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Car insurance for a 17-year-old

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How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?

The average car insurance rate for a 17-year-old who has his or her own policy is $4,651 per year, on average. Your particular rate will depend on where you live, the type of car you drive, how much coverage you get, among other factors. To give you an idea of what to expect to pay for coverage, we provide average annual rates by state in the charts below.

The rates for a separate teen policy are based on having the following coverage limits for a year on a 2015 Honda Accord, along with any other state required coverages, and a deductible of $500:

  • $100,000 for injury liability for one person
  • $300,000 for all injuries in one accident
  • $100,000 for property damage

Car insurance for a 17-year-old girl

StateAverage rate
Alabama $4,330
Alaska $3,464
Arizona $4,066
Arkansas $4,642
California $5,172
Colorado $4,463
Connecticut $6,429
Delaware $7,280
District of Columbia $5,791
Florida $5,317
Georgia $4,036
Hawaii $1,239
Idaho $2,990
Illinois $3,208
Indiana $4,029
Iowa $2,936
Kansas $3,434
Kentucky $5,014
Louisiana $6,878
Maine $3,064
Maryland $3,886
Massachusetts $4,705
Michigan $8,908
Minnesota $3,779
Mississippi $4,371
Missouri $3,337
Montana $4,581
Nebraska $3,088
Nevada $4,343
New Hampshire $3,280
New Jersey $5,954
New Mexico $3,994
New York $3,681
North Carolina $2,148
North Dakota $3,450
Ohio $3,544
Oklahoma $5,760
Oregon $5,186
Pennsylvania $4,163
Rhode Island $4,783
South Carolina $4,097
South Dakota $3,557
Tennessee $4,697
Texas $4,611
Utah $3,733
Vermont $3,018
Virginia $3,275
Washington $3,735
West Virginia $3,803
Wisconsin $4,641
Wyoming $3,158

Car insurance for a 17-year-old boy

StateAverage rate
Alabama $5,503
Alaska $4,155
Arizona $4,875
Arkansas $5,313
California $6,483
Colorado $5,174
Connecticut $8,276
Delaware $9,758
District of Columbia $7,812
Florida $6,286
Georgia $5,165
Hawaii $1,239
Idaho $3,763
Illinois $4,008
Indiana $5,103
Iowa $3,640
Kansas $4,160
Kentucky $5,868
Louisiana $8,193
Maine $3,948
Maryland $4,782
Massachusetts $4,705
Michigan $8,985
Minnesota $4,693
Mississippi $4,972
Missouri $4,058
Montana $4,581
Nebraska $3,788
Nevada $5,115
New Hampshire $4,300
New Jersey $6,716
New Mexico $4,709
New York $4,801
North Carolina $2,148
North Dakota $4,559
Ohio $4,166
Oklahoma $6,820
Oregon $5,823
Pennsylvania $4,112
Rhode Island $5,847
South Carolina $4,818
South Dakota $4,417
Tennessee $5,727
Texas $5,551
Utah $4,445
Vermont $3,809
Virginia $3,997
Washington $4,316
West Virginia $4,689
Wisconsin $5,756
Wyoming $4,029

Cheap car insurance for a 17-year-old

Each state has minimum car insurance requirements that you must have to drive legally. This level of coverage is typically the cheapest, but it also provides limited protection. In most states, buying just the required coverage means your insurance will pay for others’ injuries and car damage, but not for your own injuries or car repairs. You’ll see in the charts below how much minimum coverage costs, on average, per year in each state, for a teen buying his or her own policy.

Cheap car insurance for a 17-year-old girl

StateAverage minimum rate
Alabama $1,503
Alaska $1,112
Arizona $1,644
Arkansas $1,668
California $1,435
Colorado $1,942
Connecticut $3,068
Delaware $3,397
District of Columbia $2,684
Florida $2,266
Georgia $1,637
Hawaii $434
Idaho $1,125
Illinois $1,386
Indiana $1,708
Iowa $1,033
Kansas $1,255
Kentucky $1,859
Louisiana $2,390
Maine $1,230
Maryland $1,931
Massachusetts $2,060
Michigan $6,833
Minnesota $2,160
Mississippi $1,660
Missouri $1,232
Montana $1,304
Nebraska $1,213
Nevada $1,629
New Hampshire $1,373
New Jersey $2,725
New Mexico $1,607
New York $1,694
North Carolina $822
North Dakota $1,124
Ohio $1,601
Oklahoma $1,983
Oregon $3,076
Pennsylvania $1,539
Rhode Island $2,321
South Carolina $1,665
South Dakota $1,058
Tennessee $1,804
Texas $1,731
Utah $1,728
Vermont $1,011
Virginia $1,271
Washington $1,651
West Virginia $1,413
Wisconsin $1,582
Wyoming $899

Cheap car insurance for a 17-year-old boy

StateAverage minimum rate
Alabama $1,859
Alaska $1,241
Arizona $1,942
Arkansas $1,915
California $1,782
Colorado $2,251
Connecticut $4,0126
Delaware $4,447
District of Columbia $3,265
Florida $2,592
Georgia $2,033
Hawaii $434
Idaho $1,377
Illinois $1,702
Indiana $2,107
Iowa $1,255
Kansas $1,443
Kentucky $2,155
Louisiana $2,819
Maine $1,498
Maryland $2,326
Massachusetts $2,060
Michigan $6,862
Minnesota $2,377
Mississippi $1,777
Missouri $1,473
Montana $1,299
Nebraska $1,452
Nevada $1,929
New Hampshire $1,738
New Jersey $2,866
New Mexico $1,879
New York $2,181
North Carolina $822
North Dakota $1,309
Ohio $1,901
Oklahoma $2,351
Oregon $3,365
Pennsylvania $1,508
Rhode Island $2,780
South Carolina $1,892
South Dakota $1,306
Tennessee $2,173
Texas $2,029
Utah $2,043
Vermont $1,218
Virginia $1,509
Washington $1,945
West Virginia $1,712
Wisconsin $1,929
Wyoming $1,139

*CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2015 Honda Accord LX for 10 ZIP codes in each state using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where one of the insurers doesn't return a rate, another major carrier in that state is substituted.)

Can a 17-year-old own and insure a car?

Yes. Most states allow a 17-year-old to own and insure a car, but there's an important qualifier: a parent or legal guardian must co-sign for both the vehicle's title and the insurance policy.

"Even if you're under the age of 18, in most states, you can buy and insure a car," says Penny Gusner, the consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com, who is available to answer your car insurance questions. "However, in general, minors cannot enter into a contract, so they cannot sign for auto insurance by themselves. Depending on state laws, a teen may not be able to buy a car either, since that is a sales contract, without an adult signing on as well."

Adding a teen to parents' policy is usually more affordable

Parents frequently take the easier -- and less costly -- approach of putting a teen on their existing policy. It's usually cheaper because the cost of a policy takes into account the experience and driving record of the policy holder. A 17-year-old won't have a proven track record on the highway, which could mean higher rates when an insurer crunches the numbers. Beyond that, Gusner says a 17-year-old won't get the same coverage cuts the parent may pull in, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy (where car and home policies are bundled) and loyalty discounts. But even with those discounts, adding a 17-year-old driver to a policy still means a big hike in rates.

Another benefit of sharing a policy is that the teen is covered if he borrows your car on occasion, and the parents are covered if they drive the teen’s car.

Despite the high cost to insure a teen, comparing car insurance quotes will save you money. Each insurer uses its own method for calculating what you pay, so prices for the same policy can vary significantly.

When it makes sense for a teen to have a separate policy

Gusner says that teens who have been in accidents or who have moving violations may be better off on their own, as sharing a policy with their parents would raise rates on the family coverage. If you’re 17 and have a poor driving record, consider buying an older car  -- they're cheaper to insure -- and buying a separate policy with only high liability protection. "And don't forget to shop around," Gusner says. "The teen's policy premium could be lower from one insurer to another." You can take a little financial solace in knowing that the high cost of insuring a young driver fades over time. Average car insurance rates by age show that premiums begin to significantly decrease when drivers turn 26.

Do you need insurance to drive with a learner's permit?

A teen just learning how to drive does need insurance, but not under his or her own policy. Gusner says that the policy of the vehicle's owner (which is usually the parent or guardian who accompanies the novice driver) should be adequate. But don't hesitate to add the teen to the family policy once he is licensed; do it immediately to avoid problems. "Most insurers will wait until the teen is licensed to make you add him, but do check beforehand because some will make you add the child at that point (when he has a permit) and start paying for him as a driver," she says.

Do you need insurance to get a license?

Most states require that you have at least minimum liability insurance to drive. This also applies to a 17-year-old, who must show that the vehicle he'll be driving is currently covered by its owner's policy.

What's the best insurance for teenage drivers?

Liability protection -- which pays for damages a teen may cause to people or property in an accident -- is the first step when you insure a 17-year-old. And Gusner says it may be a mistake to think state-mandated minimum coverage is enough. Medical bills and costs tied to property damage can start high and quickly go higher, depending on the injuries to those involved. You don't want to be liable for out-of-pocket payments so make sure your basic liability coverage protects your assets. Besides raising your liability amount, Gusner suggests purchasing an umbrella policy, which raises liability protection after those basic limits are reached. An umbrella with $1 million or more of protection may be reasonable.

 If the vehicle is being financed, then comprehensive insurance and collision coverage are required.  If you own your car outright, you can opt out if you want, but that means you’re not covered for theft, damage to your car from an accident or from hail, fire, floods and vandalism.

The cost for comprehensive and collision insurance, on average, per year is $436, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average yearly rate for comprehensive is $139, and collision costs $297.

If you opt for comprehensive and collision, consider higher deductibles to lower your rate. Of course, you'd then have to pay for minor repairs following an accident.

Car insurance discounts for 17-year-olds

More expensive policies come with teenager drivers -- but there are ways to reduce the bill. Car insurance discounts for teens vary from state to state, but here are some of the more common ones:

  • Driver's Ed: You may be able to get a 5 percent discount if your teenager completes a driver education course. Taking the class may be required, under state law, as a step toward getting a license.
  • Good student: A discount up to 15 percent may be available for drivers who maintain a 3.0 or "B" average in the classroom.
  • A driving contract between parents and teen: A discount up to 5 percent may be given to teens who sign a contract with their parents specifying driving rules, such as limiting hours on the road and the numbers of passengers.

What are the best cars for a 17-year-old?

Safety, of course, is the top priority. Besides protecting your teen, your insurance company may show its appreciation for buying a safer car by trimming your rate. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) offers some basics when looking for a vehicle:

  • Big horsepower is not a good idea. "Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt (young drivers) to test the limits," says the IIHS.
  • Try to get Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The IIHS says this feature, which helps maintain control on curves and slippery roads, is about as good at reducing risks as safety belts.
  • Always consider cars with top safety reviews from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CarInsurance.com is another valuable resource. It provides guidance, including a rundown of the top cars for teens under $15,000 with high safety ratings.

Hazardous highways for 17-year-olds

When a 17-year-old gets behind the wheel, accidents often happen. Here are a few facts underscoring the importance of safety and preparation:

  • 17-year-olds have the second highest crash rate of drivers of any age; only 16-year-olds have a higher rate, according to a study by the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
  • Various reports show that the summer is the worst time for a 17-year-old driver, with more fatalities in June and July than any other month
  • The risk of a 17-year-old driver dying in a crash increases with each additional teenage passenger in the vehicle. The risk jumps 44 percent with one passenger, doubles with two and quadruples with three or more, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

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