Study Finds Teen Drivers Can Add 90 Percent to Insurance Costs

According to a new report, an Illinois married couple who adds a teenage driver to their auto insurance policy will see their premium payments increase by an average of 90 percent. That is above the national average rise of 84 percent.

On the national level, male teenage drivers cause insurance premiums to rise by an average of 96 percent, compared with 72 percent for females, the study found. The rises in premiums range from 116 percent in Arkansas to 18 percent in Hawaii. Hawaii does not allow insurers to consider the age, driving experience or gender of drivers, according to InsuranceQuotes.com, the quote-comparison website that produced the report.

The ten states with the highest rises in premiums for teen drivers all had increases of more than 100 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, only Hawaii had an increase of less than 50 percent for adding a teen driver. Illinois ranked in the middle with the 25th highest rise.

Quadrant Information Services performed the study for InsuranceQuotes.com, using data from the largest insurance carriers in each state to calculate rates based on a married man and woman, both 45 years old, with good credit and clean driving records, who each commute to work 10 miles away from home. The hypothetical couple drives a 2012 Honda CRV or Civic, Toyota Camry or Prius, or Ford F150 and has a policy with $100,000 individual injury liability and $300,000 total injury liability.

Premium increases decline with older teenage drivers. The average rise for 16-year-olds was 99 percent; for 17-year-olds, 90 percent; for 18-year-olds, 82 percent; and for 19-year-olds, 65 percent.

For parents who find the cost increase unaffordable, there are ways to reduce expenses. Parents can consider increasing their deductible or not letting their child drive until he or she is older. Some insurers may also offer student discounts or discounts if the teen driver takes advanced driver training courses.

The rise in insurance premiums is based on the fact that teenage drivers cause a disproportionate number of accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal crash rate for teenage drivers is almost three times higher than the rate for drivers age 20 and older. The risk is highest for 16-17-year-olds, who have a fatal crash rate almost twice as high as the rate for 18-19-year-olds.

Over the past 20 years, all states have adopted graduated driver’s licensing requirements, which impose restrictions on young drivers. According to the institute, states that adopted graduated licensing requirements saw accident rates for teen drivers decrease by 10-30 percent. Raising the licensing age and imposing restrictions on nighttime driving for teens were found to reduce crash rates and insurance claims.

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