Why is auto insurance so expensive for young drivers?

Finally, you have cut through all the red tape to finally get your new drivers license. You shelled out big bucks for a car and now you need insurance. Of course, you realize it is illegal to hit the streets without insurance. You might also know that insurance rates are based on how likely you are statistically to get into an accident, and being a first-time driver, the numbers are not on your side.

New York State Young Driver Statistics

According to a study prepared by the Institute For Traffic Safety Management and Research:

  • 27% of all crashes in New York State during 2015 involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.
  • 23.6% of all crashes in New York State during 2015 involving a fatality involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.
  • For 2015, 24.2% of all tickets issued to drivers between 16 and 24 in New York State were for speeding. This is compared to 19.8% of all tickets issued to all drivers in the state (of all ages) were for speeding.
  • For drivers aged 16 to 20, 14% of crashes involved unsafe speeds. This is compared to only 6.5% for drivers of all ages.
  • 57% of males aged 16 to 20 were involved in an auto accident. This is compared to just 43% of females in the same age group.

These statistics, all taken from DMV data for New York State, indicate key factors influencing insurance rates.

Young Drivers Are Riskier To Insure

young drivers expensive car insuranceYoung drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident. In crashes involving a fatality, young drivers are involved in a higher percentage than all other age groups. Young drivers receive a disproportionately higher number of speeding tickets and crashes involving speeding in this age group are more than double than the number for all drivers.

Statistically, in all age groups, a higher percentage of male drivers are involved in a crash, but this percentage is even higher in the young driver group as compared to their female counterparts.

In light of these trends, it is understandable that insurance companies tend to treat young drivers as a special case of a high-risk client.

It bears stating that alcohol or drug impairment violations on a young drivers record would negatively impact their insurance rates. The fact that 2% of police-reported crashes involving young drivers involved alcohol impairment is even more disturbing when we consider these drivers are not even legally able to purchase alcohol in the state.

Anything a young driver can do to avoid showing up in these statistics would greatly increase the chance of maintaining affordable insurance coverage.

Car Insurance Rating Factors

Auto insurance companies use many rating factors to determine your rates. Let’s look at some of the most common ones through the lens of a young driver. If young drivers can make improvements in any of the following areas, they may gain additional savings on their insurance rates.

  • Age and Gender – Young drivers tend to pay more for insurance for the reasons listed above. Female drivers, in general, tend to get lower rates.
  • Marital Status – Married drivers tend to get lower rates.
  • Location – Where you park your car both at home and at work tends to have an effect. For example, if you live and park your car in a rural area, you are likely to receive a lower rate.
  • Driving record – Driving record plays a big role in determining your premiums. For example:
    – Traffic violations and points will earn you a higher rate.
    – License status, including prior suspensions or revocations, will impact rates.
    Car accidents will contribute to higher rates.
  • Vehicle make and model – Older more modest cars tend to get lower rates than newer, more flashy models of cars.
  • How often you use your vehicle – Do you drive daily or only a couple times a week? Lower driving frequency will bring your rates lower.
  • Occupation – Do you use your vehicle for work or only pleasure use? A pleasure use policy is generally cheaper.
  • Insurance history – Make sure you never have a gap in coverage. A gap in coverage could affect your insurance rates.
  • Prior insurance claims – How often have you filed claims in the past? For what reason? More claims can cause you to see higher rates.

How Young Drivers Can Save On Insurance Costs

Looking at the statistics and then taking a look at the factors insurance companies use to set premiums, it seems understandable that insurance companies charge a bit more for younger drivers. Luckily, there are many areas listed in the rating factors that young drivers can use to lower their rates. Avoiding accidents and not having to file a claim will go a long way towards keeping your insurance rates manageable.

Additionally, if a young driver is able to stick it out for the long haul and make it beyond the age of 24 without any major mishaps, there is some relief in sight as insurance companies tend to give drivers over 24 a break.

Here at NewYorkMotorInsurance.com, we work hard with many insurance providers to get young drivers the best rates. For additional tips on how young drivers can save on insurance, check out our post on how to lower insurance rates for teens.

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