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Best cheap car insurance for adding a teen driver in Chicago


Here we’ll explain how to get the best, cheap car insurance when adding a teen driver to your policy in Chicago. You’ll also learn how much coverage you should buy and how you can still save money when buying car insurance for a teen.

Who has the best cheap car insurance for teenage drivers in Chicago?

Geico has the cheapest car insurance for Chicago drivers adding a teen to their car insurance policy, among the carriers surveyed by CarInsurance.com.

You’ll see in the table below how car insurance companies compare for rates after a teen is included in coverage for Chicago policies. When broken down by company, rates range from $1,509 to $5,278, a difference of about $3,770 for female teen drivers.  For males, it's a difference of about $5,000. That’s how much you can potentially save, and why it’s important to compare auto insurance quotes after putting your teen on your policy.

Teen femaleCompanyAverage ratesRate after adding teen$ increase% increase
Adding age 16 female driverGeico Casualty$605$1,509$904149%
Adding age 16 female driverGeico General$995$2,756$1,761177%
Adding age 16 female driverState Farm$948$3,130$2,182230%
Adding age 16 female driverProgressive$1,492$3,539$2,047137%
Adding age 16 female driverIllinois Farmers$1,463$3,799$2,336160%
Adding age 16 female driverAllstate$2,281$5,278$2,997131%
Teen maleCompanyAverage rateRate after adding teen$ increase% increase
Adding age 16 male driverGeico Casualty$605$1,682$1,077178%
Adding age 16 male driverGeico General$995$3,421$2,426244%
Adding age 16 male driverIllinois Farmers$1,463$3,855$2,392163%
Adding age 16 male driverState Farm$948$4,012$3,064323%
Adding age 16 male driverProgressive$1,492$4,077$2,585173%
Adding age 16 male driverAllstate$2,281$6,762$4,481196%

Though rates increase after adding young drivers, you can still save on Chicago car insurance coverage by doing a car insurance comparison. No two insurers will have the same price for a policy because each company uses its own unique formula to determine what you pay.


The rates shown are for a policy of 100/300/50. CarInsurance.com Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner explains below why a policy with those coverage amounts, at the lowest price, is likely the best, cheap car insurance you can get in Chicago when listing your teen as a driver on your policy.

How much car insurance do you need when adding your teen driver?

You are required to carry a certain amount of state mandated auto insurance. Illinois car insurance laws require liability limits of 25/50/20. But these minimums are rarely enough for an experienced driver and are not sufficient for a teen driver.

While it may be tempting to lower coverage levels to put a little coin back in your pocket, this is not a great idea. Gusner recommends carrying full coverage for your teen as well as other drivers in your household.  Illinois came in at No. 21 for being the  safest state for teen drivers in CarInsurance.com’s annual ranking based on several teen driver safety metrics. Here are the coverages you should be carrying:

Liability: Liability insurance pays for damages your teen does to others. It comes in bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury coverage will pay medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to injuries your teen driver causes. Property damage liability will pay to repair property your teen damages while behind the wheel. While this is usually the other person’s car, it can also include landscaping, mailboxes and even garages.

Gusner recommends: 100/300/50 - This breaks down to $100,000 for each person injured in the accident; $300,000 total coverage for each accident and $50,000 for property damage. "Consider higher limits if you have lots of assets to protect," advises Gusner.

Comprehensive and Collision: These coverages protect your vehicle. If your teen is involved in an accident, collision coverage will pay to repair your vehicle. Comprehensive steps up when the damage is caused by something other than an accident such as hitting a deer, vandalism, fire, hail and flooding.

Gusner recommends: If your car is financed you will be required to carry these coverages. If the car is owned outright, these coverages are optional. If you would repair the car after an accident you should absolutely have these coverages on your policy. However, if the car would be replaced and not repaired after an accident you may want to skip this insurance.

Carrying these coverages will help ensure that your assets are protected if your teen is in an accident, but in a serious accident even these limits may be exceeded. It's important to understand that all of your assets are at risk if your child is in a serious at-fault accident. This can include savings accounts, investments, and even your home equity if you find yourself underinsured and your child is responsible for a major accident.

"A teen driver can dramatically increase your risk," warns Gusner. "It is a good idea to consider an umbrella policy to up your liability protection." Umbrella policies are sold in $1million increments and are very affordable, costing roughly $200 to $300 a year.

Teen car insurance: Average cost

Adding a teen driver to your insurance policy will always raise rates and in most cases, it's a pretty dramatic increase.

While it will vary depending on a number of factors, on average, adding a teen to a policy results in a 130 percent increase or roughly $2,000, according to CarInsurance.com’s data analysis.

In Illinois, the average rate hike for adding a teen is 194%. In Chicago it’s 157%, or $2,008 more a year, for adding a daughter age 16. Adding a son age 16 to your policy increases rates an average of  206% or $2,676 more a year for Chicago drivers.


Expert tips for adding a teenage driver to your policy

There are numerous questions that pop up when it comes to adding a teen to your car insurance policy. Gusner offers the following tips for adding a teen to your policy:

•            Begin the insurance process before your teen driver even gets a learner's permit. Talk to your insurer to get an idea of what it cost to add your teen once they have a license.

•            It is almost always cheaper to add a teen to your own policy than putting them on their own policy. Your policy comes with discounts, your driver experience as well as a history with your insurer, all of which lead to lower rates.

•            In most cases, your teen will be covered by your policy while they are driving on learner's permit. Many insurers allow you to list your teen on your policy at no charge until they have a full license. However, this can vary by insurer so check with them before letting your teen slip behind the wheel.

•            After your teen has a license it's time to notify your insurer. Do not wait, it is possible that your insurer will deny any claims related to your child if they were not put on your policy, leaving you responsible for any damages.

•            Make sure your teen fully understands how expensive they are to insure and what will happen to your rates if they get a ticket or are in an accident.

•            This is a great time to shop your rates, get quotes from at least three insurers and always compare apples to apples in regards to coverage levels and deductibles.


Tips for getting the best cheap car insurance for your teen

There is no doubt that your premium is headed up with a teen on your policy but there are some things you can do to keep the increase affordable.

Shop your coverage: This is the best way to lower your premium. Insurers rate risk differently and while most will ding you pretty hard for a teen, the increase absolutely varies between insurers. Shop three to five insurance companies and make sure you are comparing apples to apples in regard to coverage levels and deductibles.

Raise your deductible: Pushing up your deductible will always lower your premium but make sure you can afford the new deductible in the event you have to make a claim on your policy. Doubling your deductible can result in a 25 percent discount.

Dump comprehensive and collision: If the car assigned to your teen is old and not worth that much you can shave a bit off your premium by dropping comprehensive and collision. This does mean that you will be on the hook for any repair bills or the cost to replace your teens ride if they are in an accident or it is damaged by animals, vandalism, an animal strike or other covered peril.

Put them in the right car: The car your teen is cruising around in will impact your rates. Keep them out of your sports cars or other high-powered vehicles. The best cars for a teen are a family sedan, small SUV or even a minivan. While an older vehicle can be a good idea, insurers also offer discounts for safety features so a newer vehicle loaded with advanced safety features can be a good choice as well. Read our guide to the best cars for teens and the cars with the best safety ratings that are cheapest to insure for recommendations.

Take advantage of discounts: Insurers offer numerous discounts and the savings can add up. There are even discounts that are specially targeted at teen drivers. Here is a quick list of discounts that you should consider:


  • Good student discount - Discounts vary and range between 5% to 25%. Most insurers require a GPA of 3.0 or above to qualify for this discount.
  •  Good driver discount - This discount will probably take three to five years to qualify for but the savings can range from 10% to 25%. Stress the importance of a clean driving record to your teen and make sure they keep it safe out on the road.
  •  Driver training discount - Many insurers offer a discount for defensive driving courses. Check with your insurer to see if they offer this discount and to get an approved course list. Once your teen passes the course expect a discount between 5% and 15%.
  •  Electronic surveillance: Insurers are embracing telematics to keep an eye on drivers and reward those that follow the rules of the road. Snapshot by Progressive is just one example. The telematic device plugs into your car and records data related to braking, miles driven as well as speed. If the insurance company likes what it sees, a discount will be applied to your policy. Discounts vary but 5% to 10% is pretty common.
  •  Student away at school: If your child is headed off to a college that is more than 100 miles from your home and is not taking a car with them, many insurance companies will offer a discount. Your child will still be covered when they come home for breaks. The discount amount will vary but 5% to 25% is fairly common.


Car insurance rates go down as drivers age

The sticker shock of adding a teen to your policy doesn't last forever, as long as they stay ticket and accident free. On the other, hand, even a small fender bender can send your rates soaring even higher.

A simple rear-end collision can result in an additional 25% increase on top of your already expensive rates. "If it's a minor accident, consider paying out of pocket and save your insurance for major incidents, advises Gusner.

Be sure your teen understands exactly how important it is to remain ticket and accident free. A speeding ticket can quickly send your rates into unaffordable territory, as can an accident. If they manage to keep their record clean your rates will start to drop. "After three years of incident-free driving, your teen should be eligible for a good driver discount. This discount can range up 25%," she says.

Rates should continue to head down as your teen gets more experience under their belt. By the time they hit 25, their rates should be back to normal, assuming they have kept their record clean.



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