If you're the parent of a teenager that's getting ready to climb behind the wheel, insuring them can be an expensive endeavor.
It's pretty simple:
The cost is so high is because the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Not only do you want to keep your insurance premiums low, but it’s also important to teach your teen to be a safe driver.
Below are some helpful tips on how to keep your premiums as low as possible, and to keep your teen accident-free.
Insuring you teen
- Policy options – rather than setting up a separate policy for your teen driver, consider adding them as an additional driver on your Auto Insurance policy. Typically, this is the most cost-effective option. Also, if you have more than one vehicle, designate which vehicle your child will be driving. The newer the car, the more expensive the coverage will be.
- Deductible considerations – auto deductibles typically range from $250 to $2,500. By upping your deductible and utilizing your insurance for big repairs, you can significantly reduce your premium. If you lease or finance a car, the leasing or financing company may require that your deductible not exceed $1,000.
- Ask for the good-student discount – if your teenager maintains at least a 3.0 grade-point average, he/she typically qualifies for a rate discount. To help motivate your child, consider making his/her driving privileges contingent on maintaining good grades.
Preventing distracted driving
We've all seen the commercials, heard the horribly tragic stories resulting from distracted driving, so before it's too late, we need to address the issue head-on.
While you can’t do anything about your teen’s young driver status, there are many things you can do to help keep them safe, and your insurance premiums affordable.
Teens get distracted easily, which increases their likelihood of being involved in an accident. To minimize their potential for distractions:
- Don't allow them to drive with more than one other person in the car for the first year of driving
- Ban the use of all electronics (cell phones, even listening to music on the radio) while behind the wheel
Enroll your teen in driver’s education
Although courses may be available at your child’s school, consider enrolling him/her in a driver’s education course. Often, discounts are available for teens who take recognized driving classes because it extends the teaching period.
Set your expectations for safety
The best way to keep your teen’s insurance premium stable is for them to keep their driving record clean.
To help reduce potential accidents, many parents actually create a ‘Driving Contract’ with their teen that includes the following types of provisions:
- Restricts your teen’s nighttime driving
- Limits the number of passengers your teen can have in the vehicle
- Bans cell phone use while driving
- Establishes driving-area limits
- Sets a curfew
- Insists on seat belt use for everyone in the vehicle
To further reinforce good driving habits, ride with your son or daughter occasionally to make sure they’re keeping up with the safety rules of the road they learned in driver’s education.
And don’t forget to talk with your teen driver about drinking & driving. Some parents prefer a ‘hands-off’ approach with this topic, but don’t make that mistake… have the talk with your teen before it’s too late.
Weigh your buying decision
Wanting to get your teenager a new car to drive with the latest safety equipment is understandable, but you may be better off purchasing a safe, used vehicle.
Remember, the newer the vehicle, the more expensive it will be to insure. A quality used vehicle known for its safety features could provide the perfect balance between keeping your son or daughter protected without breaking your budget.
And if you’re looking for an independent third party to discuss the importance of driver safety, the impact just one speeding ticket can have on the insurance costs for a teen driver, or you’d like a copy of a sample ‘Teen Driving Contract,’ just let us know. We’re here to help.