Teenage Drivers and Your Insurance: How You Can Keep Rates Affordable
Adding a teenage driver to your insurance policy may just be as frightening for many parents as the thought of having their teenager out on the road. Rates for teenager drivers are notorious for being among the highest, and there is good reason for that. The inexperience of a young driver and the statistical likelihood of an accident mean insurance companies have to hedge their bets when it comes to providing coverage. Higher rates protect insurance companies from the potential for claims. Fortunately, there are still some ways to get that teenager’s car insurance rate down to something manageable.
Discounts for Young Drivers
Insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts, and some of them apply specifically to young drivers. One of the best discounts available for teenagers is the good student discount offered by many companies. If your teenager is maintaining a certain grade level, they can qualify for often hefty discounts. All you will need to do is provide a transcript proving they meet the required level. Be aware you will likely need to re-qualify for this discount on every renewal, meaning your teenager will have to maintain those good grades.
There are also discounts for teenagers who attend certain driving safety courses. Driver education is one of the best ways to ensure your young driver is safer on the road and also to get your insurance rates down. In addition to the major driver education courses, individual insurance companies may have safety videos or other educational options to get you a discount.
Combine Policies and Save
Families with multiple drivers and varied insurance needs can save money by combining their policies all in one place. Often quoting your car insurance with the company that handles your home insurance can save you on both policies. Some companies even offer discounts for combining life as well. Having all of your cars insured in the same place has similar benefits.
When you get car insurance quotes, ask the company to quote your home as well. Adding a teenage driver is a prime time to do a little research and shop your rates around. Some companies offer better rates for young drivers than others, and it’s well worth getting quotes to see who can offer you a deal. When you quote the teenage driver, be sure to have all of your vehicles quoted as insuring just that driver alone is rarely the best way to save. You might find you wind up with lower rates on all of your policies while insuring a teenager at the best possible rate.
Smart Car Shopping
Insurance rates are not just based on the driver, but on the car as well. Thus, pairing a teenage driver with a car that carries higher rates to begin with is not going to do your premiums any favors. Your best bet for a car for your teen is to choose something used, economical, and probably a lot less sporty than they would prefer.
Older cars are typically less expensive to insure, so choosing used is may be a good bet. Sports cars and luxury cars carry higher premiums, so they are not usually a good choice for a young, inexperienced driver. If you are shopping for a car for your teen, make a list of the options you are considering and then call for quotes on each before you buy. This will ensure you don’t run into any surprises when you have already bought the car and now have to pay the insurance on it. Some parents choose a low-value car that they are willing to skip comprehensive and collision coverage on to cut premiums – just be sure you are willing to take the loss if the car is damaged or written off.
Keep a Clean Record
Remind your teenager that keeping a clean driving record is vital to making certain that the rates stay affordable. A ticket or an accident on a young person’s driving record can send already high premiums soaring. Young drivers need to be extra cautious as their inexperience can cause mistakes that lead to a strike against their driving record.
Remind your teenager to always stick to the rules of the road and to be extra cautious about distractions while driving such as cell phones and friends in the car with them. The best way to get a good rate that stays low over time is for teenage drivers to maintain a clean record so that they can qualify for rate reductions in the future.
With good, safe driving and by making use of available discounts, you can shop around for the best possible car insurance rate for your teenage driver and take the sting out of high rates.