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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Mark Friedlander

Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

Mark Friedlander has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is the Director, Corporate Communications, at the Insurance Informatio…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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How much is car insurance for teens?

On average, teens will pay $445 per month ($5,340 per year) for car insurance. This reflects their higher accident risk which the CDC credits to teens' general inexperience and tendencies for critical errors, distracted driving, and speeding.[1]

In most states, gender and age also affect teen insurance costs as accident and violation rates are statistically higher in young male drivers. The average young male driver pays $74 more per month than the average young female. However, the exact difference may vary depending on the insurer and other factors like age, location, driving history, and vehicle type.

Average Auto Insurance Costs for Teen Drivers by Gender
Gender Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
Female $457 $5,479
Male $531 $6,372

The good news for parents of all genders is that teen car insurance rates drop significantly each year their child maintains a clean record, especially between the ages of 16 and 19 as shown below.

 

Monthly Car Insurance Rates for Teens by State and Age
State Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 19
Alabama $611 $531 $478 $341
Alaska $590 $499 $448 $362
Arizona $594 $504 $406 $343
Arkansas $647 $550 $498 $394
California $494 $452 $427 $301
Colorado $811 $669 $597 $424
Connecticut $797 $602 $536 $406
Delaware $851 $692 $617 $463
Florida $874 $748 $688 $488
Georgia $622 $544 $488 $407
Hawaii $130 $127 $127 $119
Idaho $411 $339 $308 $242
Illinois $520 $417 $373 $322
Indiana $405 $318 $281 $235
Iowa $384 $316 $283 $247
Kansas $536 $458 $415 $328
Kentucky $806 $667 $595 $479
Louisiana $1,029 $790 $705 $517
Maine $438 $378 $341 $259
Maryland $652 $574 $528 $434
Massachusetts $497 $439 $416 $279
Michigan $666 $606 $545 $420
Minnesota $471 $408 $375 $313
Mississippi $587 $502 $439 $330
Missouri $594 $480 $430 $366
Montana $526 $441 $407 $326
Nebraska $544 $454 $414 $343
Nevada $774 $624 $551 $421
New Hampshire $455 $387 $340 $268
New Jersey $814 $619 $537 $402
New Mexico $524 $430 $391 $296
New York $671 $629 $558 $401
North Carolina $289 $236 $210 $122
North Dakota $520 $408 $368 $280
Ohio $386 $309 $277 $226
Oklahoma $624 $520 $472 $339
Oregon $509 $408 $363 $290
Pennsylvania $542 $451 $400 $321
Rhode Island $898 $738 $658 $476
South Carolina $666 $550 $493 $397
South Dakota $474 $396 $364 $281
Tennessee $542 $439 $383 $298
Texas $631 $501 $457 $370
Utah $608 $485 $436 $339
Vermont $391 $346 $318 $278
Virginia $510 $439 $389 $309
Washington $605 $498 $449 $358
Washington, D.C. $693 $597 $536 $421
West Virginia $553 $461 $414 $341
Wisconsin $453 $386 $351 $273
Wyoming $547 $448 $416 $334

*Please note that insurers are not permitted to use age in California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. Insurers are not permitted to use gender in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or Michigan. 

While your child will ideally maintain a clean record, the fact of the matter is that many teens experience learning curves and make mistakes when learning to drive.
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Agent insight from The Zebra:
"Teens are going to make mistakes. Insurance is here to help and protect you and your family when an accident occurs. Will your insurance rates go up if your teenage driver causes an accident? Probably. But the comfort of knowing your insurance company will protect your family is priceless."
 
Katy Griffen — Licensed insurance advisor at The Zebra 

What is the cheapest car insurance for teens?

According to our data, USAA ($320/mo) and State Farm ($394/mo) offer the cheapest average car insurance for those aged 16-19. While teen car insurance is innately expensive, some companies are cheaper than others. This is because each company has its own unique risk assessment and business model. See how other insurers' average rates compare below. Or, skip to the section discussing tips to save on teen insurance.

Average Premiums for Teen Drivers by Insurance Company
Company Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $320 $3,838
State Farm $394 $4,726
American Family $404 $4,843
GEICO $442 $5,303
Nationwide $471 $5,652
Allstate $569 $6,834
Amica Mutual $582 $6,980
Farmers $600 $7,206
Progressive $654 $7,842
Liberty Mutual $712 $8,543

Remember, the most affordable company for you may differ from the options shown above, as numerous factors influence your rate. It's crucial for teens and parents to get personalized quotes, as the cheapest insurer for parents alone may change when adding a child to the policy. Don't worry, The Zebra makes this process simple! Just enter your zip code below to get started.

Get your teen insured today!

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The Zebra's picks for best teen car insurance companies

The Zebra considers USAA ($320/mo), State Farm ($394/mo), and Erie ($211/mo) to be the top insurance choices for teen drivers. All three meet key criteria on our car insurance company checklist for new drivers, including comparatively lower costs, youth-focused savings, and excellent ratings from J.D. Power (customer and claims satisfaction), A.M. Best (financial stability), the NAIC (customer complaint index), and consumers.

 

Best for Military Families: USAA ($320/mo)

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Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Parents of teen drivers rated USAA the best overall insurer in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, with the highest marks given for claims and customer service satisfaction, trust, ease, and willingness to recommend. The only downside: USAA limits eligibility to military members, veterans, and their families. At $320 per month, USAA is also the cheapest insurance option for teens.

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4.6 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
Read our review
Pros
  • Highest-rated insurer by parents of teen drivers

  • Highly rated by respected third parties

  • Lowest average rates

  • Good student and driving training course discounts

  • SafePilot program reduces rates for safe drivers and allows parents to monitor habits

  • Optional roadside assistance

Cons
  • USAA eligibility is restricted to military personnel, veterans, and their kin.

Best For Claims Satisfaction: Erie Insurance ($211/mo)

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Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Erie was rated highly in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey by parents of teens for claims satisfaction. However, it lost points for being only available in twelve states and having a history of mobile app issues. Parents will like Erie's YourTurn telematics app as it not only lowers rates of safe drivers but can decrease phone distractions by 35% and hard braking and speeding by 20%. At $211 per month, Erie is somewhat reasonably priced for teen drivers.

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4.6 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
Read our review
Pros
  • Rated in the top 5 insurers by parents of teens

  • Relatively low cost

  • Youthful driver and driver training discounts

  • YouTurn telematics app helps decrease dangerous driving behavior

  • Cheap emergency roadside service coverage

Cons
  • Only available in DC, IL, IN, KY, MD, NY, NC, PA, TN, VA, WV, and WI

  • History of mobile app issues

Best Widely Available: State Farm ($394/mo)

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Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

State Farm consistently ranks toward the top of customer satisfaction lists (it tied for seventh according to teens and their parents in our Customer Satisfaction Survey) and is available nationwide. Some people also like the idea of being able to contact a local agent should they have any questions. Unless you are seeking highly custom coverage options, State Farm is a great choice for the whole family!

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4.6 stars Rating from The Zebra
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.
Read our review
Pros
  • Nationwide availability

  • Highly rated by third parties, teens, and their parents

  • Comparatively low cost

  • Good student and "Steer Clear" young driver training program discounts

  • Drive Safe & Save telematics program

  • Optional roadside assistance

Cons
  • Less custom coverage options


The best companies according to teens and parents

The Zebra conducted a survey to understand carriers from a customer's perspective. We asked how each major carrier held up in online experience, claims satisfaction, ease of use, customer service, trustworthiness, and willingness to recommend. Teens and parents of teens surveyed consistently ranked USAA and Erie in the top two spots across the board. See how other insurers measured up below. 

 

Top-Rated Insurers by Teens and Parents

Rank Company Average Customer Satisfaction Rating (out of 10)
1st USAA 9.19
2nd AIG 9.15
3rd Metlife 9.11
4th Alfa Mutual 8.99
5th Erie 8.88
6th State Farm 8.77
7th American Family 8.77
8th Farmers 8.68
9th Nationwide 8.68
10th Liberty Mutual 8.67
11th Travelers 8.63
12th Allstate 8.62
13th GEICO 8.57
14th Progressive 8.51
15th Auto Club (AAA) 8.50

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,794 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2023.

Note: You may notice that three companies in the table above rank higher than some listed as our Best Insurers for Teens. This is mostly due to concerns about Alfa Mutual and AIG's high pricing and MetLife's discontinuation of new home and auto policies after being acquired by Farmers.


What coverage level is best for teen drivers

The amount of coverage your teen needs will depend on your vehicle and personal preferences. At The Zebra, we like to simplify coverage options by sorting them into three categories: best, good, and minimum.

It's worth noting that "best" and "good" are more a reference to the amount of coverage, not to them being the best option for everyone. Expand each section below to learn more about cost and coverage the differences for each coverage category discover which one best suits your needs.

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"Best" coverage

"Best" coverage includes comprehensive and collision coverage (deductibles at $500) as well as high liability limits (100/300/100).

Recommended for: Luxury or high-performance vehicle owners, loan/lease holders, or those with substantial assets.

Cost: $600/mo

*We always recommend higher levels of liability insurance, particularly for those with significant assets. It helps shield you from lawsuits if accident damages you're liable for exceed your insurance limits.

Teen Insurance Costs for "Best" Coverage Level
Company Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $420 $5,039
American Family $478 $5,737
Nationwide $506 $6,067
GEICO $510 $6,118
State Farm $544 $6,525
Liberty Mutual $699 $8,389
Allstate $716 $8,588
Amica Mutual $792 $9,499
Farmers $851 $10,209
Progressive $887 $10,645
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"Good" Coverage

Our “good” coverage offers a middle ground between state liability and top-tier coverage. It offers 50/100/50 liability limits and full coverage with a deductible of $1,000.

Recommended for: most teens and their parents without a loan or lease on their vehicle

Average cost: $512/mo

Teen Driver Car Insurance Premiums for Full Coverage with $1,000 Deductibles
Company Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $354 $4,246
American Family $410 $4,915
GEICO $424 $5,083
Nationwide $442 $5,299
State Farm $481 $5,770
Liberty Mutual $530 $6,366
Allstate $620 $7,444
Amica Mutual $667 $7,999
Farmers $726 $8,714
Progressive $737 $8,840

While higher deductibles can help lower your overall premium, $500 deductibles are more common than $1,000. If you’d prefer a $500 deductible, it would raise the group average of the above premiums by 19%, or $977 every six months.

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"Minimum" Coverage

"Minimum" coverage meets state-mandateud liability limits and does not include full-body coverage.
Any injuries to your person or vehicle will not be covered. 

Recommended for: Only those with severely limited financial means or with vehicles valued under $4,000. 
 
Average cost: $215/mo
Teen Driver Car Insurance Premiums for Minimum Coverage
Company Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $141 $1,690
GEICO $161 $1,931
American Family $182 $2,190
Nationwide $192 $2,309
State Farm $212 $2,543
Liberty Mutual $243 $2,919
Allstate $260 $3,117
Amica Mutual $268 $3,219
Progressive $314 $3,770
Farmers $356 $4,269

The Zebra (and most insurance professionals) recommend against having only minimum liability coverage because:

  • It can result in higher insurance costs later, as insurers view drivers carrying only minimum coverage as riskier.
  • You risk being underinsured in the event of an at-fault accident, meaning you can be sued for financial damages.
  • You have no physical coverage for your vehicle for damage caused by accidents, theft, weather, etc.

However, minimum coverage is much cheaper than other coverages for both teens and parents and might be the only option some can afford. In this situation, we recommend you check out our list of other ways to save below and perhaps considering additional coverage as finances allow.

 

Does my teen also need umbrella coverage?

If you can afford it, you should also have umbrella coverage. It usually costs under $200 per year and works in conjunction with your auto insurance policy to provide additional liability coverage if you happen to exceed the limit of the underlying policy.

For example, if you only had $250K in liability coverage, and your child is held liable for $500K in damages, you would have to cover the remaining $250K yourself, and likely some legal fees as well.

This is exactly what happened to family friends of one The Zebra's agency managers. Read the cautionary tale below:

Brittany's story:

"My friend's son is a responsible, well-behaved young man with good grades - far from a troublemaker. Unfortunately, he had an accident when he didn't see an oncoming vehicle while making a left turn, colliding with a vehicle carrying an elderly woman who sustained severe injuries that required an extensive hospital stay.

Despite having higher liability limits of 250/500/100, my friends didn't have an umbrella policy and weren't aware of this option before the accident. As a result, their liability limits were exceeded, leading to a $750k lawsuit against them. They had to seek legal representation at their own cost because their son, though not at fault or under the influence, was the driver under their policy, in their vehicle, and still a dependent."

Brittany Jinnette — Licensed agency sales manager at The Zebra

 

Brittany's story is a good example of how unexpected accidents can affect anyone, even families with good kids. Read more about the pros, cons, and nuances of umbrella coverage here.


Rating factors to keep in mind

When a car insurance company provides you with a rate, multiple factors have gone into this very specific number. Here are some of the common factors that companies will analyze when calculating your personalized rate for auto insurance:

  • Age
  • Driving, claims and insurance history
  • Vehicle type
  • Credit score
  • Experience
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Annual mileage
  • Marital status
  • Vehicle

Next, we'll explore how you can save money by understanding and leveraging these factors.

father and teen son practicing driving

Q: Should teens be added to their parents' policy or get their own?

A: The Zebra typically advises adding teens to their parents' policy, unless the parents have a poor driving record, as it's substantially cheaper and even often required by insurers. However, if the car is solely in the teen's name, a separate policy might be needed.

Read more about when you should be on your parents' policy here.


How to save on teen car insurance

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to avoid paying significantly more for coverage for teen drivers. As they age and get more driving experience, their risk and associated cost of insurance will lower. However, there are a few steps you can consider to lessen the financial blow now.

Good student discount
Good student discount

If you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and provide transcripts every six months, good students can save on average $283! Learn more about student discounts from leading car insurance providers.

Defensive driver/safe driving discount
Defensive driver/safe driving discount

Young drivers who have taken a professional driving course are less likely to get into an accident or receive a citation, both of which can raise your premium as well as endanger your child. Requirements for this discount vary, so consult your insurer for details before signing up for courses at school or through the state. 

Choose a safe and moderately priced vehicle
Choose a safe and moderately priced car

Insurers factor in repair costs, age, safety features, and accident risks associated with your vehicle's make and model when setting your insurance rate. That's why The Zebra suggests opting for an affordable vehicle (e.g. a used car) with high safety ratings for novice drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety[2], the safest moderately-priced cars for teens include used versions of the Ford C-Max Hybrid and the Mazda 3. See our article for more ideas for budget-friendly cars ($20K and under) for teens.

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Keep your teen on your car insurance policy

Having your name next to your teen's reduces risk in the eyes of insurers. It's also even required by car insurers if your child lives in your household and could potentially drive your vehicle.

Consider additional coverage options
Consider additional coverage options

The Insurance Information Institute suggests increasing your liability limits if adding a teen driver to your policy, as this can help to protect against lawsuits or damages that may arise if your teen is involved in an accident.[3]  Please note that teens won't qualify for "accident forgiveness" programs given eligibility often requires you first have 3-5 years of clean driving.

Don't pay for coverage you don't need
Don't pay for coverage you don't need

Collision and comprehensive coverage is usually required if your vehicle is not leased or financed. However, if you own your vehicle outright, we recommend considering dropping to liability-only coverage if the vehicle is valued under $4,000 or its replacement parts become closer to the price of your premiums and deductibles.

handing holding phone looking at telematics program
Enroll in a telematics program

Telematics programs use in-car devices or phone apps to monitor driving habits. In addition to providing accountability to teens, there is also an initial sign-up discount. Safe drivers often see even lower rates over time. Learn more about telematics programs here.

Get personalized quotes for teens in under 5 minutes!

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FAQs

The average six-month rate for teens is $2,520, or about $420 per month. Male drivers typically cost slightly more than female drivers and specific age can also make a difference. 16-year-olds usually pay much more than their older counterparts at 17, 18, and 19 years of age.

The best way for a teen to save money on auto insurance is to be added to a parent's already-existing policy. There are also discounts a young driver may be eligible for, such as a good student or a safe driving discount. Ask your insurer about options for discounts you or your teen may qualify for.

If your teenage driver lives with you and drives your car, they need to be listed on your policy. It's best to check your state laws and your insurer's requirements, too, since things can vary between locations and companies. If a teen in your household gets into an accident with your vehicle and they aren't properly insured, there could be repercussions (such as your policy not covering the damage).



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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.