UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Melanie MussonUPDATED: Mar 13, 2020Fact Checked

Most young drivers obtain car insurance coverage through their parents before purchasing their own policy. A teenager’s parents may add them to the family policy or take out a separate joint policy to cover the teen’s vehicle. This joint policy may last for several years throughout the driver’s high school and college, and by the time the driver obtains their own policy they will have a substantial driving record already in place. This will make it easier to purchase auto insurance in the future, whether from the same company or with another insurer.

Not all individuals choose this path, however. Some people do not learn to drive as teenagers, and others don’t get their first car until college or beyond. Some people’s parents may not choose to purchase insurance for them, or they may be in a situation where being added to a family policy doesn’t make sense. For these individuals, buying their first auto insurance policy may pose an additional challenge.

Fortunately, buying car insurance isn’t difficult whether you’ve had insurance in the past or not. It may be more expensive for first-time car owners, though, and it’s important to research the insurance in advance prior to purchasing the policy so that you know for sure what you’re getting into.

Will My First Policy Cost More?

Young people pay more for auto insurance than older drivers. People who learn to drive later in life have a slight advantage over teenagers when buying their first policies, but their rates will still be higher than those of people who have years of driving experience. Many of the risk factors usually associated with teenagers are still true of older first-time drivers.

Because drivers without any driving history are considered a higher risk than those who have been driving for several years, these people will pay more for premiums during the initial years of their policy. People who have never had an insurance policy also have higher rates than others; many insurance companies consider individuals with no history of insurance to be high-risk customers because their habits are unknown.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for a person’s insurance premiums to decrease after the initial term has ended. Once a person proves that they are a safe and responsible driver, insurance costs will begin to decrease. After a few years of monitoring your driving habits, the insurance company will assign you to an appropriate category of risk and adjust your rates accordingly.

How to Find Insurance as a First Time Driver?

Before obtaining an insurance policy, it’s a good idea to do some general research about car insurance. By learning what the different coverages do and how you can be protected, you can choose the coverage that you need for your own policy. This will help you avoid buying too little insurance or purchasing coverages that you do not need; this ensures that your policy is exactly what you need. Once you have a basic idea of how coverage works, you will know what you’re looking at when purchasing a new policy.

The easiest way to find your first insurance policy is to search online. By submitting a request for a free quote, you can review your matches and determine what the most affordable option will be. Bear in mind, however, that the figure you receive may not be exactly the same as what you will end up paying. The insurance companies that provide the initial quotes will review your information, look up your past driving history, check your credit and call you to discuss your policy in greater detail. The cost of your insurance may vary once these factors are addressed.

It may be a good idea to speak with several different insurance companies before deciding on a policy. This will ensure that you have the best possible rates for the coverage that you need. Be sure to ask questions about anything you’re uncertain of and don’t agree to anything or purchase anything that you don’t understand. The insurance representative should be happy to answer any questions that you have to ensure that you get what you’re looking for.

If you do speak with a representative on the phone, be sure to get their name and write down any important information, such as the amount of the quote they give you or any discount programs that they offer you. This way you have that documented in case the next representative attempts to give you a higher rate.

Once you’ve purchased your initial insurance policy, changing companies or negotiating a lower cost in the future should be easy. Drivers with a long history of safe driving with one insure are very appealing to other companies, and insurers will offer you discounts to entice you to switch.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson