Teens and Auto Insurance: What You Need to Know
Dan Levenson March 20, 2018
As a parent, adding your teenager to your auto insurance policy is a scary milestone. Not only is it nerve-racking to send your child out there on the road alone, the increase in your premiums can be downright terrifying!
Before you add your teen to your auto insurance policy, make sure you understand the ins and outs of the process, including how you can save a little money on coverage.
The Average Cost of Adding Teen Drivers to Your Policy
Putting your teen on your existing car insurance policy will run an average of $621, or around 44% of the current cost of your car insurance policy—and that’s the minimum amount. While that may seem like a substantial increase, it’s considerably less than getting your teen driver a policy of their own, which may cost more than $2,000 per year.
In some states or with some insurance companies, adding a teenage boy to your car insurance policy can be more expensive than adding a teenage girl due to the higher incidence of reckless driving or drinking and driving in males under the age of 25. Make sure to talk with your insurance agent before adding your teen to your policy in order to better understand your coverage needs.
Note that you should add your teen to your insurance policy as soon as they have a driver’s license. While you’ll need to check with your insurance company about covering your teen when they have a learner’s permit—some won’t require that addition until your teen is officially a licensed driver—you should be careful to follow any rules and regulations put in place by your insurance company.
How to Save when Adding Teens to Your Car Insurance Policy
Let’s face it: Adding a teenager to your auto insurance policy is an expensive proposition, and you’d like to save money on it, if at all possible. Some of these strategies will make it easier on your wallet when your teen gets their license.
Have Your Teen Take Driver’s Ed
This class is still offered in most schools. If your teen’s school doesn’t offer it, look online to find a local location for those classes. Many insurance providers will offer a discount on insurance for a teen who has been through the driver’s ed class.
Encourage Good Grades
Teens who are responsible with their schoolwork are more likely to be responsible in other areas of their lives, and car insurance companies reward that behavior. Many companies will offer discounts for teens whose grades are a “B” average or above.
Choose an Inexpensive First Car
Teens are more likely to get into accidents than adults, and insuring an expensive SUV or flashy sports car is going to add up fast. Instead, choose an inexpensive car that will be less likely to raise your insurance bill.
Teach and Encourage Safe Driving Skills
Adding a teenager to your insurance policy is expensive. Adding several tickets or a wreck to your record, on the other hand, will send it skyrocketing quickly. Take the time to be sure that your teen is a safe, competent driver before allowing them on the road alone.
Drop Your Teen’s Mileage
Teens who drive infrequently—only to a closely-located school or workplace and back, for example—will often find themselves paying less for insurance than teens who are frequently on the road. You should also let your insurer know when your teen goes off to college, especially if they aren’t taking a car with them.
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
You’re doing your best to teach your teen to drive safely, but these simple tips will help make it easier to ensure safe driving and keep your insurance premiums as low as possible once your teen starts driving.
- Keep cell phones off and in an inaccessible location when driving. This will help decrease distractions.
- Wait until you know your teen is ready before allowing passengers in the car. Passengers are one of the biggest causes of distractions and/or reckless driving, especially in teenage boys.
- Practice defensive driving. Defensive driving can go a long way toward preventing accidents on the road.
- Always let your teen know they can call you to come get them from a bad situation, whether they’ve mistakenly had too much to drink (hint: anything to drink, even accidentally, is enough reason to stay off the road!) or the current weather conditions are making them uncomfortable.
- Remind your teen not to engage in distracted driving. Changing the radio, eating, or even adjusting the heat and air can all be done when the car is not in motion.
Letting your teenage driver on the road may be terrifying, but it doesn’t have to break your wallet, either. If you have a new teenage driver that you need to add to your insurance policy, contact us today to learn how we can help make that process easier.