So you have a new teenage driver in your household? There’s no need to panic just yet. Yes, it’s inevitable that adding them to your auto insurance will cause an increase in policy premiums, but if you know ahead of time what your options are, you won’t be stuck using their college fund to pay an outrageous rate. Understanding why teens are considered to be more of a risk factor can help you make the right moves as a parent to counteract those claims and retain a lower auto insurance premium while keeping your child safe at the same time.
Factors That Contribute to Teen Driver Rates
Realizing the importance placed on parents to teach safe driving practices and then urge their teenagers to apply those lessons is the first step in raising a responsible driver. When you start looking into coverage options for a new driver, knowing what your auto insurance company is basing your quote on, and in turn, talking to your teen about it can help everyone involved to stay on the same page and allow your teenager to know what is required of them if they want to maintain their driving privileges.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this factor. If your teenager is male, you are going to be hit with a bigger number than if you have a daughter. According to statistics, young male drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents than anyone at any other age.
There isn’t much you can do to establish more experience with insurance companies, but the more driving practice you log in with your child the more peace of mind you’ll have that they are ready to hit the road. Spending extra time with them behind the wheel, beyond what is offered in driver’s training, builds up experience and confidence and decreases the risk of a crash, which will eventually help drop your premium rate.
A sense of invincibility coupled with immaturity and adventurous spirits make teenagers a high risk for reckless driving. They often believe nothing bad can really happen to them and also don’t have the experience necessary to spot a dangerous situation while driving before they’re in one.
Distraction is a major component of teen driving that leads to higher rates. The use of cell phones while driving has become a big problem and cause of many accidents. Teenage drivers are often carrying more passengers than older drivers, which can attribute to natural distractions in the car.
Ways to Ensure You Receive the Best Rate Possible
Keeping your auto, home and life insurance all under the same roof of your insurance company should offer you a discount. The same goes for adding more than one car on the same policy. You may also want to consider adding an umbrella policy for an additional discount, once you have a teen driver, which will provide extra liability coverage and protection in case you need it down the road.
Of course, a smaller, faster car will be more appealing to a teenager, but the reality is that a four-door, practical model will be much easier on your wallet when it comes time to add them to your auto insurance, be less difficult to maintain and provide an overall safer driving experience.
Technology has come a long way since most parents started driving, and now they can use it to their advantage when it comes to their teenage driver. Monitoring devices that can be installed in the vehicle your child is driving tracks their whereabouts and specific driving behaviors and allows them to be supervised even when you’re not in the car with them. Many auto insurance companies offer discounts when these devices are installed and view the driver as less of a risk.
Good grades still count when it comes to auto insurance rates. Driving privileges are a great incentive for teenagers to keep their grades up through high school and into college and provide a big premium cut for you.
Driver Training Course
The more training and knowledge a driver has the safer they will be on the road. Insurance companies understand this, which is why many times you can take advantage of discounts when you have your teen driver complete a safety program.
What You Don’t Want to Do to Get a Lower Rate
It’s understandable to want to reduce your insurance rates as much as possible, but if you’ve chosen to give your teenager driving privileges you must ensure they are adequately covered before they get behind the wheel. You should never cut corners with liability coverage so you don’t find yourself shelling out even more in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Tiffany Olson lives in Northern California and blogs on behalf of small, local businesses in order for them to reach a greater online audience. This article was written for Azevedo Insurance, a small provider of auto insurance in Redding.