Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers Is there a newly licensed driver in your home? Reduce the stress by understanding the implications for your car policy
For parents, the excitement of having a first-time driver in the house is usually tempered with worry. With little driving experience, immature drivers are at a higher risk for accidents. Of course,
the safety concern is uppermost in most parents’ minds but other stressors—like the high cost of insuring your new driver and the financial liability implications of a teen driving mishap can be reduced with these steps.
- 1 Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers
- 2 Involve your teen in the car insurance discussion
- 3 Encourage positive behaviors
- 4 Choose the right auto insurance company
- 5 Assign your teen to the right car
- 6 Pick a safe car
- 7 Enroll your teen in a drivers education course
- 8 Enroll your teen in a safe driver program
- 9 Enroll your teen in a graduated drivers license program—or create your own
- 10 Discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol use
- 11 Understand the dangers of distracted and impaired driving
- 12 Be a good role model
- 13 Increase your liability insurance for greater protection
- 14 Raise your deductible to save on your premium
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers
Your agent or rep can clearly explain the costs involved in insuring a teenage driver. The good news is, as your teenager gets older, insurance rates will drop—providing he or she has a good driving record. Therefore…
Involve your teen in the car insurance discussion
From the outset, it’s important to talk to your kid about the relationship between driving a car and the attendant responsibilities, including insurance costs. Explain and reinforce driving safety tips and the serious consequences of driving infractions or accidents, including increasing the cost of insurance.
Encourage positive behaviors
Auto insurers offer discounts or reduced premiums to:
- Students who maintain at least a “B” average in school
- Teens who take a recognized driver training course
- College students who attend school at least 100 miles away from home and don’t bring their car to campus
Choose the right auto insurance company
It’s generally less expensive for parents to add teenagers to their auto insurance policy than it is for teens to purchase one on their own. By insuring your teenager’s car with your insurer, you may also qualify for a multi-vehicle discount. That said, insurance companies differ in how they price policies for young drivers, so do some research into prices to be sure to find the best fit for you and your teen.
Assign your teen to the right car
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers Find out how your insurer assigns drivers to cars—some insurers will assign the driver who is the most expensive to insure (generally the teenager) to the car that is the most expensive to insure. If possible, assign your teen to the least valuable car.
While getting a drivers license is an exciting rite-of-passage for teens, it can make a parent frantic—with good reason. The first years that teenagers spend driving are very risky. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds and research shows that more than half of teens who die in crashes are passengers, most of whom are not wearing a seatbelt.
Immaturity and lack of driving experience are the two main factors leading to the high crash rates among teens. Even the best teenage drivers do not have the judgment that comes from experience.
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It affects their recognition of, and response to, hazardous situations and results in dangerous practices such as speeding and tailgating. Teens also tend to engage in risky behavior—eating, talking on their cellphones, text messaging, talking to friends in the car—and they often do not wear their seatbelts.
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers If you’re the parent of a new driver, take the following steps to ensure the safety of your teenager.
Pick a safe car
You and your teenager should choose a car that is easy to drive and would offer protection in the event of a crash. Learn about how to choose a safe car—for example, avoid small cars and those with high-performance images that might encourage speed and recklessness, or trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which are more prone to rollovers.
Enroll your teen in a drivers education course
The more driving practice the better; experience will give your teen confidence behind the wheel, and he or she will be better able to react to challenging situations on the road. Furthermore, a teenager who has learned to drive through a recognized drivers education course is viewed more favorably by insurers and may earn a discount.
Enroll your teen in a safe driver program
Check whether your insurance company offers a “safe driver” program. Teen participants in these programs sign parent-teen driving contracts that outline the young driver’s responsibilities (for instance, not having teen passengers in the car, being home by a certain hour, etc.) and the consequences of failure to meet those expectations. If your teenager completes the program, not only will he or she be a safer driver, you may also be eligible for a discount.
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers, In addition, many insurance companies are helping to reduce the number of accidents involving teen drivers by subsidizing the cost of electronic devices, such as GPS systems and video cameras, which can monitor the way teens drive and alert parents of unsafe driving practices by email, text message or phone.
Enroll your teen in a graduated drivers license program—or create your own
Many states have successful reduced teen accident rates with graduated drivers license (GDL) programs and other laws that allow teen drivers to develop skills and gain experience behind the wheel. With these, new drivers are restricted from certain activities—such as late night driving, having passengers in the car or being on the road unsupervised—until they have had their licenses for a set period.
In states without a GDL program, parents can institute the same policies. Take an active role in your teenagers’ driving practice and expose them to driving in a wide variety of driving conditions to build experience and confidence as you introduce privileges gradually. Allow independent driving only after continued practice, including night driving and driving in inclement weather.
Discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol use
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers Advise teens never to drink or do drugs, and not to get in a car if the driver has used drugs or alcohol. Encourage your teen to call you if such a situation arises to ensure they have a safe way home.
Understand the dangers of distracted and impaired driving
Talk to your teen about the importance of not driving while distracted. Distractions include phoning or texting while driving, as well as listening to the radio and chatting with friends who are in the car. Teens should also be responsible passengers when in their friends’ cars. New drivers should wait 1,000 miles or six months before picking up their first teen passenger.
Be a good role model
New drivers learn by example, so if you drive recklessly, your teenage driver may imitate you. Always wear your seatbelt and never drink and drive.
And, finally, keep in mind, teenagers mature differently—not all are mature enough to handle a driver’s license at the same age. Parents should consider whether teens are easily distracted, nervous or risk takers before allowing them to get a license or even a learner’s permit.
Note that with this kind of arrangement there can be no exceptions; your teen must use only the car to which he or she is assigned, even in an emergency. If your teenager is involved in an accident with an unassigned car, penalties could be imposed and your own premiums might increase.
Increase your liability insurance for greater protection
If your teen gets into an accident, state minimums for liability insurance will not be enough to fully protect you from lawsuits. Consider purchasing higher amounts of liability coverage—if your teenager is found negligent in an accident and the damages exceed your insurance limits,
Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers you will be held financially responsible and could be sued in court for those amounts not covered by your insurance. Depending on the value of your financial assets, you may even want to have the extra protection that a personal umbrella liability policy provides.
Raise your deductible to save on your premium
The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premium, so consider raising your deductible from the minimum amount required. You may want to use those savings to increase your liability insurance.