The exact price you must pay for auto insurance depends on various factors. Driving history, age, gender and location are among the most important determinants of insurance premiums. A teenage male is the single most expensive demographic group to insure as such drivers are considered to be the riskiest on the road.
As a broad rule, the older the driver, the lower his or her insurance premiums. This is not to say, of course, that an older driver will always pay less for car insurance, but all other factors being equal, younger drivers must usually pay far more to get insured. For instance, a male driver under 24 must pay an average of around $2,000 for a six-month insurance premium, while the same insurance policy will cost roughly half as much if the insured driver is between 25 and 29 years old, according to CarsDirect. The older the driver, the lower the price for insurance according to CarsDirect, although senior citizens may be charged more in some instances, as their reflexes may be deemed less sharp.
The stereotype of males engaging in higher risk behavior does appear to be true, at least when they are behind the wheel of an automobile. For any age group, male drivers tend to be charged higher prices for insurance, both for liability as well as comprehensive coverage, compared to female drivers. CarsDirect points out that until age 55, insurance prices for male drivers tend to be around 10 percent more, while this gap decreases to 5 percent if the driver is above 55.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association provides a useful, county-by-county breakdown of average auto insurance rates for both male and female teenagers. In Pueblo County, Colorado, for instance, a newly licensed male driver with no blemish on his driving record and driving a 2003 Honda will pay $1,101 for a six-month policy. This rises to $1,206 if the same driver has one ticket and to an eye watering $2,637 if the same driver has one ticket and one accident on his record.
A female driver whose age, location and driving record is identical will pay $898 if she has a clean record, $984 if she has had one ticket and $2,152 if she has a ticket and one accident. As can be seen in this example, there is roughly a 10 percent difference between males and females.
In short, insurance premiums for teenage males are very high even if the young driver has no blemishes on his record. To reduce premiums, consider enrolling the young driver in a defensive driving class approved by your insurer. Also, a low-powered car with more safety features such as multiple airbags, traction control, blind spot warning and so on, will reduce premiums. Both for their safety and to keep insurance rates affordable, teens should stay away from high powered sports cars, at least until they build a more extensive record and gain experience. The aforementioned insurance premiums will rise significantly if the teen is behind the wheel of a Corvette, instead of Honda.
Hunkar Ozyasar is the former high-yield bond strategist for Deutsche Bank. He has been quoted in publications including "Financial Times" and the "Wall Street Journal." His book, "When Time Management Fails," is published in 12 countries while Ozyasar’s finance articles are featured on Nikkei, Japan’s premier financial news service. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg Graduate School.