Insuring Teen Drivers More Expensive Than You Think

Most adults who own and insure a motor vehicle already know that adding a teenage driver to their policy will increase their premiums. New data from Insurance Quotes, an online insurance quote and compare service reveals that on average in the United States, the addition of ONE teen driver to a parent’s policy will increase the annual premium by a whopping eight-two percent!

After steadily decreasing rate hikes from 2013 to 2017, the size of auto insurance rate hikes has started climbing again this year, from 78% in 2017, to 82% for 2018. It is not surprising to know that the one thing auto insurers want to know is if a person is a safe or risky driver. Location, age and gender all play a role in determining costs.

The average premium increase in the United States for adding a 16-year old male driver to a parent’s auto insurance policy is 112.1%, compared to 51.3% for a 19-year old female driver.
When breaking it down by gender, adding a female teen driver to a married couple’s auto insurance policy increases the premium on average by seventy percent, while the increase is ninety-three percent for adding a male teen driver.

At the state level, Hawaii comes in the lowest of the fifty states with an annual premium increase of just 12%. Michigan (+58%), North Carolina (60.7%), North Dakota (+61.2) and Florida (+65.2) round out the low cost five. At the high end, Rhode Island tips the scales with a 137% increase in annual premium. Other high cost states include Arizona (+118.5), New Hampshire (+117.7%), West Virginia (+100.4%), and Maine (+98.2%).

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), while teens in the United States drive less than all but all the oldest people, they have a crash rate per mile that is three times that of drivers twenty and older.

Although auto insurance rates continue to be high for the teen driver, its not all bad news when comes to teen driving statistics. In 1975 for example, the IIHS reports that there were nearly 10,000 teen driver deaths, compared to just 2,800 in 2016. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal crashes involving drivers between 15 and 20 years of age are down 43 percent from 2006. Improved vehicle safety, fewer teens on the road and the continued positive affects of the graduated driver’s licensing programs across the country are all factors in the reduction of fatalities.

Believe it or not, fewer teens currently have a driver’s license. A 2012 study from the University of Michigan found that 80 percent of American teens between the ages of 17 to 19 had a driver’s license. Today, that number is less than 60 percent.

Parents have a role to play to make sure that their teen driver is safe as possible when behind the wheel. A few tips:

• Set A Good Example

• Establish firm rules and consistently reiterate them

• Ask your insurance agent about pay-as-you-go-drive programs

• Consider electronic monitoring devices

• Emphasize the dangers of distracted driving

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.

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