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A Mother Wants to Know: Why Are Car Insurance Rates so High for Her Teenage Son?


A TrustDALE viewer sent us an “Ask Dale” question recently to find out why her teenage son's auto insurance rates are so high. The viewer’s son had just turned 16 and got his driver’s license, but when the family contacted their insurance provider to add him to their plan, they were shocked! 

The teen boy’s rates were significantly higher than the family’s 18-year-old daughter’s. This had the mom fuming that he is being penalized not only for being young but also for being a boy. So what’s the deal? Read on to learn why auto insurance is a numbers game, and how sometimes, the numbers can be against you.

How Insurance Rates Are Calculated

Insurance rates are determined by statistics. In the U.S., drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times as likely to have a fatal crash than all other drivers 20 and older. Ever since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety started tracking crash statistics nearly 50 years ago, the data has pointed to certain clear determinations. 

So what did researchers find? According to the data, most fatal car accidents involve male drivers. And worse yet, two out of every three teenagers killed in a car crash were male, too.

What That Means For You

As frustrating as higher rates can be, they’re not personal. It’s purely a numbers game. That’s why insurers charge according to history and statistics. And since this is an industry standard, beware of any insurance companies who quote you a significantly lower rate than all the rest. Chances are, you are sacrificing too much coverage for that rate. It’s smart to shop around for insurance plans, but always take care to use a reputable company with good reviews and references.