You are now the parent of a teenage driver, which can be a source of pride and terror. Of course, you are going to worry about having your kids behind the wheel, but you also have to worry about paying for their driving expenses. Adding a teen to your automobile insurance is always costly, and finding a policy you can afford can be difficult. You can reduce the cost and hassle of this process by being well-informed and demanding certain standards from your teen. With help, you can survive the teen insurance years until they are able to manage their own policies.
Adding a teenager to your insurance means your premium will likely see a steep increase. Stats show that the average increase is 82% annually when the teen driver is between 16 – 19 years old. The news is worse for parents of teenage boys. Their policy costs will rise approximately 112% per year in contrast to those folks with teenage girls. Their increase will be approximately 82%. When teens turn 19, the males’ premiums should drop to around 70% more while the female policies will be an additional 51%. Only age, experience and a clean driving record will get your child a cheaper premium.
These premium differences are not due to age or gender discrimination but to driving performance. Young male drivers are the group most frequently involved in accidents. Teens of both sexes have a bad safety record, in part because they are new drivers. Teens also tend to be more careless on the road. In fact, the leading cause of death for American teens aged 15 – 19 is vehicle accidents. Insurance policy prices are based on risk assessment, so teen drivers, or their parents, will have to pay substantially more to get the protection they need.
Fortunately, you can take advantage of several ways to lower your teen’s premium. They include the following options:
If your teen needs academic motivation, tie their driving privileges to their grades. Many insurance companies offer a discount for students on the honor roll or who score high on standardized tests. This discount could be as high as 20%, depending on the company and your state of residence. That type of discount is significant, particularly if your teen is paying their portion of the policy premium. Studying seems like a good option when it’s saving you some cash.
Experts note that having your teen buy an older car can result in lower premium prices. Of course, a new vehicle may have more safety features that also lower premiums to some degree. The best choice may be a late model car that still has a number of these up-to-date safety features like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning. Consult with your insurance representative to find out which type of vehicle will come with a lower premium while providing enhanced safety.
Some insurance companies will lower premiums if the vehicle has a device installed that measures driver performance, including the miles traveled, speeds driven and brake application. Drivers who get a good report can save up to 30% on their premiums. Plus, you can see the report as well, which makes monitoring your teen’s driving much easier.
Certain insurance companies also give discounts if your teen completes a driving safety course that focuses on improving their driving skills. Other companies give discounts for drivers who complete a regular driver’s education course. The discounts vary but can mean at least a 15% reduction in premium prices.
If your current insurance company does not offer these discounts, shop around. You may find that you’ve been overpaying for your insurance coverage. Too often, drivers stick with a company year after year without exploring their options. All drivers should comparison shop for coverage at least every 24 months to see what deals are out there. By moving to another company with teen discounts and better overall rates, you could end up paying much less than you’d feared. You can find a number of online sites that will give you instant quotes from a number of insurance companies. Also, ask around among your peers. Parents who have had teens driving for a few years are experts on cutting premiums.
Insurance for teen drivers will increase your policy premiums simply because teens get into many more accidents than other age groups, in some cases it may be worth considering accident forgiveness. Insurance companies, like all businesses, aim to earn a profit. Management knows that teens are simply a bad risk and will file more claims. Teen boys have the worst record, so if you have sons, you will be hit with a large bill.
Fortunately, you can reduce the expense of a teen driver by comparison shopping, encouraging academics and monitoring their driving performance. Certain cars are far less expensive to insure than others, and your agent will be able to steer you toward those models. With diligence, you may be able to lower your teen’s premium by 30% or more if you take advantage of all the discounts available to you.