Insurance can be a hassle for those who are new to the road.
New drivers don't have an established driving history and are statistically more likely to get into a car accident, making them a higher risk for insurance companies and therefore a lot more expensive to insure.
But some insurance companies have programs to ease the burden for new drivers. To help make things easier for you, we’ve researched the best car insurance companies and compiled a guide to the best car insurance for new drivers. Here, you’ll learn how to take out a policy, what you should know about car insurance, and how to find cheap car insurance for new drivers.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes.
In this article:
- The Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
- What Kind Of Car Insurance Do New Drivers Need?
- How Does Your Vehicle Affect Your Insurance Premium?
- Why Is Car Insurance For New Drivers So Expensive?
- How To Get Cheap Car Insurance For New Drivers
- FAQ About The Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
In evaluating the best insurance company options, we found several companies that also suit the car insurance needs of new drivers. To determine which company fits your needs, you should consider several aspects. First, you should look at the provider’s reputation. You also want to examine customer service rankings and the cost of having a policy. From there, it’s good to research the available car insurance discounts and look at the additional perks.
Here is a comparison of some of the best car insurance companies for new drivers:
|Best Car Insurance For New Drivers||Relevant Discounts||AM Best Financial Strength Rating||Accident Forgiveness|
|#1 Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance||
Good student discount and a student away at school discount available
|#2 State Farm Auto Insurance||
25 percent off for students under the age of 25 with good grades
Up to 15 percent off for drivers under 25 with no accidents in the past three years
|#3 USAA Auto Insurance||
Driver training discounts available to teens who complete pre-approved educational programs
Discount for drivers with a good driving record
|#4 Geico Auto Insurance||Good student and driving education program discounts for teen drivers||A++||Yes|
|#5 Progressive Auto Insurance||Good student, multi-car, and teen driver discounts available||A+||Yes|
*You may notice that some car insurance companies are listed above those with higher star ratings. This is because our ratings take into account nationwide factors, while our ranking for this article looks specifically at what insurance providers are best for car insurance for new drivers.
#1 Liberty Mutual Review
Liberty Mutual has many discounts that new drivers can capitalize on to save money on their car insurance, including:
- Student away at school discount: If you're a student who has moved onto campus 100 miles or more away from home and did not bring the car to school, you could be eligible for a discount.
- Good student discount: Maintain higher than a B grade-point average to be eligible for this discount.
- Multi-car discount: This is an argument to stay on your parent's car insurance policy, for if you add more cars to one policy, you all receive discounted monthly rates.
Liberty Mutual also has impressive ratings from industry experts like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) where the company holds an A+ rating. This bodes well for the company's reliability and business tactics.
Given the many discounts that could benefit young drivers, we think that Liberty Mutual is the provider who has the best car insurance for new drivers. With high ratings and affordable rates, Liberty Mutual could be the right fit for your new driver.
#2 State Farm Review
As America’s largest auto insurance provider, State Farm car insurance has earned its reputation as one of the most trusted companies around and provides great car insurance for new drivers. With a financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best and an A+ rating with the BBB, new drivers should feel safe taking out a policy with State Farm.
In addition to the standard coverage types, State Farm offers:
- Car rental and travel expenses coverage: You’re covered for the cost of a rental car if your car is undriveable. With travel coverage, the cost of meals, transportation, and lodging are also taken care of up to a certain amount if your car breaks down more than 50 miles from your home.
- Rideshare insurance: This covers drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber.
- Emergency road service coverage: This type of coverage takes care of the cost of on-site repairs, towing, locksmith services, and delivery of oil, gas, or a battery.
You can receive a quote from State Farm by going to the website or calling them directly. Claims can be filed online, with the mobile app, by calling the claims hotline, or by getting in contact with your agent. After filing a claim, you can view its status and manage it online.
We’ve rated State Farm the No. 1 choice for students and No. 2 choice for best car insurance for teens. It is a highly reputable company with strong financials and affordable policies, which makes it a great option that deserves to be near the top of every new driver's list. State Farm’s 25-percent good grades discount and 15-percent safe driving discount make it a fantastic choice for young drivers.
#3 USAA Auto Insurance Review
USAA car insurance is our number one option for military personnel and their immediate family members and the No. 3 option for the best car insurance for new drivers. The auto insurance company consistently receives high marks from industry experts. AM Best rates USAA’s financial strength at an A++, and USAA swept the board in multiple 2019 J.D. Power studies.
Some benefits to getting USAA car insurance include quality customer service and the variety of discounts, like the military installation discount of up to 15 percent off of your car insurance for garaging your vehicle on a military base.
Although USAA is only available to a small number of new drivers, we think the impressive ratings and discounts make it worth a look for eligible new drivers.
#4 Geico Review
Geico auto insurance is our first choice in the industry for a reason. The insurer has a strong reputation, with an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, an A- rating from the BBB, and high marks on several 2019 J.D. Power studies.
Along with standard coverage, Geico offers extra types of coverage like:
- Roadside assistance
- Mechanical breakdown insurance
- Rental car reimbursement
Geico offers the best overall car insurance in the industry and has the third-best car insurance for new drivers according to our research. With impressive discounts, a long-standing positive reputation, and affordable rates, Geico is also one of the best car insurance providers for new drivers.
#5 Progressive Review
Our research team named Progressive car insurance best for high-risk drivers, which makes this coverage beneficial for new drivers with little experience. We think Progressive is one of the best auto insurance providers in the nation because of its competitive industry tools and discounts.
Progressive maintains its advantage over its competitors with industry-exclusive tools like the Name Your Price® Tool and Snapshot® Program.
Name Your Price Tool: This tool constructs a Progressive policy with your budget in mind.
Snapshot Program: This telemetric tool collects data from an app in your phone about your driving habits to adjust your rates according to your safe driving behavior.
Plus, Progressive has high marks from industry experts like the BBB, AM Best, and J.D. Power. These numbers tell us that Progressive is an auto insurance provider you can trust to have sound business practices and finances and average customer satisfaction.
- AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
- BBB Rating: A+
- J.D. Power 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM: 856/1,000
- J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM: 838/1,000
Progressive has an impressive reputation for customer service satisfaction and with discounts like the Snapshot usage-based safe driving program and accident forgiveness that won't let your rates go up after your first at-fault accident, it is a strong contender for who has the best insurance for new drivers.
What Kind Of Car Insurance Do New Drivers Need?
New drivers do not need a special type of auto insurance – they just need to make sure they meet their state’s minimum requirements. These requirements differ from state to state, so it’s important to check your state’s laws. You can call up insurance companies that you’re considering taking a policy out with and ask what the minimum coverage requirements are for your state.
Most states require you to take out liability insurance at a minimum. This covers the costs associated with bodily injuries to other drivers and passengers, as well as property damages.
In addition to liability insurance, some states require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, which covers you if you get into an accident with another driver that doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage.
In total, there are six common types of car insurance coverages. These include:
Covers damages and injuries to other drivers and vehicles when you are at fault, as well as your legal fees
Covers damages that aren’t due to collisions, such as storms, vandalism, etc. and may be required by your lender if you are leasing or financing your vehicle
Covers you for damage related to collisions with vehicles or other objects, regardless of who is at fault
Personal injury protection
Covers you for medical payments and sometimes lost wages due to a car accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Covers you if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver
Medical payments coverage
Covers the medical costs for anyone injured in your vehicle
Determining the required car insurance for new drivers depends on your state. For example, California only requires bodily injury and property damage liability for all drivers, but New York requires personal injury protection and uninsured motorist bodily injury in addition to liability coverages.
However, in most cases, it’s not advisable to simply take out the minimum coverage. All six types of coverage can save you from serious financial disaster if the unexpected occurs, so we recommend finding a policy that provides each of these coverages if it’s financially feasible for you. If it’s not, it’s worth considering whether you’re in a good enough financial position to be purchasing, financing, or leasing a car at this time.
In addition to these standard coverages, some insurance companies offer premium coverage options that are not required in any states, but provide peace of mind to many motorists. These include options like:
- New car replacement coverage: If you total your car within a certain period of time (usually two to three years), your insurance provider will cover the cost of a brand new vehicle of the same make, model, and trim.
- Loan/lease gap insurance: This covers you if you total your car before your lease or loan is paid off in full. This may be required by your lender.
- Rental coverage: This type of coverage reimburses the cost of a rental car for a specified period of time if your car is undrivable.
How Does Your Vehicle Affect Your Insurance Premium?
The make and model of your vehicle can raise or lower your risk of getting in an accident, the cost of repairs, and consequently the risk your insurance provider takes when covering you. To put it simply: It’s less expensive and risky for providers to ensure an unassuming Hyundai Santa Fe with numerous safety features than it is to insure a $300,000 Lamborghini.
The following factors affect your insurance premium and are an important consideration in the search for the best insurance for new drivers.
- Vehicle year: The year of your car will play into an insurer’s risk profiling procedure. Some insurance companies offer new car discounts.
- Vehicle brand: Like we mentioned, the make of your vehicle affects both the risk profile and the expected cost to the insurance company in case of a claim. For example: Subarus have a reputation for being very safe and are made with parts that are easy to find. Lamborghinis, however, are hot rods that are known for fast speeds and expensive, hard-to-find parts – not safety. For this reason, insurers will typically up the premium.
- Vehicle model: Similarly to the brand, the model will affect the anticipated cost to insure your vehicle. Higher-end models are more expensive to insure, and your premium will reflect that.
- Safety features: The more safety features your vehicle has, the lower your vehicle’s risk profile is. Usually, this will lower your premium as well, but this isn’t always the case: Teslas are currently rated one of the safest cars in America, but that hasn’t significantly lowered the cost of insuring them.
- Theft prevention systems: Active and passive theft prevention systems affect your premium to different degrees. Active systems require the driver to perform an action to arm them, while passive systems are automatically armed whenever the vehicle isn’t being driven. Passive systems are generally preferred by insurance companies.
Why Is Car Insurance For New Drivers So Expensive?
While higher rates for new drivers are definitely frustrating, they are admittedly understandable. New drivers have two factors going against them: inexperience and lack of track record.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something. Unfortunately, new drivers are far short of that mark, and that means it’s more likely they’ll slip up and forget to check their blindspots, misunderstand the right of way, or make another mistake that will cause an accident.
Furthermore, new drivers don’t have a track record to back them up – it’s like walking into a job interview with no previous experience. The insurance company has no idea if the driver will be speeding down the highway racking up tickets every other day, or if they’ll be a driver that diligently obeys the speed limit.
In many cases, there’s also a third factor that increases new driver insurance premiums: age. Most new drivers are young, and teenagers have a crash rate that’s almost four times that of drivers twenty and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If you’re young and inexperienced with no track record to back you up, there’s a lot of risk for auto insurance companies.
To see what an insurance premium for your age and experience level would look like, call (855) 518-0148 for free quotes or use this tool:
How To Get Cheap Car Insurance For New Drivers
Unfortunately, cheap insurance for new drivers may be a bit of a misnomer. That said, it’s possible to get cheaper car insurance as a new driver in a few different ways.
Stay On your parents’ plan:
Most insurance companies offer discounts for plans that insure multiple people, so if at all possible, stay on your parents’ plan to lower your rate. In the vast majority of cases, staying on your parents’ insurance plan is the recommended option, and unlike health insurance, there is no age limit after which you can no longer stay on the plan.
Build a clean driving record:
New driver or not, maintaining a clean driving record free from accidents and traffic violations is by far one of the best ways to keep your premiums low. If you cause a single accident, you can expect to see your car insurance premium skyrocket. So, make sure you stay attentive at the wheel anytime you’re on the road.
Look for discounts:
Consider taking a defensive driving class, which will lower your premium right away with some insurance companies. Many providers offer other programs to lower costs for new drivers too.
While many of us wish we could stay young forever, growing old is universally looked forward to when it comes to car insurance. After the age of 20, car insurance rates slowly begin to decrease.
However, the most drastic decrease is after age 25, just like for rental cars. If you can maintain a clean driving record from the time you start driving until you’re 25, you’ll be well-positioned for a low and affordable premium when you hit that milestone.
FAQ About The Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
What is the best insurance for a new driver?
There is no one-size-fits-all best car insurance for new drivers. Car insurance rates are based on a number of factors such as vehicle year, make, model, safety features, and driving record. A single accident as a new driver can drastically raise your premium.
If you are a young, new driver, we recommend State Farm for its good-grades discount for students and its Steer Clear program that can earn you a 15-percent discount for safe driving.
How much does it cost to insure a new driver?
The cost of insuring a new driver will depend on the driver you’re insuring. The average annual auto premium is around $1,470 across the U.S. according to theZebra.com, but this can be much higher for inexperienced drivers or drivers under the age of 25.
Your insurance company will take the make, model, year, and safety features of your vehicle into account, as well as the driver’s history and age when pricing insurance for you.
Is it cheaper to put a new driver on my insurance?
In almost all cases, putting another driver onto your existing insurance plan is a good financial decision. Many insurers, like Geico, provide discounts for multiple vehicles, so you may be able to save money.
How can I lower my car insurance for a first-time driver?
The best way to lower your car insurance premium is simply to grow old – past the age of 25, ideally. However, maintaining a clean driving record free of traffic violations and accidents will lower your premium in the long run. If you’re young, consider staying on your parents’ insurance policy to keep costs low, and look for safe driving and good student discounts.
Use our tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to start comparing car insurance quotes.
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