may earn discounts on their insurance premiums with good grades, excellent credit, or a good driving record. Comparing quotes is especially important for a 19-year-old driver. You should compare quotes among multiple car insurance companies with each birthday to secure the best rates.

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