For a teen or first-time driver, the process of getting a license can be incredibly exciting. However, this same time can be overwhelming and stressful for a teen's parent. To help you navigate this new terrain, Christian Brothers Automotive has created a series of 10 useful lessons every first-time driver should know.
Today, the focus is more on parents than the driver - what you need to know about teen driver insurance.
So sit back, buckle up, and prepare to learn everything you need to know to keep premiums low and your child protected.
Insurance is not optional
In most states, a license cannot even be obtained without proof of insurance. However, you do have options when it comes to teen coverage. With most insurance providers, the teen can either be added under the parent's coverage or covered as an individual.
Discuss with your family and your provider which option would best suit your needs. More often than not, adding the teen to a family plan will save on the cost of premiums. Unfortunately, even with discounts, adding a teen driver will raise your rates significantly.
Why are teen drivers' rates so high?
The insurance rates for teen drivers are significantly higher than older members of the family simply because they are inexperienced. When it comes to driving, lack of experience can be very dangerous. As CNBC explains, "A 16-year-old will cause the typical premium to go up 99 percent, a figure that dips to 90 percent for a 17-year-old, 82 percent for a driver aged 18, and 65 percent for someone aged 19."
Teen drivers are more likely to receive a ticket, be involved in an accident and experience a higher fatality rate than more experienced drivers. Thankfully, there are a few ways to lower a teen's insurance premiums.
Christian Brothers Automotive has found three easy ways to lower the cost of teen driver insurance
1. Don't splurge on a new car for a first-time driver
Most fancy sports cars come with a higher insurance price tag. AsJune Walbert, a Certified Financial Planner for USAA, tells us, “[A] bigger, faster engine costs more money to insure and more money to repair.” As we already mentioned, teens are significantly more likely to be involved in a collision than an older driver.
It will cost more to repair a brand new vehicle than a used car that already shows signs of wear and tear. Your teen will beat up their first car. Buying an older model is worth it to save on the car itself, potential repairs, and insurance rates.
2. Look for discounts
Over the past few years, insurance providers have realized not all teens drive the same. They've even begun taking initiatives to encourage safe driving in teens and young adults. Most insurance providers will offer discounts for safe driving habits and an incident-free history.
For example, Safeco recently launched their Teensurance program, which offers discounts to teen drivers who maintain a certain grade point average, attend a driver training program, participate in the Teen Safe Driver Discount program, or have parents who have been Safeco customers for at least two years.
3. Enroll the teen in a driving safety course
Nowadays, most insurance providers will offer their own safe driving programs. Some providers, Liberty Mutual for example, even offer teen driver safety classes. These programs provide further experience and training specific to teen drivers' needs. The hope is to reduce collisions and reward safe teen drivers.
If your provider doesn't have their own program, there's a good chance they'll provide a discount for completing a defensive driving class. If you have any questions about discounts for safe driving or teen driving program enrollment, speak with your insurance provider.
Finding the right insurance coverage can be a headache. Teen drivers will raise your insurance rates and there's no escaping this step of the process. However, with Christian Brothers Automotive's handy guide to teen driver insurance, you now have the information necessary to get the best deal possible. Find the right insurance for your teen and protect the entire family!