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Adding Teen Drivers without Breaking the Bank
For many parents, adding a teen driver to an existing auto insurance policy may prove costly. After all, insurance companies generally categorize teens as high-risk drivers due to factors such as inexperience behind the wheel, for starters. Fortunately, however, there are a few things parents should be aware of in order to keep teen insurance costs to a minimum.
Prior to adding your teen to the family policy, consider the following tips:
Making the Grade
Typically, the higher grades a teen earns in high school, the less his/her car insurance coverage may cost. Although discounts vary from company to company, many insurers today offer teens a 10% to 15% discount for maintenance of a B grade or higher, for instance. Obviously, in addition to the savings, this South Florida auto insurance discount may also prove incentive for your teen driver to keep his/her grades up throughout the school year. Encourage your teen to be smart scholastically and financially!
Increasing Policy Deductibles
Many people cringe at the mere thought of a high deductible insurance policy. However, higher deductibles translate to lower premiums, and lower premiums translate to insurance premium savings, of course.
Frequently a consideration, opting for a higher deductible prior to adding your teen to the insurance policy works for many folks. Keep in mind, however, that prior to electing the same, you may want to emphatically stress the importance of safe driving practices for all listed drivers on the policy. If an accident should occur, higher out-of-pocket expenses will result. Clearly communicate this to your teen driver so that he/she can better comprehend the ramifications of the same in the event of a claim.
Maintaining a Clean Driving Record
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 16-year-olds top the list with the highest rate of car crashes today. What’s worse, tragically, many of these accidents involve fatalities. Don’t let this happen to your child.
From texting and/or cell phone usage to distracted driving and/or speeding, today’s driving habits prove extremely hazardous for teenagers in general. Statistics indicate that a teen’s initial safe driving habit(s) may fall by the wayside once his/her confidence level behind the wheel takes hold. Showing off in front of your friends by driving recklessly, for instance, is one of the most dangerous things a teenager can do. Ensure your child’s safety to the best of your ability by closely communicating the importance and benefits of maintaining a clean driving record. Explain to your teen that if he/she is involved in an accident and/or if he/she receives a speeding ticket, your insurance rates will jump significantly. Lastly, be sure to reiterate that driving is a privilege. As traffic violations often result in suspension of driving privileges, upon receipt of any traffic violation, you will suspend his/her privileges until further notice as you see fit.
Older Vehicle Consideration
Many parents today seem pressured to buy a new vehicle for their teen–especially one equipped with the latest safety bells and whistles. However, it’s important to remember that new cars often mean higher insurance premiums in addition to higher vehicle costs. Before reaching a conclusion on the matter, the consideration of an older make/model vehicle proves wise for numerous reasons.
Keeping Policies Current
Lastly, be sure to carefully review your insurance policy on an annual basis to insure that all information is, in fact, accurate and up-to-date. Remember that if your teen is heading off to college without a vehicle, remove his/her name from the policy once you receive confirmation that he/she will not be driving at all during the policy term.