As a teenager, getting a driver’s license is a huge step towards becoming more independent. It makes sense that teens look forward to this milestone and are eager to drive as soon as possible. 

But for parents, having a teen driver comes with a high price tag. Whether you add your teen to your own policy or purchase a separate insurance plan for them, you’re looking at a significant increase in your insurance premiums

That’s because young drivers, due to their inexperience, are viewed as a higher risk to insure than adults. In most cases, it’s cheaper to add a teen to a parent’s policy than to buy a separate auto insurance policy. Even so, the average cost of adding a 16-year-old to your car insurance policy is a whopping $3,442 per year. 

But the cost of adding your teen to your policy varies widely among insurers, so it’s important to compare insurance quotes from different insurance companies. That could take hours if you research quotes from individual insurance providers

But with Insurify, you only have to enter your information once, and you’ll be able to see car insurance options from multiple insurers in one place. This will help ensure you get the cheapest possible auto insurance rate when you add a teenager to your policy. 

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How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy? 

Wondering how much adding your teen to your policy is really going to cost you? 

To give you an idea, here are some car insurance quotes for a married couple in Texas before adding their teen to their policy:

Company NameQuote/mo
Clearcover$84/mo
Apparent$84/mo
Elephant$85/mo
SafeAuto$90/mo
Mercury$92/mo
Liberty Mutual$98/mo
Aspen$107/mo
Bristol West$108/mo
Kemper$110/mo
Jupiter$126/mo
Infinity$128/mo
Travelers$138/mo
Commonwealth Casualty$142/mo
GAINSCO$147/mo
Quantum$152/mo
Pronto$171/mo
The General$172/mo

And here are car insurance quotes for the same couple after they added their 16-year-old son to their policy:

Company NameQuote/mo
Apparent$103/mo
Elephant$109/mo
Clearcover$138/mo
Bristol West$215/mo
SafeAuto$221/mo
Mercury$248/mo
Liberty Mutual$263/mo
Aspen$266/mo
Commonwealth Casualty$309/mo
Travelers$314/mo
The General$354/mo
Kemper$361/mo
Quantum$398/mo
Infinity$404/mo
GAINSCO$549/mo
Pronto$630/mo

As you probably noticed, the cost of adding a teen to your car insurance policy can vary from one provider to another. Just because one company gave you and your spouse a good rate, doesn’t mean that same company will have a good rate for you when you add your teen driver to your policy. 

You never know which company will end up giving you the cheapest price. That’s why you should make sure to always compare quotes on a website like Insurify, which lets you compare up to 20 car insurance companies in one place. 

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Best Car Insurance Companies for High School Students 

Erie Insurance

With an A+ rating from A.M. Best, Erie provides insurance you can count on for your high school driver. Erie offers insurance to families in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. You can expect the following discounts:

  • Youthful Driver Discount: Eligible licensed drivers under the age of 20 can save up to 20 percent.
  • Driver Training Discount: Young drivers can receive a discount for taking a driving class.

State Farm

State Farm, the largest insurer in the U.S., provides great discounts on insurance coverage for student drivers. State Farm is also known for its superior customer service. Discounts vary by state, but the following options are available:

  • Good Student Discount: Save up to 25 percent through age 25 for full-time students who get good grades.
  • Driver Training Discount: Get a discount when all drivers under 21 for an insured vehicle complete an approved driver education course.
  • Student Away at School Discount: If your teen goes to college and only uses the family car during school breaks, you could qualify for a discount.
  • Safe Driver Discounts: The Steer Clear program helps drivers under the age of 25 learn safe driving habits, and completion of the program results in a discount.

GEICO

Families can save on car insurance costs for teen drivers who are added to an existing auto policy with GEICO. Full-time students may be eligible for the following perks:

  • Good Student Discount: This is available to students who maintain a B average or better.
  • Good Driver Discount: Available to young adults who drive for five years without getting into an accident.
  • Membership Discounts: Students who are members of certain organizations, including honor societies, may qualify for additional discounts.

Nationwide

Not only does Nationwide have discounts available for teen drivers, but their accident forgiveness extends to high school students on the policy, so rates won’t increase after the first accident on your teen’s driving record. High school students may also qualify for the following:

  • Good Student Discount: Available to student drivers who maintain a B average.
  • Defensive Driving Discount: This is available to drivers who complete a state-approved safety course.
  • Safe Driver Discount: For young adults who have been accident-free for five years.
  • SmartRide: This usage-based insurance product gives teens feedback on their driving habits and can help you save.

American Family

American Family Insurance has some unique discount opportunities for high school students that will help lower your car insurance rates. Check with your insurance agent to see if you qualify for the following discounts in your state:

  • Good Student Discount: Available to full-time high school and college students who maintain a B average and are on the “Honor Roll” or have a similar academic distinction.
  • Teen Safe Driver Discount: Save up to 10 percent when your teen uses the app for a year or drives 3,000 miles with the Teen Safe Driver program.
  • Away at School Discount: Families of students who are away at school will save on auto insurance.
  • Young Volunteer Discount: Teens who volunteer at a non-profit for at least 40 hours each year can save on their insurance policy.

Car Insurance Discounts for High School Students

Different auto insurance companies provide different incentives and discounts, so it’s important to compare personalized rates to see what’s available to you. You might qualify for several discounts at once and be able to snag an affordable premium, even with a teen driver on your policy. Some discounts that might be available to you include:

  • Good Student Discount: Getting good grades could save you $361 on average
  • Defensive Driver Discount: Taking a state-approved driver education course can save you anywhere from 10 to 15 percent
  • Student Away Discount: Save an average of $404 per year if your teen attends college away from home
  • Good Driver Discount: The longer your driving record remains clean, the more discounts for which you’ll likely qualify
  • Multi-Policy Discount: If you bundle your auto policy with another insurance policy, such as renters insurance, you can save on your premiums
  • Choose a Safe Vehicle: A lower-cost car with good safety features will be cheaper to insure
  • Low-Mileage Discount: Some policies offer discounts if you drive infrequently. This sometimes requires the use of a telematics device. 
  • Choose a Higher Deductible: Raising your deductible will lower your monthly premiums, but make sure you have extra cash in an emergency fund in case a teen driver gets into an accident
  • Wait to Get a License: It’s about half as expensive to insure a 20-year-old driver as it is to insure a 16-year-old driver. In many cases, insurance companies require coverage for every licensed driver in the home. So while waiting to get a license may not appeal to most teens, it could reduce insurance costs significantly.

Pro Tip: Avoid Getting Points on Your Driving Record

Make sure you follow your state’s specific rules for newly licensed drivers or drivers below 18, such as only driving with immediate family members for the first six months of your license. You don’t want points on your driving record that will lead to even higher premiums.

If you just got your license and now plan to drive to your high school or part-time job, make sure to make an educated guess on your average mileage. If your daily commute becomes longer, consider contacting your agent to increase your coverage limits so you’ll never have to pay outright for unforeseen expenses. 

Make sure you shop around for car insurance when you change your coverage limits since you might find a better deal elsewhere!

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Get Rewarded for Safe Driving

It’s tough for parents to watch their teenage son or daughter get behind the wheel of a car. Many parents will be more concerned about their teen’s safety than about insurance costs. Luckily, some insurance companies offer telematics devices that encourage healthy driving habits while lowering costs. 

Once a telematics device is installed in a vehicle, the insurance company can monitor mileage, speed, and various driving habits. Some companies, such as Root and Noblr, base their rates almost entirely on how you drive, as measured by telematics devices. 

For teens and families who want to save money and parents who want to teach good driving habits when they’re not around, telematics apps really go the extra mile, and they may be your ticket to cheap car insurance

With so many auto insurance options to choose from, you have to do your homework if you want to get the best possible rate. Thankfully, Insurify lets you view premiums and discounts across multiple insurers based on your personal information and driving history. You can compare up to 20 car insurance quotes at once free of charge! It’s your one-stop shop to find the cheapest car insurance for high school students

Updated June 30, 2020

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.