Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • If you decide to get car insurance at 18, it may be your first step towards adulthood
  • While this may be exciting, you need to consider what comes with this new responsibility
  • At age 18 you will usually be considered a young and inexperienced motorist, meaning you are viewed as a high-risk driver
  • If this is the case, you will often face higher premiums to offset the potential risks associated with your policy
  • Additionally, your driving record will be something your carrier reviews; a poor driving record may result in higher premiums or difficulty finding coverage

As an 18-year-old driver, purchasing your car insurance may be your first adult responsibility. Although this may be an exciting time for you, it’s important to know what happens when you purchase coverage and the way that insurance providers will view you.

There are a few situations that may require you to purchase your insurance at 18, but it’s critical that you discuss your coverage options with your family to make the best choice for your needs.

Make sure you compare car insurance quotes to get the best rate. Try our free comparison tool right now.

Buying Car Insurance At 18

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When you turn 18, one of the first big steps you may take into your adult life is purchasing car insurance. However, just because you can purchase a policy at this time does not necessarily mean that is your best option.

There are times that getting your own policy at 18 may be in your best interest, while in other situations it may be better to wait until a few years after you turn 18.

When you purchase your insurance, one of the biggest benefits is being able to choose coverage options that meet your budget and your insurance needs.

This will also give you some great experience in working with these insurance carriers while learning to manage your budget. One negative to getting your insurance at such a young age can be higher insurance premiums, which may be due to your age or your driving record.

If you decide to wait to buy a policy until you have become more established as an adult, there may be benefits as well. Staying on a policy with your parent or guardian may afford multi-line discounts and lower premiums, something that you may not qualify for on your own.

However, this means you are relying on someone else to choose coverage options that meet your needs.

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Expect Increased Premiums

At the young age of 18, you may find it hard to find cheap or affordable coverage options. This is because younger drivers tend to be inexperienced compared to older drivers which may lead to more accidents at a younger age.

As you gain years and gain experience, insurance carriers tend to reward this by lowering the premiums on your policy.

As a teenage driver, you will need to expect higher premiums to offset the risk you introduce to your insurance carrier. Your insurance carrier will use these higher premium amounts to preemptively offset the costs associated with any claims you may file.

If the provider you are considering cannot meet your needs, you may want to look at another provider for coverage.

Many providers have the same ideas when it comes to young or teenage drivers, meaning that it can be difficult to find low cost or cheap insurance coverage at the age of 18. This will often decrease as you prove yourself as a responsible driver and as you grow older.

Your Previous Driving Record and Insurance History

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Your driving record and your insurance history can both affect your policy options and your premiums. While you are only 18 years old, there is the potential that you have an existing insurance history or driving record that your provider may take into consideration.

For instance, if you have been involved in a traffic accident before age 18, this may be listed on your driving record. While one accident may not be enough to raise an alarm, having multiple incidents on your driving record may be a problem.

Having a poor driving record, normally a record with a high incidence of citations or violations can lead to higher premiums or difficulty getting insurance coverage.

Your insurance history is something else that may be taken into consideration. While your parent or guardian may have been responsible for the insurance coverage up until now, your past can still affect you in the present.

The following can affect your history:

  • Your driving record
  • being involved in claims
  • being involved in accidents

If your potential provider looks at these records, they may determine that your claim history makes you a higher risk than they anticipate for your age. If this is the case, you may have a hard time obtaining coverage through standard insurance carriers.

If you have several claims over a short period of time, you may want to look at high-risk insurance carriers.

Conclusion

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When you purchase car insurance at age 18, it can be an eye opening experience as you learn how the insurance world works. Getting a better idea of how to work with an insurance carrier, during the quoting process and afterward, can help prepare you to manage the responsibility.

However, before deciding to purchase a policy it’s crucial that you look into your needs as a young driver and what the best option is to meet those needs.

Younger drivers often face higher premium costs due to the risk associated with their lack of experience behind the wheel; this is something you need to anticipate.

Your age may make it hard to find coverage from a willing provider, or you may have to deal with high premiums while you prove yourself as a responsible and low-risk driver.

Also, consider your previous insurance history and your driving record before purchasing your policy. Your previous experiences with prior insurance carriers may be something a potential provider will take into consideration.

Additionally, having a history of citations or other vehicle-related violations can affect your available options or your premium.

If you have any questions about this, be sure to speak with your insurance provider before purchasing your policy. If they cannot meet your needs, you may want to consider looking at another insurance provider.

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