How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old?
You will pay an average of $2,842 a year for car insurance if you are 19 years of age. That rate is for a policy with liability car insurance limits of 100/300/100 as shown below. Your particular rate, however, will depend on where you live, your driving record, your credit history in states that allow it as a rating factor, the model car you drive and how much coverage you buy, 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 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 19-year-old woman
|District of Columbia||$3,334|
Car insurance for a 19-year-old man
|District of Columbia||$4,274|
Cheap car insurance for a 19-year-old
If you are looking to pay the least amount you can to drive legally, you should buy a policy that satisfies just your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. You will pay less for minimum liability limits, but you will also have less protection. If you go this route, 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 19-year-old woman
|State||Minimum average rate|
|District of Columbia||$1,394|
Cheap car insurance for a 19-year-old man
|State||Minimum average rate|
|District of Columbia||$1,721|
*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.)
Adding a 19-year-old driver to parents' policy is usually saves money
Most states consider a 19-year-old to be an adult, so drivers this age are able to buy their own car insurance. But mom and dad frequently take the easier -- and less costly -- approach of putting the teenager on their policy, especially if he or she lives at home. It's usually cheaper because premiums are set by insurance companies after they look at various factors, including the experience and driving record of the policy holder. Penny Gusner, the consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com, says that a 19-year-old probably won't snare the same coverage cuts the parent could qualify for, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy (where car and home policies are bundled) and loyalty discounts. These price breaks will help, but adding a 19-year-old will still mean a more expensive policy.
As a 19-year-old looking for car insurance, here are a few situations that could relate to you:
The 19-year-old lives with parents and has a clean driving record
It's a good idea to have your parents add you to their policy, Gusner says. "It's typically less expensive to stay on the parents’ policy for as long as possible," she says. You may even help lower your parents’ premiums by qualifying for a good driver's discount if you have been a licensed driver for at least three years who has a clean driving record.
The 19-year-old has a good record but doesn't live with parents
A separate policy may be smart if you own a car and live on your own, says Gusner. You should also have coverage you don’t own a car, but drive another car regularly, she says, for instance, perhaps your roommate's. Consider a non-owner car insurance policy, which will provide protection, meet minimum state insurance requirements and also provide continual coverage, resulting in lower premiums over time. "Or, if the 19-year-old has a roommate and uses that person's vehicle regularly, he could be added to the owner's car insurance policy," Gusner adds.
The 19-year-old lives with parents but has a poor driving record
In this case – you live at home but have had some accidents and tickets – whether or not you get your own policy usually depends on the number and severity of accidents and moving violations. Gusner says parents should do a car insurance comparison and shop around to determine how much it would cost to keep you on the family policy versus a separate policy in your name. "Normally, it's still cheaper for the 19-year-old to be on the parent's policy and take advantage of discounts the parents have that trickle down to the kid, such as multi-car, multi-policy and others," she says.” But again, it's all about the driving history.”
The 19-year-old has a poor record and doesn't live with parents
According to Gusner, parents should take a teen with a poor driving record off the family policy if he or she no longer lives at home. That means you’re on your own and you should get a policy in your name. "The parents’ rates should go down if (the teen) is taken off," she says. "Usually to take the teen off, parents must show that the teen driver has a new auto policy of his or her own and/or a driver's license with a different address on it."
What's the best insurance for teenage drivers?
Start with liability car insurance, which pays for others’ injuries and damage you cause to their property in an accident. And Gusner says it may be a mistake to think state-minimum coverage is enough. Medical costs can quickly escalate if there are major physical injuries. Bills can also skyrocket with property damages. Just imagine the costs if the accident involves a very expensive vehicle or other significant property. You'd have to pay out-of-pocket once those costs exceeded your liability limits.
Besides hiking 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 a reasonable option.
If the vehicle is being financed, then comprehensive and collision coverage are required. But you decide if you want these optional protections, which pay to fix your car if wrecked and for damage due to fire, hail, vandalism and animal strikes, if the car is already paid for. If you opt for comprehensive insurance and collision coverage, consider higher deductibles to lower your rate. Keep in mind that you'd then have to pay for minor repairs following an accident. The average yearly rate for comprehensive is $139, and collision costs $297, for an annual total of $436, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Car insurance discounts for 19-year-olds
Discounts can reduce the bill that comes with insuring a teen. They vary from state to state, but here are common car insurance discounts:
- Good Driver: A discount of 10 to 25 percent may be available if a 19-year-old keeps a clean record for at least three years.
- Good student: A discount up to 15 percent may be available for drivers who maintain a 3.0 or "B" average. Gusner says this applies to students in either high school or college.
- Driver's Ed: You may be able to get a 5 percent discount if you completed a driver education course.
What are the best cars for a 19-year-old?
"Sedans and small to mid-size SUVs tend to be cheaper to insure,” says Gusner. "Sports cars and expensive vehicles with lots of bells and whistles typically are more expensive as the insurer would need to pay out more if the car was damaged or totaled out."
And always think safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has some valuable advice:
- Try to get Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This feature, which helps a driver maintain control on curves and slippery roads, is about as good at reducing risks as safety belts, says the IIHS.
- Avoid very high horsepower. "Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt (young drivers) to test the limits," says the IIHS.
- Look for cars with the best safety reviews from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Another resource is CarInsurance.com, which provides guidance, including a rundown of the top teen-ready cars under $15,000 with high safety ratings.
Dangerous driving for 19-year-olds
A 19-year-old is in the highest-risk age group for drivers, 16 to 19. Here are a few cautionary facts underscoring the need for safety and good motoring habits:
- National accident statistics show that an average of six teens in the age group die every day in car crashes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Young men in the age group are more at risk than young women; on average, they are almost twice as likely to die in accidents, notes the CDC.
- Summer is the worst time for teens, including 19-year-olds, with more fatalities in June and July than any other month, according to various studies.
- Because of distractions, it gets more dangerous for teens when they have passengers. The risk of a driver dying in a crash rises to more than 40 percent with one passenger, doubles with two and quadruples with three or more, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.