Insuring a young driver is invariably more expensive than insuring a driver who’s had decades to master their skills and the rules of the road. But for all the parents bracing themselves for sticker shock when their teenager passes their road test and becomes a licensed driver, here’s some good news: The hit to your wallet is shrinking.
According to a recent survey, the average premium increased 79% after adding a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 to an auto insurance policy in 2015. Sure, that’s a lot, but it’s down five percentage points from 2013, when families in the same situation saw their premiums jump 84%.
And because boys will be boys, it’s more expensive to insure a young man than a young woman; the survey found that the national average for adding a teenaged boy was 91%, versus 67% for a teen girl.
There’s also considerable variation in rate increases among the different states. New York has the lowest average — and even that is a not-insignificant 52% increase. By contrast, the state with the biggest increase is also in the Northeast: New Hampshire premiums spike by an average of 125% after a teen driver is added to a policy. The next-highest average increase is 119% in Rhode Island, followed by Arizona at 109%.
The increases are leveling off for a few reasons: Fewer teens get drivers’ licenses as soon as they can these days, more are in formal driver’s ed programs that educate them about the risks of the road, and fatality rates of teens in car crashes have dropped steadily over the last generation.