When a teenager gets their driver’s license, it’s a very exciting milestone that brings a lot of new independence and freedom. With that freedom also comes a lot more responsibility, and auto insurance is a big part of that. Many young people start out their driving years on their parents policy, but sometimes this can’t be the case for one reason or another. Perhaps the parent won’t allow it, or the parent doesn’t drive and simply has no car insurance. This raises the question, can a teenager get their own auto insurance? What are the things you have to be aware of when getting car insurance as a first time driver?
Deciding Factors for Auto Insurance
As a rule, you need to be a legal adult to have your own car insurance, so anyone younger than 18 can’t get a policy on their own. A parent can co-sign on the policy, and in some cases an emancipated minor can get their own auto insurance, but otherwise the person must be the age of majority in order to get their own car insurance.
It’s sad but true: car insurance is a lot more expensive for teenagers than it is for older drivers. The reason comes down to statistics: teenagers are shown to be riskier drivers, more likely to engage in risky or distracted driving behaviors, and as a result insurance premiums will be higher for any driver under the age of about 25. First-time drivers also have no driving record for the insurance companies to judge their risk level.
Also factoring into the price of auto insurance is gender. Typically young men will pay more for their insurance than young women. This, like age, is based on statistical evidence that boys tend to get into car accidents more often than girls.
Owning a Vehicle
Although there are some exceptions, typically you have to own a car to get insurance on it. If you’re the legal age of majority in your state (typically 18) and the car is in your name, you should be able to insure it without any extra hoops to jump through.
Tips for Keeping Car Insurance Costs Down
Take Driver’s Ed
If driver’s education courses are offered at your school, take them! It’s a good sign to insurance companies that you’re learning to be a safe driver. If you’re out of high school or your school doesn’t offer the classes, contact your DMV and ask where you could find driver’s ed courses.
Get Good Grades
Many insurance providers are willing to offer discounts to young people with good academic records. Maintaining an A or B average or a high GPA is a good sign in terms of responsibility and maturity, so keeping your grades up will help you get less expensive car insurance.
Drive an Inexpensive Car
Driving practical, inexpensive cars is a smart move as an 18-year-old looking to get their own insurance. Not only is it cheaper for you overall, it’s good for your insurance rates. A flashy, expensive sports car driven by someone under 25 is typically a big red flag for insurance companies, so stick to sensible, four-door cars until you’re a little older.
Maintain Safe Driving Habits
If you’re driving on your parent’s car insurance before you turn 18, do your best to be a model citizen on the road and keep your record clean of any accidents or tickets.
Getting your own auto insurance as a young driver can be a bit of a challenge, but by building some good habits and preparing yourself well, you’ll be starting on the right foot! Contact our team today to discuss your insurance solutions.