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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

Cheap car insurance for single moms and dads

Life as a single parent is difficult, and that extends to finding cheap car insurance. On average, car insurance for a single parent costs $130 more per year than does a two-parent-and-teen policy. This has to do with the way risk is assessed by insurers. Insurance companies use historical data showing married couples are more likely to share driving responsibilities, drive less, and file fewer claims.

We decided surveyed rates from major insurance companies to find the best auto insurance for single parents.

Kids and divorce: how to handle car insurance

If you’re a single mom or dad who has never been married, you can skip this section. However, if you're divorced and dealing with car insurance, we have some tips.

Note: this is a quick summary of car insurance after a divorce. For additional details, read our full analysis of cheap car insurance after a divorce.


How is car insurance split between divorced parents?

If you have driving-aged teens or young adults who split their time evenly between your and your former spouse’s residences, you'll both likely need to insure your teen driver. Insurance companies like to be aware of all the risk they're taking on before offering a policy. If your teen is going to be staying at your residence and using your vehicle frequently (12 or more times per year), you should keep them on your policy. For unique situations, you can always ask your insurance company.

Get auto insurance for a single parent today!

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Cheapest insurance companies for a single parents

While a considerable difference exists between ages 16 and 19, USAA is the cheapest insurance company for a single parent with a teen driver on their policy. No matter what, adding a teen to your car insurance is expensive. Changing your policy from single-driver to a parent-and-young driver increases average rates by 98%, according to The Zebra's survey of major carriers.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,365
Nationwide $1,476
GEICO $1,542
State Farm $1,569
Farmers $1,786
Progressive $1,886
Allstate $2,413

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology — auto insurance

The auto insurance rates displayed throughout this page come from The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool, a proprietary insurance premium estimator that uses the most recent rate filings across the United States at the ZIP code level to provide up-to-date rate data. Most insurance companies file car insurance rates one to two times a year. This data comes from Quadrant Information Services, which sources the latest approved rate filings across carriers in each state from S&P Global. Quadrant then uses an internal QA process to validate the information and build reports before the data is programmed into The Zebra’s dynamic rating tool.

Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To provide insight to consumers on how specific personal factors (like age, location and coverage level) can affect your premium, this base profile is then adjusted for different factors commonly used by insurance companies. For more information, see our full data methodology.


Although USAA was the cheapest car insurance company in our surveyed data, you and your teen may have better luck with a different insurer. Your best bet for finding the cheapest insurance is to compare as many insurance options as possible. Enter your ZIP code below for a personalized quote.

How to save on single-parent auto insurance

Even if you choose USAA or have two adult drivers on the policy, you're going to pay a premium to add your teen to your car insurance policy. So, in addition to choosing the right insurance company, here are some additional cost-cutting solutions.

Look for teen-specific discounts

If your teen is willing, have them take a defensive driving course. Some insurance companies see teens who have taken a defensive driving course as less likely to be involved in an accident and reward that responsibility with decreased car insurance rates. Keeping with this idea, if your teen has a GPA of 3.0 or greater, they could be eligible for a Good Student Discount. Insurance companies view drivers who have a high GPA similarly to those who have taken a defensive driving course: less likely to get into an accident or file a claim. Below are estimated savings for these discounts.

Average savings - good student and Good Driver Discounts
Age Male Female
16 $439 $248
17 $348 $222
18 $338 $197
19 $278 $160

While teenage boys do receive a greater price break via these discounts, that's a function of their premiums being higher in the first place. Insurance companies view teenage boys as riskier drivers than teenage girls.


Pick a moderately priced vehicle for your teen

The vehicle you pick for your teen has a major impact on their car insurance rate, just as it does with your premium. So, while your teen would really love that new pickup truck or luxury sports car, your car insurance rate definitely won’t. When choosing a vehicle for your teen, think moderately.


Be smart with coverage options

Because cars depreciate over time, the physical coverage (comprehensive and collision) you had on your ‘99 Civic might not be necessary anymore. If you’re thinking about dropping these optional coverages, here’s a checklist:

    • Do you have a loan on the vehicle? If you have a loan, you can’t remove physical coverage from the vehicle.
    • What’s the value of the vehicle? A general rule of thumb in the insurance world is if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, you do not need both comprehensive and collision coverage. You can determine the value of your vehicle through sites like Kelley Blue Book and NADA online.
    • Consider raising your deductible - If it’s determined that you need to keep these coverages, consider raising your deductibles. If you raise your deductibles, you lower your car insurance rate because you’re taking a greater financial responsibility from your insurance company in the event of an accident. Looking at our data below, you can see that raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 lowers your premium by an average of $160 per year.
Coverage Avg. Annual Premium
Liability Only $597
Full Coverage with $1,000 Deductible $1,554
Full Coverage with $500 Deductible $1,760

Be smart with your claims

Basically, being smart with your claims means don’t use your collision coverage unless it’s a total loss. If you’ve been in an accident, whether you hit a pole or another car, insurance companies will deem that as an at-fault accident and correspondingly raise your rates. Now, for most violations and accidents, your insurance company will charge you (i.e., financially) for 3 years. So, when you’re considering whether or not to file a claim, consider the monetary impact of that premium raise in addition to your deductible (if applicable), and your existing premium versus paying the claim out of pocket.

Here are average premium costs based on common violations in the US. If you’re looking for state-specific information, check out our State of Insurance analysis (page 58).

Accident/Violation Avg. Annual Premium
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $2,190
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $2,605
Reckless driving $3,187
Racing $3,291
DUI $3,441

So, when you’re thinking about filing a claim versus paying out of pocket, you should consider if the value of your deductible + the increased rate after an at-fault accident (over the course of three years) is greater than the estimated value of the damage. You can estimate the cost of the damages by taking the vehicle to a local repair shop.


Shop around

USAA was the cheapest company for our profile. But that doesn’t mean it will be the best company for you. The best way to find affordable auto insurance as a single parent to look at as many companies.

Cheap car insurance for single parents with young children

Even if you’re a single mother or father but your kids aren't yet of driving age, saving on auto insurance is still important. On average, a single person (parental status isn’t a factor if your children aren’t driving) pays $80 more per year than a married person. This has to do with the way insurance companies see single people as riskier drivers than married couples, given married couples' tendency to share driving responsibilities. Let’s explore some ways to save.
  • Be smart with your claims
  • Be smart with your coverage
  • Shop around
But, if you’re still looking to save on your car insurance, you can consider the following tips:

Consider telematics

Telematics devices are in-car functions that monitor the way you drive in order to better predict the kind of customer you will be. After about six months, a new premium will be generated based on mileage, speed, and driving behavior. Instead of using non-driving factors, such as your marital status, telematics allows your premium to be more accurately represented by how you drive.

Company Estimated Savings
Progressive SnapShot Average of $130
Allstate Drivewise Average of 10-25%
State Farm Drive Safe & Save Up to 15%
Esurance DriveSense Varies
Nationwide SmartRide Up to 40%
Liberty Mutual RightTrack Average of 5-30%
GEICO DriveEasy Varies

This is an idea to consider if you have teen drivers, but be cautious. If your child drives recklessly, this could negatively impact your car insurance standing. Also, this program isn’t available in every state, so check with your company.


Consider your payment process

Paying for car insurance up front (paid in full) or via your bank account helps reduce transaction fees. On average, paying via your bank account can save you $21/year while paying up-front will save you nearly $70/year.

Bundle insurance policies

By keeping all your policies with one insurance company, you can save between $77-$132 a year on your auto insurance only. You would also receive a discount on your home, renters, or condo insurance as well. So, not only do you see some savings, but it also reduces the number of insurance companies you have to deal with. Win, win. Here are average premium rates when you opt to bundle.

Homeowner Status Avg. Annual Premium
Home Owner With Multi-Policy $1,562
Condo Owner With Multi-Policy $1,592
Renter With Multi-Policy $1,677

Compare car insurance rates today!

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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.