What Are the Average Insurance Rates for a 16-Year-Old?

Last Updated on May 16, 2020

16-year-old drivers pay some of the highest car insurance rates in the United States. But what are the average insurance rates for a 16-year-old? How much will the average 16-year-old driver pay for car insurance?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about average insurance premiums for 16-year-old drivers.

The Average 16-Year-Old Driver Pays $2,600 Per Year for Minimum Coverage

What Are the Average Insurance Rates for a 16-Year-Old?There’s no avoiding it: getting car insurance as a 16-year-old is expensive.

According to CarInsurance.com, the average 16-year-old driver will pay $2,593 per year for state minimum coverage. If you want to raise your liability limits or get full coverage, costs will be even higher:

  • State Minimum Coverage: $2,593
  • Higher Liability Limits (50/100/50): $2,957
  • Full Coverage: $6,930

The rates above are based on a teenager having his or her own insurance policy on a 2017 Honda Accord with a deductible of $500. Car insurance prices were taken in 10 different ZIP codes in each state, then averaged countrywide.

Some 16-year-old drivers get their own car insurance policy. Many teenagers, however, get listed under their parents’ policy for as long as they’re living at home. Getting listed under your parents’ policy can add $80 to $150 per month to your parents’ insurance premiums, but it’s still significantly cheaper than getting your own policy.

Full Coverage Rates for 16-Year-Olds

As stated above, the average full coverage rates for 16-year-old drivers in the United States is $6,930. Here is the breakdown by state:

StateAverage Annual Premiums
North Carolina$3,890
North Dakota$8,313
New Hampshire$4,107
New Jersey$7,245
New Mexico$7,731
New York$6,909
Rhode Island$10,400
South Carolina$6,441
South Dakota$8,113
Washington, D.C.$9,428
West Virginia$7,021

Why Do 16-Year-Old Drivers Pay High Insurance Rates?

16-year-old drivers pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the world. Rates are particularly high for 16-year-old male drivers, who pay 20% higher insurance premiums than 16-year-old females.

Some of the reasons 16-year-old drivers pay high rates for car insurance include:

  1. High Risk: A 16-year-old driver is one of the riskiest drivers for an insurer to insure. 16-year-old drivers are more likely to make a claim than virtually any other driver on the road. Insurers charge high premiums for taking on this risk.
  2. Inexperience: 16-year-old drivers just received their license. They just started driving. They’re inexperienced. They’ve never driven in certain conditions or responded to certain situations on the road.
  3. Lack of Covered History: Some 16-year-old drivers will start driving today and go their entire lives without making a claim. Others will cause three serious accidents before they turn 20. Since the drivers are 16 and have no driving history, insurers have no easy way to separate the good and bad drivers. There’s a lack of covered history, so insurers err on the side of caution and charge everyone higher rates.
  4. Few Discounts Available: Older drivers can get discounts for bundling home and auto insurance together. They can get safe driving discounts and good credit score discounts. Younger drivers, unfortunately, don’t have as many discounts.
  5. State Laws: Some states have extremely high insurance premiums for 16-year-old drivers, while other states have surprisingly low premiums. States have vastly different insurance laws, and these laws impact insurance premiums. 16-year-old drivers in Wyoming, North Carolina, Maine, and Hawaii pay the lowest rates for car insurance, while drivers in Louisiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Tennessee all pay some of the highest rates.

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance As a 16-Year-Old

You’re 16 years old and want to drive. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay a fortune. There are ways to get cheap car insurance as a 16-year-old driver.

Get Listed Under your Parents’ Policy

Most 16-year old drivers are still living at home. As long as you’re living at home, you can get listed under your parents’ policy. In fact, you may be required to be listed under your parents’ policy because you’re a licensed driver. Getting listed under your parents’ car insurance policy can cause their premiums to double, but it can still cost thousands of dollars less than getting your own insurance policy.

Drop Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

No state requires you to have comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage types protect your own vehicle during an accident (collision coverage) or non-accident related event (comprehensive coverage). If you drive an older vehicle, then it may not be worth repairing after an accident. Even a minor accident can cause your car to be declared a ‘total loss’. That’s why many 16-year-old drivers drop comprehensive and collision coverage to save thousands of dollars.

Get Better Grades

Many insurance companies now offer good grade discounts to high school and college students. If you have an average of B+ or higher, then you should qualify for the good grade discount, depending on your insurance company.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

A defensive driving course can make you a better driver. Many insurers also give discounts of 5% to 10% for young drivers who have recently completed driver training.

Compare Quotes

Your parents may have had the same insurance company for 20 years, but they may not offer the best rates to 16-year-old drivers. It’s always cheaper to get listed under your parents’ policy. If you’re looking for your own policy, however, then shop around. Insurance premiums can vary widely between insurers.

Final Word on 16-Year-Old Car Insurance Rates

In most states, a 16-year-old driver cannot enter into an insurance contract (or any contract) without the signature of a parent or guardian. 16-year-old drivers will also pay very high insurance premiums when getting their own car insurance.

For these reasons, most 16-year-old drivers will get listed under their parents’ policy, in which case they’ll pay insurance premiums of $1,200 to $2,000 per year. 16-year-old drivers who buy their own insurance, meanwhile, can expect to pay around $2,600 per year to maintain state minimum coverage (or $7,000 per year for full coverage).

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
Back to Top