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When it comes to teen drivers and car insurance, things get confusing - and expensive - very quickly. A parent adding a male teen to their policy can expect their new rate to run as high as $6,186, and in some cases 227% higher than insuring an adult driver alone, and a teen buying their own policy can be even more expensive. Let us guide you through this decision - discounts, options, special circumstances - so you find the best teen car insurance.

Even though the right answer is usually to add them onto your policy to mitigate some of the cost, there are other options and discounts that can save you money. We did as much of the legwork as possible for you, hunting down discounts and reading the fine print. In the end, you'll need to compare auto insurance quotes using our quote comparison tool to see which company is best for you.

To start at the beginning, simply scroll down. You can also jump directly to your unique situation:

  • Adding a teenager to your car insurance policy
  • Teen buying their own policy
  • How much is car insurance for teens
  • Discounts for teen drivers

Other sections:

  • Car insurance for college students
  • Learner's permit insurance
  • Opt for no coverage savings option

Cheat sheet for Adding a teen and Teen policy

Getting Started: An Easy Primer

  1. Know your timing. Chances are excellent your existing car insurance company will contact you proactively. How do they know? Easy - they probably asked you for the names and birthdays of all the children in your home when you first signed up for your policy. So, if your teenager is 16 or 17 now, they know all about it. If you don't get the call, it makes sense to alert your carrier once your teen gets a learner's permit to talk through your options and to give yourself time to compare car insurance companies. In general, permitted drivers are automatically covered as a part of the parent or guardian's policy with no action needed on your part, but when they do have a true driver's license, even provisional, they will need to be on your policy or get their own.
  2. Get ready to compare quotes. Our research shows that insurance companies all across the U.S. (except Hawaii) use age and experience as a rating factor. It's a fascinating point of difference. In our studies, adding a teen raises your costs anywhere from 100% to more than 200%. However, the rates insurance companies will charge you for adding a teen varies widely, as show in the California Adding A Teen To Your Policy table below. Also,
  3. Understand available discounts. When you add a teenager to your car insurance policy or they get their own, car insurance companies don't actively communicate what discounts are available to you. Use our discount guide below so you're not in the dark.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have a Graduated Driver's License (GDL) system, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). GDL programs save lives. A study by the IIHS found states with stronger graduated licensing programs had a 30% lower fatal crash rate for 15- to 17-year olds.

Adding a teenager to your car insurance policy

Adding a teen to your policy is the cheapest way to get your teen insured. It still comes with quite a hefty cost, but you can certainly save if you choose the best car insurance companies for teens. We can help.

How much will adding a teen to my car insurance cost me?

Let's get down to numbers. Every situation is different, but to get a solid snapshot we compared rates in 10 zip codes in each state. The family profile we used owned a 2014 Honda Accord driven by a 40-year old man buying full coverage. Then we added a 16-year old teen to the policy. Here's what happened:

  • The average household's car insurance bill rose 152%.
  • A teenage boy was more expensive. The average bill rose 176%, compared with 129% for teenage girls.
  • California rates rose the most, more than 200%.

The reason behind the hikes: Teens crash at a much higher rate than older drivers - the risk is four times as much. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the worst age for accidents is 16. They have a crash rate twice as high as drivers that are 18- and 19- years old.

Costs also vary widely by insurance company, which is the reason we suggest shopping for car insurance. It's easy to switch car insurance companies, and we'll provide you the guidance to switch, cancel, and save.

California Adding A Teen To Your Policy Rates by Company

The table shows how much your annual rates will increase when you add a 16-year-old teen.

Company Female Male Average Get a free quote online
Geico $1,632 $1,758 $1,695 Get an online quote from Geico
State Farm $1,394 $2,462 $1,928 Get an online quote from State Farm
Nationwide $2,486 $3,228 $2,857 Get an online quote from Nationwide
Progressive $2,733 $4,223 $3,478 Get an online quote from Progressive
Allstate $3,004 $4,112 $3,558 Get an online quote from Allstate
Farmers $5,024 $9,248 $7,136 Get an online quote from Farmers
Average $2,712 $4,172 $3,442


If you've seen enough and are ready to start comparing quotes for teens, dive into our quote comparison tool and see free online quotes from multiple companies within 10 minutes. Start Now

How to add a teen to your policy

If your choosing a new car insurance company after shopping, you should have already added the teen to the policy when first signing up. If you want to add a teen to your current or new policy, follow these steps:

Car and house insurance ottawa

  1. Call your car insurance company, if they have not already contacted you.
  2. Talk through the changes to your policy in detail, minimum and maximum coverage and insist on hearing the ins and outs of each and every discount. These can add up to considerable savings. If you are also adding an additional car, be sure to ask about a multi-car discount.
  3. Have ready your teen's driver's license information and information about any new vehicles.
  4. Take the time you need to decide. Just make sure your teen isn't driving on a full license without being formally added to your policy or their own. That would be risky.

If my teen gets a ticket, will it raise my rates?

Yes. Once together on the same policy, all driving records - including your teen's - affect premiums, for better or worse. You share in the discounts, and you shall also share in the risk. To understand how a moving violation will affect your rates, we ran a study and found that the additional cost could run from 5% to as high as 20%.

Teen buying their own policy

Can a teen buy their own insurance? Yes. Companies will sell directly to teens, but state laws vary when it comes to a teen's ability to sign for insurance - meaning a parent may have to co-sign - and it's rarely cheaper. In fact, your teen will likely have a higher premium compared to adding a teen to a parent or guardian policy.

But, there are cases where it might make sense for a teen to have their own policy. Progressive cites two:

  • You have a luxury sports car. On a single plan, all drivers, including the teen, are insured against all cars.
  • The teen is eager to be financially independent.

Car insurance is different for a first-time car insurance buyer, but it's a great time to start a relationship with an insurance provider.

How much is car insurance for teens?

Like we've said, teen car insurance is expensive. The younger the driver, the more expensive the car insurance. Young drivers are far more likely to get into car accidents than older drivers. The risk is highest with 16-year-olds, who have a crash rate twice as high as 18- and 19-year-olds. That risk is reflected in the average car insurance rates for teenagers (multiple ages shown for easy comparison):

  • 16-year-old - $3,989
  • 17-year-old - $3,522
  • 18-year-old - $3,148
  • 19-year-old - $2,178
  • 20-year-old - $1,945

Rates not only depend on age, but the company you choose. This table shows the annual rate a teen will receive in California.

Company Female Male Average
Company 1 $2,646 $2,961 $2,804
Company 2 $2,607 $3,472 $3,040
Company 3 $5,613 $8,966 $7,290
Company 4 $2,640 $3,080 $2,860
Company 5 $2,642 $3,454 $3,048
Company 6 $2,030 $2,064 $2,047
Average $3,030 $3,999 $3,515

Note: the specific company names were not mentioned next to the rates but the companies we're showing rates for are, in no particular order: GEICO, Farmers, State Farm, Progressive, Mercury, and AAA.

You'll notice that companies offer widely different rates. Use our quote comparison tool to receive side-by-side quotes from top insurance carriers in only 10 minutes. Get Started

Discounts for teen drivers

We've identified the best discounts for teen drivers to get affordable car insurance, nine to be exact. Most car insurance companies won't reach out to you with discounts, so you must be proactive. Ask and ask again, insisting on as many discounts as you possibly qualify. Discounts can only be stacked up to a certain point though.

  1. Good student discount. A popular discount is tied to doing well in school. This usually translates as a "B" average (3.0 grade point average) or higher. Age limits do exist; typically, the student must be under the age of 25. How much will you save? A recent study by Consumer Reports good student discount averages $263 a year. Liberty Mutual says its Good Student Discount could mean anywhere from 15% to 35% off. Data collected for Insurance.com by Quadrant Information Services shows that the nationwide good student discount is around 12%.
  2. Defensive driving discount. You can take extra driver education or a defensive driving course. This means go above and beyond the minimum state-mandated drivers' education and training. In some states, discounts can run from 10% to 15% for taking a state-approved driver improvement class. Online classes are a convenient option, but check with your carrier first to make sure it will lead to a discount.
  3. Student "away" discount. Most car insurance companies offer a student "away" discount for students who are away at college or living away from home during high school. You could receive a discount around 5% to 10% of the student's premium, but some insurers advertise up the 30% off.
  4. Raise your deductible. A common way to lower car insurance premiums is to raise your deductible, but weigh against the fact that young drivers are more likely to get into accidents. When you get into an at-fault accident, you have to pay the deductible amount. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 will reduce your annual premium by by approximately $400. You can also drop comprehensive and collision coverage if the car is not finance. Use our auto insurance coverage calculator to find out what coverage people "like you" have.
  5. Skip the red Mustang. Car insurance rates vary widely by type of car. A car with a high safety rating will be cheaper to insure. Use Insure.com's list of 2015 car models to find the cheapest cars to insure. This mostly has to do with the cost of the car, how easy it is to repair, and claim records. Jeeps are the least expensive to insure.
  6. Good driver discount. Keep a clean record and you can receive a discount. This means don't get into any accidents or violations.
  7. Look for unrelated discounts. Review discounts unrelated to teen like a multiple vehicle discount and a home and auto bundle discount for additional savings.
  8. Low mileage discounts. Pay-as-you-drive pay-per-mile insurance can offer a significant discount. Several car insurance companies offer discounts for if you allow a telematics device to be placed in your vehicle so they can monitor your driving habits. This is considered "pay-as-you-drive." This can give up to a 45% discount. With pay-per-mile, you'll pay for the distance you drive, rather than driving patterns. Both discounts are great for teens or families that don't drive very often.
  9. Delay getting a license. This is not really a discount and probably not the a popular option for an eager teen driver, but it's worth considering. An older teen driver is slightly cheaper to insure, approximately 20% cheaper from the age of 18 to 19.
"If a driver qualifies for several discounts, the first discount applies to your original premium and then your second discount to your revised premium and so on," says Joel Camarano, executive director for auto underwriting at USAA in San Antonio, Texas.

Car insurance for college students

College students can follow the same guidance as given to the rest of teens. There is potential to save though. If the student plans to leave their car at home and the college is more than 100 miles away, they could qualify for a "resident student" discount or a student "away" discount, as mentioned above. These discounts can reach as high as 30%. Also, do well in school because that could lead to a good student discount. Both discounts will require you to contact your insurance provider so they can begin to apply the discounts. While your on the phone with them, don't hesitate to ask about other discounts you may qualify for.

And remember, it's easy to shop for car insurance using our quote comparison tool that allows you to see side-by-side quotes. It's a free online tool and only takes about 10 minutes to see rates. Check it out

Learner's permit insurance

You can get insurance with a permit, but most car insurance companies include the permitted teen on the parents' policy without any action. However, the teen should be added to the parents' policy or get their own policy when they receive their driver's license. When that time comes, be sure to visit the rest of this article for guidance on options and discounts. Also, it may be wise to contact your insurance provider for all options available to you. But, as we have made abundantly clear in this article, it's probably in your best interest to shop using our quote comparison tool so you can see side-by-side quotes.

Opt for no coverage savings option

It's possible to tell your insurance company not to cover your teen, but it's not a given. This is called a named exclusion. Through an endorsement to your policy, you and your insurance company mutually agree that the driver is not covered, which means neither is any accident the driver causes. Not all companies allow this, and not all state do either.

Adding a teen driver cheat sheet

  1. Talk to your carrier as soon as your teen gets their license.
  2. Compare multiple car insurance quotes using Insurance.com.
  3. Consider all coverage options. Think about raising your deductible.
  4. Seek out and stack as many discounts as possible.
  5. Talk to your teen early and often about safety.
  6. Insist they drive a safe car.

Methodology: This table shows the average annual additional premium charged for 10 ZIP codes in each state from the following carriers: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for Insurance.com by Quadrant Information Services. The premium profile used a base auto insurance price for an owned 2014 Honda Accord, driven by a 40 year-old man with full coverage (100/300/50 liability, plus comprehensive and collision insurance, and a $500 deductible). The additional premium cost was determined by adding a 16-year-old male driver to the base policy. This exercise was repeated for a 16-year-old female.


Share2 Tweet Pin +1Shares 2Here's what you need to know...
  • If your car is totaled, you would sign the title over to insurance
  • You can determine the market value of your vehicle by using Kelly Blue Book
  • As the seller, you are responsible for any taxes
The title to your car is very important as the holder of the title is generally recognized by the law to be the owner of the car.

There are several reasons you may sign your title over to someone else, but the only circumstance you have to sign over your car title to your car insurance company is in the event your car is declared a total loss.

Compare car insurance rates with just your ZIP code typed into the above tool now!

There are many title scams abound, so it is very important to understand exactly what a title is, why it would get signed over to someone else, and how it gets properly signed over.

Understanding a Car Title and its Relationship to your Car Insurance Company

Cheap insurance car quotesWhen you buy a car, you may or may not receive the title for the car. It all depends on if you purchase a car outright or arrange for financing options. If you lease a car you will never receive the title since a leased car is not purchased, but merely rented for an extended time.

When you finance the purchase of a car your lender will hold the title of the car, showing itself as the lien holder on it. This simply means that they have a lien on your car until the debt is paid in full.

Once you pay your debt in full, your title will be released to you and they will be removed as the lien holder so that your car title is clear.

If you pay for your car in full then the title will become yours free and clear provided the car has no other liens on it.

This is very important if you are purchasing a used car since there could be liens on a pre-owned vehicle. Be sure all liens are removed from the title before you buy a car.

When to Sign a Car Title Over to a Car Insurance Company

Unless your car insurance company is also financing your car loan (which is highly unlikely) you will not sign over your car title to them. The only time you will sign your car title over to anyone is when you sell it or give it away.

If your car is totaled for any reason that is covered by your insurance policy, then you will receive fair market value for your car from your car insurance company.

At that time you will sign over your title to the car insurance company because they have paid you for your car in full and they will now take possession of the title.

If you feel that your car insurance company is not paying you enough money for your totaled car, then you may need to hold off signing over the title until you do some investigation.

Typically, a car insurance policy is only written to pay out benefits equivalent to the fair market value of your car.

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The fair market value of your car will take into consideration:

  • the make and model of your car
  • the age of it
  • the mileage on it
  • the condition of it
  • any extras that were installed either at the factory level or aftermarket

Whatever the fair market value is deemed to be just prior to your accident is the amount for which the car insurance company will reimburse you.

Sometimes you can negotiate with your car insurance company if you can prove your car was more valuable than they estimated.

Typically you can only do this if you can show documentation that there is an error in the paperwork, such as incorrect mileage or vehicle condition, or if the fair market value from Kelly Blue Book is higher than what the insurance company offered as a settlement.

Most legal systems will rely on the Kelly Blue Book price, so if you went to court that would probably be the dollar amount used for settlement.

If the fair market value for your car is appraised by the insurance company at $2,000 but Kelly Blue Book states your car is valued at $2,500 then you may be able to settle with your insurance company for the $2,500.

No matter how much the dollar amount is, once you agree and receive the settlement from the insurance company you will need to sign over the car title to them since at this point they have technically bought your car from you.

How to Sign Over a Title to a Car Insurance Company

Canstar blue car insuranceEvery car title differs slightly from state to state, but the main components are the same. A car title will show you who owns the car, who the lien holder is (if any), and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

The title also has a place to record the buyer and seller of the car along with pertinent details including:

  • the odometer reading
  • the date of the sale
  • the transaction cost

In order to sign over the title to your car insurance company, you first need to have the title in hand. If your car is still being financed then your lender will have the title and will need to be involved in the transaction as well.

The cost of the sale in the case of a totaled car is the amount you received in settlement for your fair market value.

As the seller of the car, you will not be responsible for paying any taxes on this transaction.

Once the title is signed by both the seller (you) and the buyer (the car insurance company) the transaction is complete and the title gets handed over to the car insurance company.

Avoid scams by always keeping your title in a safe place and never giving your title to anyone unless you are actually selling the car to that someone, and only after you have received the payment in full.

Be sure to keep your insurance for your car until the sale is complete and if you are buying another car you should buy car insurance for it prior to taking possession.

Enter your ZIP code at the prompt below to receive FREE no-obligation car insurance quotes now!References:

  1. http://www.autotrader.com/car-news/crash-course-for-coping-with-a-totaled-car-168401
  2. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-property-lien.html
  3. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a8711/how-they-decide-your-cars-residual-value/
  4. http://www.edmunds.com/
  5. http://www.kbb.com/
  6. http://www.edmunds.com/how-to/how-to-quickly-decode-your-vin.html


Georgia Car Insurance

Georgia is a rare state that requires you to have car insurance, but does not require that you show your insurance card as your proof of insurance.

Learn more about Georgia's auto insurance requirements, options for additional coverage, programs, rates, and discounts.

Policy Requirements

In Georgia, you are required to have liability insurance to help pay for injuries or damages you might cause to someone else as a result of a car accident. You'll need to have proof of this insurance in order to register your car in GA.

Your Georgia car insurance policy must have the following minimum coverage amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability:
    • $25,000 per person.
    • $50,000 for multiple people in an accident.
  • Property damage liability:
    • $25,000 for one incident.

Optional Car Insurance

Most companies that offer insurance in Georgia also offer additional coverage. When comparing car insurance quotes, ask about the following optional types of insurance:

  • Collision – This coverage will pay for damages to your car due to traffic accidents.
  • Comprehensive – This coverage will pay for non collision-related damages to your vehicle, such as damages incurred due to vandalism.
  • Medical and funeral services.
  • Uninsured drivers.
  • Rental car.

NOTE: While Georgia law does not require you to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance, your finance company or bank will require you to have these coverage types if you are paying a loan or lease on your car.

Georgia Proof of Insurance

In Georgia, a car insurance ID card cannot be accepted as your proof of insurance. Instead, all government agencies, including law enforcement officers performing a traffic stop, can check the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) to electronically verify that you have valid car insurance.

It is your car insurance carrier's responsibility to report your car insurance status to the GEICS database.

Make sure that you check your card to make sure all your information is correct. If the information is not correct on your card, it is probably incorrect with the GEICS. This can lead to problems verifying your insurance.

If you notice wrong information, contact your car insurance carrier to make sure any misinformation is fixed.

Also remember that your car insurance card still needs to be carried in case of an accident so you can exchange information with the other driver(s).

Driving Without Car Insurance

Through GEICS and the Georgia Registration and Title Information System (GRATIS), the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will be informed of any change in your car insurance status.

If your car insurance is canceled and you do not replace it, the DDS will send you a notice to comply with Georgia's car insurance laws, and the possible penalties you will face if you don't. Such penalties include fines and driver's license suspensions.

You will not be able to register your car or renew your car's registration in Georgia if GEICS shows that you do not currently hold an auto insurance policy.

Driver's License Suspensions

If your GA driver's license is suspended because you didn't have car insurance, you can get your license reinstated after your first offense by:

  • Waiting until your driver's license has been suspended for a minimum of 60 days.
  • Purchasing at least the minimum auto insurance coverage required in GA.
  • Paying a reinstatement fee of:
    • $200 by mail to:
      Department of Driver Services (DDS)
      Validation Unit
      P.O. Box 80447
      Conyers, GA 30013
    • $210 in person at your local DDS office.

To have your driver's license reinstated after your second offense of not holding the required insurance, you must:

  • Wait for your driver's license to be suspended for at least 90 days.
  • Purchase car insurance and have your car insurance carrier file a Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22A).
  • Pay a reinstatement fee of:
    • $300 by mail (use the address above).
    • $310 in person at your local DDS office.

As of September 2013, you cannot pay your driver's license reinstatement fees online if your driver's license was suspended because you didn't have car insurance.

Car Insurance Rates in Georgia

Car insurance rates vary by individual.

Georgia car insurance companies will factor in the following to determine your car insurance rates:

  • Your driving record.
  • Your car insurance claim history.
  • The make and model of your car.
  • Your age.
  • Your gender.
  • Your marital status.
  • Your credit history.

The simplest way to keep your car insurance rates low is by driving safely and obeying all traffic laws.

Car Insurance Discounts

While Georgia does not have any state-mandated car insurance discounts, most insurance companies offer the following discount types:

  • Good driver discount.
  • Good student discount.
  • Multiple-car discount.

You may also qualify for a discount on your car insurance premium if you complete a DDS-approved defensive driver course. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if they offer this discount and to get more details on eligibility.

Car Insurance Fraud in Georgia

Insurance fraud is very costly to insurance companies, and those costs trickle down to you, raising your policy rates.

Car insurance fraud could involve:

  • Faking an injury after getting into an accident.
  • Staging car accidents.
  • Giving false personal information to your insurance carrier.
  • Overcharging for treatment, if you're a medical professional.

If you know of or suspect insurance fraud, you can report it by calling the Consumer Services Division of Georgia's Office of Commissioner of Insurance at:

  • (404) 656-2070. OR
  • (800) 656-2298 (toll-free).

By reporting suspected fraud, you can actually save money by helping insurance companies maintain low-cost premiums.

Most Stolen Cars in Georgia

You are likely to pay higher car insurance rates if you own a car that is known to be a target for theft.

The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Georgia for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:

  1. Honda Accord.
  2. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  3. Ford Pickup (Fill Size).
  4. Dodge Caravan.
  5. Honda Civic.
  6. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
  7. Chevrolet Impala.
  8. Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
  9. Toyota Camry.
  10. Ford Explorer.


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