Car Insurance for 16 Year Old Male Drivers — Finding Best Rates
Finding affordable insurance for high-risk teen drivers
Since 16 year old teens cannot legally sign contracts, including car insurance agreements, they typically get insurance coverage by being added to their parents’ existing auto insurance policy. Until they are 18 years old, teens cannot buy their own insurance.
If a teen is added as a occasional driver for an existing family car that is also driven by other family members, rates will be much lower than if the he/she is a primary driver on his/her own car. The cost of adding a driver to an existing family car insurance policy is always cheaper than taking out a separate policy.
Adding a 16 year old male teenager to a family’s car insurance could easily double the cost. The exact amount of the cost increase depends on a number of factors, which we’ll discuss in a moment.
Insurance is important – especially for high-risk drivers
Teens and their families often are tempted to try and avoid the higher cost of auto insurance by listing the teen as an occasional driver when they are actually a primary driver, or by simply not listing the teen at all. It may seem that the scheme is working for a while — until the first time the teen is involved in an accident or receives a traffic ticket. If an accident is the teenager’s fault, the insurance company has a right to deny any claims resulting from the accident, which could be financially devastating if damages and injuries are extensive. Furthermore, the company would likely cancel the family’s insurance. Auto insurance companies are not dumb. They’ve seen every trick in the book.
Contrary to what some teens believe, the purpose of insurance is financial protection, not satisfaction of the law. Of course, many teens, especially 16-year-olds just learning to drive, doubt they actually need financial protection because they often feel they will never be involved in an accident. Fact is, the reason insurance rates are higher for young drivers is that teen drivers are the most likely to have accidents, as determined by statistics and accident records — 16-year-olds get into accidents almost six times more often than drivers between the age of 30 and 59.
The law sets car minimum insurance requirements – Is that all that’s needed?
State laws require a minimum level of insurance coverage. In most states, a car cannot be registered without proof of insurance.
Of the three fundamental types of car insurance, state laws typically require only liability coverage, but not collision or comprehensive.
Liability insurance protects you if you cause an accident and damage other people’s property (i.e. vehicles) or cause injuries. The amount of coverage is usually stated as something like 25/50/10. In this example, the insurance would pay a maximum of $25,000 for bodily injuries for one person hurt in an accident, $50,000 maximum for all persons injured, and $10,000 maximum for property damage.
Each state sets its own minimum auto insurance requirements. Many of these requirements were set years ago when the coverage was perfectly adequate. However, cost of automobiles has increased, accident repair costs have zoomed, medical costs have skyrocketed, and personal injury lawsuit settlement amounts have exploded. Some states’ requirements, such as those in Pennsylvania, are a low 15/30/5. This means if you caused an accident and totaled someone’s car, your insurance only pays $5000 to the other party. If the other party was driving a brand new $60,000 Lexus, you would be $55,000 short when that party sued you to replace their car. And $5000 won’t even pay the hospital cost of repairing a broken arm.
The point of this discussion is that you can reduce your car insurance cost to the bare minimum by only buying the coverage required by state law — but you’ll be exposed to the very real possibility of not having sufficient coverage, which can lead to personal or family financial disaster. Again, insurance is for your own financial protection.
Although collision and comprehensive coverage are not required by law, lenders and lease companies nearly always require it, at a specified level, to protect their interests. Therefore, if you plan to buy a vehicle using a loan, or you plan to lease, you can expect to pay considerably more for car insurance than the minimum liability coverage required by state law.
How much does car insurance cost for a 16 year old male driver?
It depends. Annual cost can range from $800 to $4000 or more, depending primarily on the type of car and where the car is driven.
Sporty 2-door cars with powerful engines, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, are the most expensive to insure for 16 year olds or any young driver. Why? Because they are wrecked more often — by teen drivers. Larger 4-door sedans are cheaper to insure. SUVs and trucks are also cheaper. Luxury cars are more expensive to insure because they are expensive to repair and replace.
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Where you live and drive is a big factor in car insurance cost. Insurance companies know, statistically, where drivers have the most, and the fewest, accidents. There are more accidents in large cities with heavy traffic than in small towns or rural areas. Accidents occur more often in some states than others. Repair labor costs vary across the country. If you live in a large city in California and drive your high-performance sports car 50 miles every day in heavy traffic, you’ll pay far more for car insurance than your cousin in North Dakota who drives a pickup truck 5 miles to school.
Of course, traffic tickets and previous accidents also affect car insurance cost, often very dramatically, especially for young drivers. 16 year olds who are just beginning to drive won’t have this problem to begin with, but it can affect their future insurance cost. What seems like high rates now could skyrocket after a couple of tickets and an accident.
So how does a 16 year old get the lowest cost auto insurance?
You probably can’t change where you live and where you drive, but there are other things you can do to get the lowest cost car insurance cost.
Select the right car – As already mentioned, insurance rates for sporty, fast, coupe-style cars are higher than for larger more mundane cars. A Ford Focus may not be the chick-magnet desired by teen males but it can sure save money on insurance. Here’s an article that shows the least expensive – and most expensive – cars to insure: Which Cars are Cheapest to Insure?
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Get discounts – Car insurance companies offer various kinds of discounts. Make sure you get those to which you are entitled. Teen drivers may qualify for a discount based on good school grades, for example. Other types of discounts, which can differ between insurance companies, are: new-car discount, economy car discount, drivers education discount, defensive driving course discount, multiple automobile discount, multiple policy discount, safety equipment discount, and security system discount.
Good family credit – Most insurance companies now look at the education, income, and credit of customers to set rates. Families with poor credit and low income will pay $1000-$1500 more a year — because statistics show them to file insurance claims at a higher rate.
Drive safe – As already mentioned, insurance costs can increase dramatically if your driving habits (traffic tickets and accidents) indicate you are a high-risk driver. Also don’t submit insurance claims for lower-cost items such as dinged windshields and small dent repairs. The more claims you make, the more your insurance costs go up.
Choose a high deductible – Most people choose a low $250 deductible, which is much more expensive than, say, a $1000 deductible. If you can afford to pay $1000 in case of an accident, you will save significant money by raising your deductible to that amount, or higher.
Shop for lowest rates – Let’s make it clear, insurance rates vary widely between insurance companies. There is no such thing as “standard” car insurance rates. As a 16 year old, if you are considering simply being added to your parents’ policy, you might find that changing the entire family to a different company saves you money overall. You can phone local insurance companies but the Internet makes it quick and easy to simply get quotes online from national companies.
Avoid speeding tickets. We mention this specifically because it’s the most common reason for increases in insurance rates for young drivers. Car insurance companies consider drivers who have speeding tickets to be higher risks, and raise their rates. Studies have shown that the average increase in annual premiums is over $1000.
Get free auto insurance rate quotes online
You can get free car insurance rate quotes on the Internet and easily compare costs.
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Auto insurance for 16 year old teen drivers, especially for guys, is very expensive but rates vary considerably between different insurance companies. By getting free, no obligation rate quotes online from multiple companies, you can be assured that you will find the lowest rates available to you and your family.