How to Add A Teen Driver to Your Car Insurance

Mandy Sleight
Mandy Sleight

Reviews Report

  • On average, insurance premiums can increase 130% when adding a teen driver to a car insurance policy.
  • There is a slightly larger increase in car insurance premiums if the teenager is male as opposed to female.
  • Giving a teenager a “clunker” for their first car might actually increase the cost of car insurance premiums due to the likelihood of car troubles and less safety features.

A 16th birthday is a milestone birthday for many teenagers who are eligible to graduate from a learner’s permit to a driver’s license. With this realization comes the hard truth for many parents when faced with adding a teen driver to their car insurance policy. A 2020 study by Coverage provides a sobering figure for parents adding a teen to insurance – expect premium increases around 130% to add a 16-year-old teen driver to the car insurance policy. 

With an average annual increase of $2,300 for adding a teen to the insurance policy, is there any way for parents to offset the cost of insurance? Learning how to add a teen driver to car insurance without intense premiums increases includes taking advantage of discounts, utilizing safe driver programs, and carefully setting coverage limits.

How to Add a Teen Driver to Your Car Insurance

Follow these steps for adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy.

  1. Speak with your agent: Before your teen gets their learner’s permit, have a conversation with an insurance agent about when to add the teenager to the policy, when they get their permit or once they receive their driver’s license.
  2. Get a quote: Ask for a quote to add your teen to the car insurance so you can be prepared for the cost increase. Most insurance experts recommend liability limits of at least 100/300/100. 
  3. Ask about discounts: Ask the agent about discount eligibility for your teen to help lower the cost of adding them to the car insurance.
  4. Shop around: Get quotes from other car insurance companies to see who offers the best rates for your family when adding a teen to the insurance plan.
  5. Take advantage of monitoring programs: Most insurance companies offer safe driving programs and driving behavior monitoring programs for teen drivers. These programs usually come with a discount for participating, with an additional discount awarded for safe driving habits.
  6. Renewal shopping: Each year or policy renewal, shop around for quotes and ask about new discounts available so you can get the cheapest rates possible.

How a Teen Driver Affects Car Insurance Premiums

Though the average cost increase for adding a teen driver to car insurance is already steep at about 130%, the cost could be even higher if the teenager is male. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider male teen drivers riskier to insure than females, so parents of male teenagers should expect an average of 30% higher increases to add their teen to the car insurance policy.

Each state weighs car insurance rate criteria differently, and some factor in gender more than others. In Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, male teen drivers are the most expensive to insure with an average increase of 189%. In Delaware, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Michigan, and New York, male teenagers increase rates by an average of only 80%. Massachusetts, Montana, and Pennsylvania have the least difference by gender in insurance premiums.

When adding a female teen driver to car insurance, it will cost the most in Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia, an average of 162% premium increase. In Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, New York and South Dakota, the average increase for adding a female teenager is just 70%.

The good news is, every year a teen driver spends behind the wheel and stays ticket- and accident-free, the quicker their car insurance rate will decrease. According to data provided by Coverage, a 20-year-old male driver will see a 55% decrease in car insurance premiums, and another 54% decrease once they reach the age of 25. 

How to save on teen car insurance

With a large increase almost guaranteed for adding a teen driver regardless of gender, it can pay to find ways to save on car insurance. Here are four ways to reduce the cost of adding a teenager to your auto insurance policy:

Insurance Coverage Teens Should Have

When adding a teen driver to car insurance, there are some coverages to consider. Though it may cost more initially, these coverages can provide financial protection if the teenager is involved in an accident.

  • Collision: This coverage is part of what is considered full coverage. It pays to repair or replace a vehicle damaged in an accident. If the teen driver is involved in an at-fault accident, there is no coverage for the car without collision coverage.
  • Comprehensive: Another part of full coverage, comprehensive provides physical damage coverage for instances that collision doesn’t cover. This includes vandalism, theft of the car, hitting an animal, weather events, and broken glass.
  • Extended liability limits: Increasing liability limits beyond state minimum requirements adds a layer of protection if a teenager causes an accident. The bodily injury and property damage liability coverage pays for the other parties involved, and in some states, drivers and policyholders can be sued if the costs are higher than the liability coverage on the car insurance policy.
  • Liability umbrella: If increasing liability limits, consider a liability umbrella. This coverage pays if a claim exhausts the underlying liability coverage on the car insurance policy.

Teen Car Insurance FAQ 

About the Authors

Mandy Sleight is an insurance writer for Over the last three years, she has covered insurance providers, coverage, costs of insurance, and more at MoneyGeek, Bankrate, and The Simple Dollar.