Sooner or later, no matter how much you want to avoid it or how much you dread it, your teenager will learn to drive. Worse than that, they may even get a car. To top it all off, they will have to get insurance for that car. We all know that getting an auto insurance policy for a newly licensed teenaged driver is expensive.
Forming a partnership between you, your teen and the insurance company will help you to reduce your teen’s auto rates and maybe keep a few extra dollars in you pocket. Here are a few tips:
- Maintain a clean driving record: Make sure that your teen is aware of the laws and restrictions in your state. Instill in your teen the importance of following the rules of the road. Just one traffic violation for a newly licensed driver may have you paying two to three times what you should pay. Until your teen can afford to pay for his own policy, he must keep a perfect driving record to protect your pocket.
Statistics from the CDC(Center for Disease Control and Prevention):
In 2002, more than 5,000 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes (CDC 2004).The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash (IIHS 2005).
In 2003, teenagers accounted for 10 percent of the U.S. population and 13 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths (IIHS 2005).
The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers; the risk increases with the number of teen passengers (Chen 2000).
- Follow my lead: Are you setting a good example? Do you speed? Do you tailgate? Your teen is watching you. Make sure you show them how it should be done. Remember, your soon to be driving pre-teen is watching you too.
- Maintain Good Grades: Students who maintain an average of B or above may earn up to a 25% discount on insurance rates.
- Drivers Education: Many insurance companies offer lower rates to teenagers that have completed qualified driver’s education courses. Before you spend money on a course, check with your insurance carrier to find out which schools they accept.
- Safety: When looking for a car, keep in mind that insurance companies like safety features. The safer the car, the lower the rate. The faster and newer the car, the higher the rate. Do a little homework before buying your teen a car. Be aware of the theft or vandalism rate for the car you’re buying. The more likely it is to be stolen or vandalized, the higher your premiums.
- Alcohol and Drugs: Under aged drinking is illegal. Your insurance company may void your policy as a result of an illegal action.
- Watch your teen in action: Drive with your teen from time to time. See if they are still the safe driver they were when they first got their license, or have they developed a few bad habits. Be a passenger and observe. Compliment them if they’re doing a good job, or diplomatically point out potential problems..
- Talk to your agent: Your insurance agent can help you to determine whether or not it is cheaper to put your teen on your policy. If you drive an expensive car, your rates may increase dramatically by adding your teen. It might be cheaper to get a separate policy, depending on the type of cars in your household. Your agent can offer advice on the best way to insure your teen’s car and pay the lower rates.
- Shop: Get a few quotes and compare. Rates differ from company to company.
Working together with your teen and insurance company will help you to get the best auto rate for your teen possible. It’s worth the effort.