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Teen drivers can double auto insurance, new study says

June 27, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten


Teens pose many challenges to loving families. Let us now add jacking up the price of auto insurance to the list:

The average married couple pays a whopping 80% more for car insurance after adding a teen driver to their policy, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report.

Teens are statistically the most dangerous age group of drivers on the road today. Distracted driving also pose greater risks with teen drivers – and has been the cause of many of the car accidents I help people with as an attorney.

Consider the statistics:

  • Car accidents are the leading killer of teen drivers in the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • While car accidents are the leading killer of teen drivers, crashes caused by texting while driving are the No. 1  cause of both teenage car accidents and deaths on the road in the U.S. (Cohen Children’s Medical Center)
  • More than 300,000 teens are injured and more than 3,000 die each year as a result of sending SMS text messages while behind the wheel. (Cohen Children’s Medical Center)

And now we have the insurance numbers based upon these statistics. Sixteen-year-olds cause the highest spike in premiums (96%) – nearly double – while the average impact decreases to 60% at age 19.

Age and gender play an important part of the equation, another factor our attorneys are familiar with in handling many tragic teen car accidents. Teenage males are the most costly for parents, with average increases topping the charts around 92% (Consider that teenage males are also more likely to dangerously speed on SuperSport crotch rockets, and are the main age group to be in fatal motorcycle accidents). Female teen drivers cost their parents around 67% more when they’re added to existing policies.

Although for six states, including Michigan, where I primarily practice law, gender makes no difference. This is because insurance companies are prohibited from using gender in their rate calculations. These states include:

  • Hawaii,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Michigan,
  • Montana,
  • North Carolina and
  • Pennsylvania.

Where are the most expensive states to insure teen drivers?

The most expensive state to insure a teen driver is New Hampshire, where the average premium jumps 115%.

Teen drivers cause premiums to more than double in four other states:

  • Wyoming (104%),
  • Illinois (104%),
  • Maine (103%) and
  • Rhode Island (102%).

And what about the states that cost the least to insure teen drivers?

Hawaii is the only state that does not allow age and length of driving experience to affect car insurance costs, according to insure.com. As a result, teen drivers only cost 17% more to insure in Hawaii, the lowest increase in the nation. New York State has the second-lowest increase (53%), followed by Michigan (57%) and North Carolina (60%).

What you can do to save money on your policy that includes a teen driver

Before you start grasping your wallets in fear, there are ways to work with insurance companies to soften the financial blow, starting with student discounts.

Said Laura Adams, senior analyst for insuranceQuotes.com in a press release, “I’ve seen discounts as high as 25% for students who maintain at least a B average in high school or college. Students and their parents need to proactively request this discount.”

You can also talk with your insurance agent about ways to save money on group policies – without skimping on coverage.

Another tip is to consider buying your insurance through an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents aren’t tied to one insurance company and can give you the best quotes and options based on your unique needs, from a pool of insurers who are competing with each other.

How the study was conducted

InsuranceQuotes.com says it commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate rates using data from the largest carriers in each state. The averages are based on a married and employed 45-year-old male and 45-year-old female who each drive 12,000 miles per year with policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage, including uninsured motorist coverage. The hypothetical drivers have clean driving records and good credit.

Related information:

Beware of this insurance trap for out of state college students!

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