Adding a new teen driver? Expect an 80% increase or more in the NW

Newly insured driver by Sharlyn Petit

By now we know that insuring a newly licensed teen is expensive. But just how much of an increase will Northwest parents see this year?

A recent study by says adding a driver ages 16 – 19 to your existing policy can increase your premium by an average of 80%. In the Northwest, the average is even higher: 81.31% in Idaho, 89.75% in Washington, and 99.1% in Oregon.

The study suggests weather differences, insurance regulations, and cost of living are possible factors in higher costs for teen driver insurance. And insuring male teens continues to account for a greater premium increase, 92% versus 67% for adding a female teen.

Here are three ways to veer from the normal increase:

  • Inquire about discounts. Get all the discounts you qualify for, including PEMCO's Good Student Discount. For teens with >= 3.0 GPA and a safe driving record, you could see a savings of 20%. Multi-car discounts, safety discounts based on your car’s features, and adjusted rates while teens are away at school also are available.
  • Decide on a few ‘house rules.’ Graduated licensing laws set a few extra restrictions for beginning drivers, but many parents – nearly 80% – apply their own ‘house rules’ to the mix. Often, something as simple as teens paying for their own gas, insurance, and repairs motivates teens to drive more carefully to avoid expensive tickets or accidents. With a few years of safe driving built up, future rates should be more reasonable.

There’s no getting around that looming increase when adding a teen driver to your policy. But at any age, it’s experience, a focus on safety, and building a safe driving record that lead to a decreased premium.

Read more about the teen driver premium rates study and ranking of all 50 states at

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