How Driving Experience Affects Your Insurance Rates

Are you or your kid just starting to drive? New drivers will most likely have higher rates. Read more about about how it works here.
Young driver getting experience to improve car insurance rates

Insurance companies consider your driving experience when they’re determining your rates. How long you’ve been driving helps insurers figure out how risky you are when you get behind the wheel. People who’ve been driving for fewer years are generally more likely to make mistakes and get into accidents because of their inexperience. Once a driver reaches a certain number of years of experience, insurers are likely to lower their rates.

Your insurance rates won’t be the same as everyone else. Providers use a wide variety of factors to determine your premium These factors are usually small details about you that help insurers assess your risk as a customer and driver. Examples of car insurance rate factors include:

This article will look at how your driving experience plays into determining your premium. We’ll teach you about the different types of inexperienced drivers. Not all inexperienced drivers are necessarily young. You’ll also learn about how much driving experience insurers want before they lower your rates. Finally, we’ll answer some frequent questions about how your driving experience affects your auto rates.

Who Are Inexperienced Drivers?

When you hear the term “inexperienced driver,” you may think of teenage or young drivers. Young drivers are a significant part of this category. But other types of people also fall into the inexperienced driver group.

Below is a list of the different types of new drivers:

Teenage or Young Drivers

Teen drivers are probably the most common inexperienced driver. They may see even higher rates due to their age. According to TeenDriverSource, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 get into about four times more crashes than those who are 20 or older. This means that young drivers tend to file more claims than older, more mature drivers do.

Teen drivers may also find it harder to get insurance altogether. Their age and inexperience highlight a high risk for insurers. Parents will usually need to add teens to their policy to ensure that they can get the coverage they need to drive.

While teens will likely see expensive insurance premiums, there are still ways to lower your costs. Teen drivers can take advantage of the good student and student-away discounts. They may also be able to take driver’s education courses to see lower costs.

Late-Bloomer Adults

Inexperienced drivers don’t have to be young. Adults can also be without experience. If you’re just getting your driver’s license at any time, you’re likely to see higher rates. This is because you have no track record for insurance companies to look at. No matter the age, you’re still a risk to insurers because of this uncertainty. Even if you’re 50 years old, this situation can apply to you.

You should also consider that drivers who exceed the age of 65 may see higher rates. This can mean you may see more expensive premiums if you’re just starting to drive at an older age. On the other hand, older drivers may commute less and generally make smarter decisions, per the Insurance Information Institute (III).

How Much Driving Experience Do Insurers Prefer?

It’s no secret that driving experience can impact your rates. But exactly how much experience do insurers want you to have? You’re generally not going to see an exact number from insurers. But there are ways to estimate when your rates will lower.

Here are a couple of situations where you may have enough experience for your rates to drop:

You’ve Maintained a Clean Record

Maintaining a clean driving record for about three to five years can indicate to your insurer that you aren’t a risk of getting into accidents. Ultimately, showing a clean track record is the best way to lower your rates. This could also help you get a safe driver discount. Be sure to speak with your agent about how to qualify for a safe driving discount with your provider.

Eventually, you can get the accident free discount. While this is definitely something to look forward to, most insurers require three to five years of accident free driving to qualify.

You’ve Reached a Certain Age

For young or teenage drivers, reaching a certain age can mean you have enough experience for your rates to go down. Generally, once you reach the age of 25, your car insurance costs will go down. If you got your license as a teenager, you’ll have had it long enough to show an acceptable track record.

Insurers can be a little slow at recognizing your achievements and lowering your rates. Some companies reward drivers that reach milestones better than others. Consider shopping around and comparing quotes if you think you should pay less for your coverage. Your quote could be much lower than what you’re currently paying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will adding an inexperienced driver to my policy affect my rates?

A: Adding an inexperienced driver to your policy can affect your rates. This is because they carry a higher risk of getting into accidents and filing claims. For example, adding your teen to your policy can raise your rates because of their age and inexperience. Keep in mind that this works both ways. Adding a driver who has a clean record and many years of experience can lower your premium.

Your best bet is to switch to a company that offers better rates and coverage for new drivers. Every insurer is a little different. So, if you’re unhappy with your current provider, things aren’t going to improve when you add a new driver. Changing to a different insurance company may be the best course of action.

Q: How long do accidents stay on your record?

A: Accidents factor into your driving history. They stay on your driving record for three to five years. The exact length depends on your state’s laws.

Q: How long do claims affect your car insurance rates?

A: Auto insurance claims affect your premium for about three to five years. Your insurer will still be able to see your claims from over three years ago, but they won’t factor them into your rates. Some insurers will consider claims from up to ten years ago, but this is a rare situation.

Q: Why do inexperienced drivers pay so much for insurance?

A: Inexperienced drivers pay more for car insurance because they’re at a higher risk of getting into accidents and costing your insurer money. Insurers raise your rates to match the risk that you may pose. The idea is that the more experience a driver has, the less likely they will make mistakes.

It’s a harsh reality that new and young drivers alike must endure for several years. Until your track record and insurance history becomes established, your rates will be costly. But good driving habits pay off in the long run because insurers always reward safe drivers.


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