Car Insurance for 19-Year-Olds: Average Rates for Coverage
Once you reach 19, you’ve been driving for a few years, and you should reasonably expect to pay less for car insurance.
That’s partially true – but mostly not.
Even though you’re gradually moving into the ranks of experienced drivers, you still haven’t been at it long enough to satisfy car insurance companies.
Serious reductions in car insurance premiums – to something resembling reasonable levels – doesn’t start to happen until you approach 25.
In the meantime, you’ll continue to pay high rates for car insurance, even though it will be a good bit less than what younger drivers will pay.
Why is car insurance for 19-year-olds so expensive? And is there anything you can do to make it more affordable?
Average Cost of Car Insurance for 19-Year Olds
Because there are so many factors that affect what you will pay for car insurance, we’re going to use national averages provided by our sister site, CarInsurance.com.
They’ll be no better than estimates, but they’ll help you have some idea what to expect when you’re shopping for coverage.
The average car insurance premium for an individual policy for a 19-year-old with full coverage is $3,600 per year.
The following factors will figure significantly into what you’ll actually pay for car insurance for 19-year-olds:
- The driver’s gender
- Your state of residence
- Your specific ZIP Code (rates can vary dramatically within the same state)
- Type, age and style of vehicle you drive, as well as any safety equipment it has
- The amount of coverage you need, including collision and comprehensive coverage
- The insurance company you obtain coverage from
- Any discounts you may qualify for
- Your driving history
None of the above factors are unique to 19-year-olds.
They apply to drivers at all ages.
But they figure more significantly with car insurance for 19-year-olds because the premiums are so high to begin with.
Most expensive car insurance rates for 19-year-old females (full coverage)
|State||Teen-only policy||Parent's policy with teen added|
Most expensive car insurance rates for 19-year-old males (full coverage)
|State||Teen-only policy||Parent's policy with teen added|
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates for 19-Year-Olds
Let’s break down each of the factors listed above, to show how each affects car insurance for 19-year-olds.
If you’re a 19-year-old male driver, you already have one strike against you when it comes to car insurance.
Even if you’re the most careful driver you can be, you’ll still pay a higher premium than a 19-year-old woman will because of the insurance industry experience with 19-year-old males.
And that experience shows a pattern of higher risk driving.
The premium average below reflects “full coverage”, which includes $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 coverage for all injuries sustained in one accident, and $100,000 in property damage. This is commonly referred to as “100/300/100” coverage.
The cost breakdown of that coverage between males and females is as follows:
- Males: $3,870
- Females: $3,250
The difference between the two is $620 per year.
That’s the price a guy will have to pay based on the driving performance of all 19-year-old males.
State of residence
Gender is only one of the factors affecting your car insurance premium, and not nearly the biggest.
Due to variations in car insurance laws, your state of residence will have a much bigger impact.
For example, a typical 19-year-old woman will pay $1,309 for car insurance in Hawaii. But the same woman will pay $6,515 in Michigan. That’s a difference of more than $5,200.
For 19-year-old men, premiums range from a low of $1,309 in Hawaii, to a high of $6,598 in Michigan. That’s also a difference of more than $5,200.
The state of residence doesn’t tell the whole story. Within the same state, there can be wide variations in car insurance for 19-year-olds in different ZIP codes.
You can expect to pay more if you live in a metropolitan area than you will if you live in a rural area.
Type of vehicles covered
The type of vehicle a 19-year-old drives will have a significant impact on the car insurance premium.
First, a higher-priced car almost always results in a higher car insurance premium.
The claim the insurance company will have to pay for damage to the vehicle will be higher than it will be for a lower-cost vehicle.
But certain vehicle types also factor into the mix. Higher premiums will be charged on sports cars, luxury vehicles, and pickup trucks.
The age of the vehicle also matters. A newer car will require a higher premium.
An older car will have lower premiums because there may be no need for collision and comprehensive coverage if the vehicle is worth no more than a few thousand dollars.
The insurance quotes we’ve been providing so far are based on full coverage. But you aren’t required to have full coverage.
You can choose liability amounts that are lower than 100/300/100.
You can even opt to accept the policy with the state-mandated minimum coverage, which is usually just a fraction of full coverage amounts.
For example, while a 19-year-old woman will pay $6,515 per year for full coverage in Michigan, the premium drops to $2,833 with state required minimum liability levels.
A 19-year-old man will pay $6,598 per year for full coverage in Michigan, but that will fall to $2,832 for a policy with minimum liability limits.
The insurance company you obtain coverage from
The company you purchase coverage from is another major premium variable.
For example, a car insurance company called Concord has an average rate of $1,518 per year for full coverage for 19-year-olds.
But Amica charges $6,587 on average for the same coverage level for 19-year-olds.
Cheapest car insurance rates for 19-year-olds by insurer
|Insurer||Average annual premium|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,148|
|New Jersey Manufacturers||$2,556|
|Mississippi Farm Bureau||$2,637|
That doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a policy from Concord simply because they have the lowest national average. They may not have the lowest premiums in your particular state.
That’s why it’s so important to shop around for the best car insurance rates. The company with the lowest rates in one state may not be the lowest in your state.
Virtually every car insurance company offers discounts. Which ones they offer, how deep the discounts will be, and in which states they’ll be offered will vary from one company to another.
But to give you an example of the type of discounts that are available, below are those offered by Allstate:
- Smart student – evidenced by a GPA of 2.7 or higher.
- Completion of Allstate’s teenSMART driver education program.
- Attending school at least 100 miles from where your car is garaged.
- Responsible payer discount.
- Early signing discount – when you sign your policy seven or more days before it becomes effective.
- New-car discount.
- A discount for setting up automatic withdrawals to pay your premium.
- Paperless signing and documents.
- Full payment.
- Vehicle safety equipment, including anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.
Get a complete list of all discounts offered by any car insurance company you are applying with.
Tell the company about any that may apply to you. It can make a real difference in your premium.
By the time you’re 19 it’s likely you already have an established driving history.
In most states, and of most insurance companies, your driving history for the past three years is what matters most.
If you had no at-fault accidents or moving violations during that time, you’ll get the benefit of lower premiums.
But a single moving violation or at-fault accident can cause your premiums skyrocket.
An at-fault accident with bodily injury can increase your premium by 32%. An at-fault accident with property damage over $2,000 can increase your premium by 31%. And if you have two at-fault accidents with property damage over $2,000, your premium will more than double, increasing by 110%.
The situation is similar with moving violations, though exactly how much your premium will increase will depend on both the violation and the severity of the infraction.
For example, your premium can increase by 22% to 32% after a single speeding ticket.
Why Auto Coverage is Expensive for 19-Year-Olds
At 19, your age is still the main culprit in your higher car insurance premiums.
But they’re hardly the only factor.
Others are a less-than-perfect driving history and a greater likelihood of hazardous driving, which is based on the experience ratings for 19-year-olds in the insurance industry.
The premiums you’ll pay as a 19-year-old are much lower than they would be if you were 16, 17 or 18. But they’re nowhere near as low as they will be when you turn 25.
Laws that May Apply
The good news here is that there are very few laws that are specific to driving by 19-year-olds. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about laws in general.
Two of particular importance to all drivers, but especially to 19-year-olds, are using your cell phone while driving, and driving while intoxicated.
Handheld cell phones
There are 22 states that have banned the use of handheld cell phones, and many others have additional restrictions on their use while driving.
The fine will come with a citation for using your cell phone while driving is typically small.
But the real damage will be that you’ll now have an infraction. And that may translate into a higher car insurance premium.
The situation is considerably more involved for driving while intoxicated.
Not only will you face the possibility of license suspension, and large fines, but you can fully expect your car insurance premiums to skyrocket.
There are few infractions car insurance companies take more seriously than driving while intoxicated.
How to save on car insurance for 19-year-olds
You can save money on car insurance as a 19-year-old by working as many of the car insurance factors in your favor as possible.
First will be to maintain state-mandated minimum coverage. That alone will shed many hundreds of dollars off your premium.
Second is to shop among car insurance companies. You can save hundreds more – sometimes even thousands – but using one company over another.
Third, take advantage of every discount available. And fourth, choose your vehicle carefully. If you buy a premium vehicle, the cost of your car insurance may be higher than your monthly car payment.
And finally, be careful when driving. If you can go at least three years without a moving violation or at-fault accident, you’ll get the best car insurance premium for your age group.
Cost of Adding a 19-Year-Old Driver to Parent's Policy
This is the single most effective strategy for getting the lowest car insurance premium possible.
It will result in the lowest premium because you’ll be able to get the benefit of the driving history of your parent(s).
Average car insurance savings by adding 19-year-old to existing policy
|Gender||Teen-only policy||Parent's policy with teen added||Annual savings|
For example, while the cost of an individual policy for a 19-year-old woman averages $3,250, the premium will fall $2392 by being on your parent’s policy.
That’s a savings of $858 per year.
Savings are even greater for a 19-year-old man. While you will pay $3,870 per year for an individual policy, the premium will drop to $2,677 if you’re included on your parent’s policy. That’s a savings of $1,193 per year.
All figures are for policies with full liability coverage of 100/300/100.
Car insurance premiums for 19-year-olds are still about twice the national average for all drivers.
But they’re a lot lower than it is for 16- to 18-year-olds, which means it’s heading in the right direction.
It’ll continue to fall gradually until you turn 25, and will be eligible for much lower rates.