Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2019

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Important facts to know...

  • Anyone under the age of 18 can purchase and be responsible for car insurance
  • While this may be an exciting first step towards adulthood, it’s crucial that you consider what comes along with being responsible for your insurance coverage
  • As a minor, you will usually be seen as a high-risk driver due to your lack of experience behind the wheel
  • You will usually face higher premium costs due to your inexperienced nature, costs that help preemptively cover any loss you may claim through your policy
  • Although you are a minor, your driving record or your previous record with other insurance carriers may also have an effect on your coverage options

When you’re under the age of 18, you are considered a minor by almost everyone, including insurance providers.

However, just because you are a minor does not mean purchasing car insurance is out of reach, it just means there are a few things to take into consideration before going through with your purchase.

It’s crucial that you consider how this purchase will affect you currently and in the future, so you can make the best choice that will meet your needs.

Compare car insurance quotes using our free tool above to make sure you don’t overpay.

Car Insurance Purchases as a Minor

Once you turn 16 and begin to drive, having car insurance is something that you will likely need to pursue. Almost every single state has legislation in place that requires state-specific minimum levels of coverage; this is referred to as compulsory auto insurance.

This means that you will face legal consequences if you operate a vehicle without valid insurance coverage.

As a minor, buying your car insurance may be your first adult responsibility, but that does not mean that buying coverage on your own is your best option.

There are situations where buying coverage may be unavoidable, but there are times when an alternative solution may be in your best interest.

At a young age, buying auto insurance provides you with real experience in the following areas:

  • working an insurance provider
  • getting coverage quotes
  • making a decision that fits your needs and your budget

You will have flexibility in determining what coverage works best for you and your vehicle.

One downfall to purchasing coverage so young is that the higher premiums you are likely to face will not be offset by years of good driving records, policy discounts, or your age.

When your potential provider determines your insurance premium, they take a number of factors into consideration. Your age is often a big factor, as younger drivers often lack the experience that older drivers have.

If you choose to wait before buying your coverage, you may get the chance to establish yourself in your adult life and your career; leading to lower risk factors and better premium costs.

Choosing to wait until your risk factors have lowered or dropped off, such as turning 21 instead of 18, can have a dramatic effect on how much you are charged for coverage.

Remember that having your insurance lumped in with someone else’s, such as your parent’s or guardian’s, means that you will have less control over the coverage and the billing.

You will be relying on another person to make sure that the coverage options are adequate, that the bill is received and paid for on time, and that any correspondence that may apply to you is conveyed in a timely fashion.

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Higher Premiums Come With the Lack of Experience

Being a minor that is looking to buy car insurance, quotes with high premiums are going to be the norm. This is often perpetuated by statistics that show younger or teenage drivers are lacking experience behind the wheel and are involved in more accidents due to this.

Although not every young driver will be in an accident, insurance providers look at the group as a whole to make generalizations when they write a policy.

This means that you will often have to take on higher premium payments until you reach an age that your premium drops down or a time that you qualify for a discount.

Even if you choose to remain on a parent or guardian’s policy, there will likely be an increase in the premium to offset the addition of a teenage driver.

As you grow older and more experienced behind the wheel, insurance providers are more likely to reward you for gaining experience and being a responsible driver by lowering your premium amount.

This can vary depending on the insurance provider and their policies, so be sure to check with your potential carrier about ways that you can lower your premium if you are curious.

Your Driving Record, Your Insurance History, and Your Policy

While you may be a young driver, you may have incidents on your driving record or in your insurance history that are red flags for a potential insurance provider. These could be previous claims, moving violations, traffic citations, or other incidents.

There is the potential that any of these situations could affect the available policy options you can choose from.

One common way that your coverage may be affected is if you have been involved in an accident and filed a claim.

When you file a claim with your provider, this information may be available for years afterward, meaning you can face increased premiums from your current provider and future providers.

Receiving a violation or citation from a law enforcement official may also be something that your provider considers.

These types of incidents are listed on your driving record, which means that having multiple occurrences could lead to your driving record being considered poor or inadequate.

This may mean you have to accept higher premiums or you may not qualify for coverage through your potential provider.

As a minor, any incident or situation that can raise your risk may make it harder to obtain insurance coverage from a traditional carrier. If this situation arises, you may have to look at alternative solutions, such as a high-risk insurance carrier.

These are carriers that specialize in providing coverage to drivers that a traditional insurance company is not willing or unable to insure.

If purchasing coverage from a high-risk insurance carrier is not an option, you may need to look at joining a parent’s or guardian’s coverage, if possible.

Their experience and reliability may help to offset your high-risk status enough that a traditional provider is willing to provide you with coverage.

Conclusion

Choosing to purchase car insurance as a minor is no easy task; you may be in for a rude awakening in regards to how insurance works.

Deciding to get coverage of your own may be a necessity for you in your situation, but it’s important that you look at the big picture so that you can choose the best policy and the best provider to meet your needs.

Remember, younger drivers will encounter higher premium costs associated with their lack of experience operating a vehicle.

This inexperience introduces a lot of risk to any insurance carrier, meaning they will charge you enough to hopefully offset any losses you may claim. If you cannot find coverage through a carrier that will meet your needs, you may want to consider alternative solutions.

Your driving record and your history with any previous insurance carriers can be a big factor in how a provider views you. If you have a poor driving record already, you may find that traditional carriers are unwilling to provide you with coverage.

Also, if you have handled previous insurance policies or claims in a poor fashion, a potential provider may view this as a red flag.

If you still have questions about receiving a policy of your own, speak to your current or prospective insurance provider. They are often able to provide a fairly accurate quote based on information you provide them; be honest about your past from the start.

If they are unable to answer your questions or provide coverage, you may want to consider searching for a different insurance carrier.

Use our comparison tool to see top insurers’ rates side-by-side.