UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Getting auto insurance as a high school student can be expensive. As a teenage driver, you’re one of the least experienced drivers on the road. You’re more likely to make a car insurance claim than virtually any other driver.
Fortunately, high school students across the country successfully get car insurance every year. Some high school students save money by getting bundled under their parents’ policy. Other high school students save money on car insurance by taking advantage of good grade discounts and other programs.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about getting car insurance as a high school student.
Getting Your Own Policy Versus Adding Yourself to Your Parents’ Policy
The first and most important decision you need to make about car insurance is whether to get your own policy or add yourself to your parents’ policy.
Most high school students still live at home with one or both parents. If you live at home with a parent, then you should be able to add yourself as a named driver under your parents’ insurance policy. This will significantly raise the costs of your parents’ policy, but it can save you thousands of dollars per year on car insurance.
Alternatively, if your parents don’t want higher insurance premiums, or if you’re living away from home for high school, then you may want to get your own car insurance policy. Getting your own car insurance policy can be very expensive, but it’s the only option for certain high school drivers.
Average Price of Car Insurance for High School Students
Drivers who are 16, 17, and 18 years old will pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the United States. You are the riskiest driver to insure: you’re young and inexperienced. Even if you’re a perfectly safe driver with a clean record, your insurance company only has two or three years of ‘proof’.
If you’re buying your own car insurance policy as a high school student, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,000 per year for car insurance, or about $330 to $660 per month.
Bundling yourself under your parents’ policy can substantially reduce this cost. Let’s say your parents pay about $1200 per year for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to that insurance policy can double or even triple premiums – but it’s still cheaper than getting your own policy.
Male High School Students Always Pay More than Females
There’s no riskier driver to insure than a 16 or 17-year old male driver – at least according to your insurance company.
Male high school students always pay more for car insurance than female high school students, all other things being equal.
Accident rates back up this price difference: male drivers tend to be riskier drivers to insure. They’re more likely to get into more serious accidents. Overall, male teenage drivers cost insurance companies more money than female teenage drivers.
As you get older, this trend reverses: men in their 40s and 50s tend to pay less for car insurance than women of the same age. When you’re young and in high school, however, you will inevitably pay more for car insurance as a male high school student.
How to Get Added to Your Parents’ Car Insurance Policy
In many cases, your parents’ car insurance company will reach out first. Your parents likely provided the names and birthdates of their children when they signed up for the car insurance policy. The insurance company may notice that you recently turned 16 and got your license, for example, and wants to make sure you’re listed as an insured driver on your parents’ policy.
If the insurance company does not reach out first, then contact the car insurance company and explain the situation. Generally, your parents should be the ones contacting their car insurance company to add you to the policy.
Talk through the changes to your policy in detail. Make sure you understand the minimum and maximum coverage limits.
If you have your own vehicle, then that vehicle will need to be added to the insurance policy. If you plan on driving a family vehicle, then you may need to be listed as a primary or secondary driver on that vehicle.
The insurance company will ask for your basic information, including the date you received your license, your birthdate, and other info.
How to Buy Your Own Car Insurance Policy
Some high school drivers will buy their own car insurance policies. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but it can significantly raise the price of car insurance. Expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 per year for car insurance on your own policy as a high school driver.
To buy your own car insurance, simply compare quotes online using our own website. Or, visit insurance company websites directly. You can input your basic info and car details before getting a customized quote.
Pick the car insurance policy that meets your unique needs and budget.
You Don’t Need Special Car Insurance Under a Learner’s Permit
If you have a learner’s permit, then you typically do not need to get special car insurance. You do not need to be added under your parents’ policy, nor do you need to have your own car insurance.
Once you graduate to a full license, then you will need to change your insurance policy. Under most insurance policies in most states, however, you do not need to change your insurance under a learner’s permit.
We recommend checking with your insurance company to verify that you don’t need special car insurance under a learner’s permit.
The Best Car Insurance Discounts for High School Students
High school students pay high car insurance premiums. However, with a little bit of research, you can save thousands by taking advantage of these discounts:
Ditch Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: Many high school students drive older, used, less-valuable vehicles. If you’re driving an older vehicle, then you may want to get rid of collision and comprehensive coverage on that vehicle. These optional policies cover damage to your own vehicle. You’ll still have liability coverage, which protects other people and vehicles. Liability coverage is mandatory.
Good Grade Discounts: Do you have a B or higher average in your high school classes? Many insurance companies reward good grades with cheaper car insurance premiums.
Defensive Driving Classes: Many high school drivers take a defensive driving class before taking their driving test. If you went to driver’s education or took a defensive driving class, then you may qualify for a car insurance discount.
Bundling Discounts: Bundling multiple vehicles and insurance policies with one company can lower car insurance premiums. Make sure your parents’ car insurance policies, home insurance policies, and other insurance options are all with one company to maximize savings.
As a high school student, it’s generally in your best interest to get car insurance by adding yourself under your parents’ policy. Getting added to your parents’ policy may double or even triple your parents’ insurance premiums, but it still costs much less than getting your own car insurance policy.