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Can you have your own car insurance at 17?

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...

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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...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • Choosing to get your car insurance is something that anyone that operates a vehicle must consider
  • Although this may be exciting at the start, it’s important to consider everything that comes along with buying your own insurance
  • At the age of 17, you are likely to be viewed as inexperienced by any insurance carrier; this will make you a high-risk driver in their eyes
  • In this situation, you will face higher premiums than your parents or other adults, which is done to preemptively cover the potential losses
  • Your driving record may be another factor that a carrier takes into consideration; having a poor record could result in high premiums or difficult acquiring insurance

When you turn 17, one of your first thoughts may not be about buying your car insurance policy. However, this may be one adult responsibility you have to take up sooner rather than later.

If you are looking to get your insurance at 17, it’s important to consider how this purchase may affect you and what options you have; making the best decision you can is crucial.

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Do you need to have your car insurance at 17?

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Turning 17 is a big step towards becoming an adult, and purchasing your car insurance is often one of the first adult responsibilities you may encounter. It’s important to remember that just because you can purchase a car insurance policy does not mean that it is the best choice.

There are situations that may require you to get coverage of your own, and there are times you may not need to purchase coverage at such a young age.

Purchasing insurance coverage affords many benefits to you at such a young age, including being able to choose the coverage that fits your needs and your budget. This also gives you a learning experience when it comes to working with insurance providers.

However, getting insurance at a young age can also lead to higher insurance premiums, due to the following:

When you decide to wait before buying a policy, you may have the opportunity to become better established in your adult life before getting your policy. This can lead to lower premiums and better discounts due to your lower risk.

However, staying on a policy with your parent, guardian, or another individual removes some of the power from your hand. Whoever is in charge of the policy is often the person responsible for choosing coverage and ensuring the bills are paid.

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Can you afford higher premiums for your coverage?

Being a 17-year-old driver often comes with the idea that you are an inexperienced driver; one that is prone to claim or accident situations. While not every driver may fall into this category, many younger drivers do.

Due to this statistic, many insurance carriers often charge higher premiums for younger drivers. These higher premium amounts may start to drop off as the driver grows older and shows responsible driving habits.

Being a teen driver means that higher premium costs are often a part of acquiring a policy. As a teen driver on someone else’s policy, there is often still an increase in the premium when you are added.

However, purchasing your policy means you are responsible for that increased amount yourself.

Many insurance carriers often have the same mindset when it comes to younger or inexperienced drivers, which means you can encounter difficulty when searching for lower cost insurance coverage at age 17.

This will start to drop off as you age and as you prove yourself to be a more responsible driver.

Will your driving record or insurance history be a factor?

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At the age of 17, you may think that you do not have enough of an insurance history or driving record to be a factor in your coverage determination.

However, there is the potential that any existing violations on your driving record or any adverse insurance history could affect your options.

One of the most common reasons this can affect your coverage is situations where you may have been involved in an accident. If you file a claim with an insurance carrier, this information may be available to other insurance carriers for a length of time after the event.

Also, having a traffic citation or moving violation may be another factor in your coverage options.

If you have a poor driving record, which could constitute moving violations, traffic citations, accidents, or other adverse incidents, you may encounter hardship when looking for coverage.

This could lead to higher premium amounts or problems finding a provider willing to sell you coverage.

At the age of 17, anything that raises your risk even further may make it harder for carriers to insure you. If this occurs, you may not find standard insurance policies an option in your situation.

There are high-risk insurance carriers that specialize in covering drivers that traditional carriers are not willing to insure.

Do Your Homework

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If you get car insurance as a 17-year-old driver, you may be in for an awakening as to how insurance providers work.

Choosing to purchase a policy may be a requirement for you at this time, but it’s important that you look at all of your options and make the best choice for your needs.

Young drivers often encounter high premiums due to the risk that they introduce to the insurance carrier. This is normally because young drivers are inexperienced or prone to accidents.

If your age is making it hard to find coverage through a provider, you may want to look at alternatives that are available to you at the time.

It’s important to take your previous driving record and insurance history into consideration before choosing a policy.

Your previous involvement with other insurance providers may be viewed during this process, so a history of claims or other issues could be a red flag to your potential provider. Additionally, violations or citations on your driving record could signal that you are a high-risk driver.

If you still have questions about obtaining a policy at this time, speak to your potential provider before buying a policy. If they are unable to answer your questions or meet your needs, it might be in your best interest to get coverage quotes from another provider.

Compare other providers today by using our free rate tool!

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