When you’re young, it’s often difficult to obtain car insurance – so looking at the best auto insurance companies for young drivers is an effort that will pay off. Parents or guardians of first-time teen drivers can help their young driver get the best rates by doing some research.

We’ve checked out some of the best auto insurance companies for young drivers and have narrowed the field to the following:

  • Nationwide Auto Insurance – Among the highest-rated auto insurance companies for all drivers, Nationwide Auto Insurance claims to be one of the best teen insurance choices due to its generous good student discounts. Teen drivers who maintain a B average or better at school may qualify for up to a 15 percent discount on their auto insurance. In addition, parents who purchase Nationwide’s Accident Forgiveness coverage for their young driver can help hold down costs if their teen is in an at-fault accident. With Accident Forgiveness, the teen’s auto insurance rates won’t go up for the first incident. The company also offers an online tool, SmartRide, to help teens become better drivers by learning how to deal with distractions, cope with driving and peer pressure, and driving at night and in adverse weather and/or road conditions.
  • Amica MutualWinner of the J.D. Power and Associates highest customer satisfaction award for the 12th consecutive year in 2011, Amica Mutual also provides young drivers with competitive rates and a full suite of auto insurance needs. Of particular interest to parents looking to obtain teen car insurance coverage, Amica offers good student discounts as well as multi-line, multi-car, student away-at-school and other discounts.
  • Erie Insurance – Number two in customer satisfaction on the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 National Auto Insurance Study, Erie Insurance has been providing auto insurance coverage for policyholders since 1925. The company has a number of discounts that can help provide low rates for young drivers added to parents’ policies, including youthful driver, college student car discount, safe driver discount, multi-car discount, and more. Erie provides auto insurance coverage in 11 states and the District of Columbia (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin).
  • Shelter Insurance – Rated third in customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 National Auto Insurance Study, Shelter Insurance offers good student, new safe driver, multi-car and other discounts to help parents provide their young drivers with auto insurance coverage. Shelter offers auto insurance coverage in 14 states, including Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. The company has consistently high ratings from A.M. Best Company.
  • Auto-Owners Insurance – Another highly-ranked auto insurer, the Auto-Owners Insurance company provides young drivers with auto insurance in 26 states. Parents can obtain numerous discounts on coverage for their teen driver through student discounts, multi-policy, safe driving, green discount, safety feature discount, and more.

Are there additional best auto insurance companies for young drivers? Of course, there are. If you already have an established relationship with an auto insurance company, start there first to see whether adding a young driver to your policy makes economic sense. If the driver will be obtaining his or her own policy, advise them to check out those companies with the proven track record of highest customer satisfaction.

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