Male teen driver adjusting rear view mirror with his father in the passenger seat.

Watching your teen get behind the wheel for the first time is bound to be a little stressful. (Just like the first time they rode off on their bike without the training wheels, to the nth degree.) While there’s no known cure for a parent’s concern for their child, knowing that everything is as safe as possible can at least calm some of those nerves. Once you’ve triple-checked the seatbelts, breaks, airbags and everything else, you won’t want to overlook one essential piece of safe driving: auto insurance.

As a parent, you may be wondering about the process of adding your teen driver to your policy and how much it’s going to cost. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about adding a teen driver to your family auto insurance.

How much is auto insurance for teen drivers?

No matter how prepared, careful and cautious your teen driver is, they’re still new to driving. For insurance companies, that’s seen as a big risk. Age and experience have a significant impact on auto insurance rates, so you can expect to pay more for auto insurance for teen drivers.

Because of that, adding a teen to your policy could increase your rates significantly. If you have a teenage son, you may be on the higher end of that range as male teen drivers usually cost more to insure than female teen drivers. When added to a parent’s policy, the cost for teen drivers can be around $225 to $300 per month. If they’ll be getting their own separate policy, the monthly rate will likely be higher, usually around $450.

Remember that these are just estimates. Rates can vary depending on where you live, what kind of car your teen is driving and so much more. And don’t forget to ask about discounts. There are often special rates for students, or your provider might be able to offer a discounted rate by bundling coverage (see below for more details).

Choosing the right coverage

You have many coverage options to consider when setting your teenager up with auto insurance. You could have them start their own policy. It will be more expensive but can serve as an incentive for them to drive safely (and bring their insurance costs down). Also, any claims won’t affect the premium on your separate policy.

On the other hand, adding your teenager to your auto insurance policy is generally more affordable than purchasing a separate policy. But keep in mind that if they do have to make a claim, your premium will likely rise and could be impacted for years.

Another option could be to add your teenager to your policy as an occasional driver of all the vehicles on your policy if you have multiple cars in your household. This strategy can not only save you money but provide peace of mind knowing you have financial protection against theft and accidents. Your premium will still be impacted in the event of an accident with your teen driver.

How you can save on auto insurance for teens

If you’re suffering from sticker shock when contemplating how much it will cost to insure your teen driver, know that there are ways to help reduce your premium. First, you could be sure you’re taking advantage of all available discounts. Many auto insurance companies offer good-student discounts, which can lower premiums. A lower auto insurance premium is just another reason to encourage your teen to perform their best at school.

If you add your teen to your auto insurance policy, you could qualify for a multi-driver discount. You may also qualify for discounts your teen wouldn’t be eligible for alone, like a discount for bundling home and auto insurance.

For both their safety and that of other cars on the road, you will probably encourage your teen driver to be cautious. One way to do this is to practice driving with them and teach them about the basics of defensive driving. (Some insurers may also offer a small discount for teen drivers that participate in a select driver training course.) Not only will you help protect them from causing an accident, but you’ll also help build up their safe driver record. This could eventually qualify them for a discount as well and set them up for smooth roads ahead.

Prepare your teen for a lifetime of safe driving

When your teenager hits the open road for the very first time, you’ll both be excited and perhaps a little nervous. But setting them up with the right auto insurance is one crucial step you can take to ensure they’re protected as much as possible when taking to the open road.

Ally and Marsh have teamed up to take the guesswork out of auto insurance. Marsh is ready to help you find insurance answers, competitive rates and high-quality coverage personalized for your exact needs.

Make sure your teen is protected as a new driver.

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