Teen Driver's Insurance
It is so exciting for a teen to get their license: new-found freedom! However, with that freedom comes tremendous responsibility. One responsibility as a parent is making sure that your teen driver has insurance; it is illegal to drive without it. Insurance rates are based on probability, and unfortunately, there is a much greater probability of a newly-licensed teen driver getting into an accident than other age groups. Statistically, the risk of crash per mile driven is three times higher for 16-19 year olds than for drivers age 65-69! There are many other factors that go into the cost of insurance: the type of vehicle being driven, how many miles are driven, and the type of driving. This is why it is best to speak to us about your teens. We can work with you to ensure you have the right level of protection at the best price. Here are some things to consider:
- One policy for the family: It is generally much less expensive to add a teenager to a parent's policy, rather than creating a new insurance policy. Most companies will not charge an additional premium until the teen is licensed. Once licensed, the insurance company needs to be informed of the licensure so they can be added to the policy.
- Good grades make a difference: Most insurers offer a discount–-up to 25%–- for students who get good grades in school.
- Driver training: A driver’s education program, whether offered through the teen’s school or through a private company, is usually a good idea. Successful completion of these kinds of programs generally lead to a discount on insurance premiums, often by 10% or more.
- Drinking and driving: While the legal drinking age limit is 21, the reality is that, for teen drivers, drinking and driving continues to be a major problem. The consequences can be deadly serious. Even if no one is hurt, a DUI ticket can be very costly, and a loss of license, fines, court costs, and an increase in insurance premiums often result. Many times, a DUI will lead to coverage cancellation upon renewal. If you can get coverage, the rates will be higher for three to five years or more.
- Accidents and tickets: Accidents and tickets also can lead to increased premiums and the possibility of the non-renewal of policies.
- Cell phones and texting: Cell phone use laws and stiuplations regarding texting while driving are changing, and many states have very stringent and restrictive laws. Teen drivers tend to be more distracted than other groups, and cell phone use and texting creates even more distraction. It is important for parents to continually reinforce to their teen drivers the importance of focusing on driving and minimize all other distractions, including the cell phone.
- Your type of vehicle makes a difference: Some vehicles are more insurance friendly than others. Pairing a teen driver with a high performance vehicle can result in much higher premiums than a “grandpa” car. Also, vehicles that are a favorite of thieves, or are expensive to repair, will cost more to insure. You may want to contact us before you purchase a vehicle to find out how it will affect your insurance premiums. Don’t automatically assume an old vehicle is the best insurance bet. Newer makes and models are often designed to be safer, therefore, various discounts may be available. Click this link for information on vehicle safety ratings.
Parents may want to speak with their teens and have them sign a contract regarding the dos and don’ts of driving, especially early in their driving career. Many of these types of contracts are available on the Internet. We can design an insurance program that best fits your needs. Just let us know of upcoming changes including the licensure of your teen driver and we'll .