Being a parent is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, but it certainly doesn’t come cheap! As you move from diapers and formula to sports fees, tuition, music lessons, summer camp and more, parents of teens know better than anyone the value of a good discount. And you may never appreciate a discount more than when your teen starts driving.
Studies have shown that adding a 16-year-old driver to your auto insurance policy can increase your premium by an average of 78 percent. the good news? Many insurers offer discounts to help offset the cost of insuring a teen driver. Don’t let the sticker surprise get the best of you!
why it costs more to insure teen drivers
Insurers use insurance scores much like lenders use a person’s credit score. In other words, your insurance score will provide a baseline assessment of your “risk.” riskier scores generally result in higher insurance rates, while lower risk translates to a lower price point.
FYI: The national average auto insurance premium for a 16-year-old driver with minimum coverage in the United States is $2,593.
Teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 represent the riskiest age group of all drivers. According to the CDC, this age group is involved in more car accidents than any other. Teenagers are generally classified as “high risk” until the age of 25, at which point they may finally start to notice the cost of their car insurance going down—assuming they have a clean driving record, of course.
then your teen is locked into a category of “risky” driving for years to come. what can you do to save money in the meantime?
how to save money on car insurance for a teen driver:
1. put your teen driver in a safe vehicle.
While your teen may have her sights set on a luxury sports car, the choice of her first vehicle is important, as it can directly influence the cost of her auto insurance. Insurers often reward choosing a vehicle with safety features, such as:
- air bags
- anti-lock brakes
- automatic seat belts and/or seat belt alarms
- power steering
Your insurance agent can calculate a free, no-obligation rate quote while you shop for a car, to give you a better idea of what to expect. It’s definitely worth doing your homework and finding out how much it would cost to insure your teen on a used sedan instead of a new SUV before you make any big purchases.
2. encourage your student to get (and keep!) good grades.
This is a no-brainer for parents of high school and college students. hit the books! Some insurers offer a discount for good scores that can range from 5 to 25% off. For a $2,400 policy, that could translate to savings of up to $600!
To qualify for a “good grade” discount, a driver must generally maintain a “b” average while enrolled as a full-time student. Please note that not all insurers offer this discount. those that do base their discount on the fact that teens with good grades tend to be better and safer drivers.
Ask your insurance broker if your student qualifies for a “good grade” discount on their auto insurance policy.
3. complete a driver education course.
Speaking of good students: Insurers often reward teen drivers who complete a driver’s education course with a 5-10% discount.
Some insurers, such as liberty mutual, offer their own safe driving program through the company’s mobile app. others will accept documentation of course completion through your teen’s high school or an online program. Driver’s education courses are commonly offered free or at low cost to help encourage participation. what are you waiting for?!
4. consider bundling into a family policy.
At first glance, it may seem like a great lesson in financial responsibility to have your child pay for their own individual auto insurance, however, you may want to reconsider that strategy for a couple of reasons.
- first, an individual single driver policy is virtually guaranteed to be the #1 most expensive option for your child.
- second, If you bundle multiple insurance policies into one account, you’ll get a bundle discount. so while you’ll bear the added cost of another driver (and a “risky” one), everyone will save money in the long run.
BTW: Just because your teen driver doesn’t have their own individual policy doesn’t mean you can’t ask them to pay some or all of the costs to insure them. We’ve got your back, Mom and Dad!
5. tell your insurance agent about specific driving habits.
At webb insurance, we hope you’ll think of your insurance broker as a family friend and trusted advisor. As such, it may be worth sharing more information about your teen’s driving habits, especially if they drive infrequently.
Some insurers offer an “absent student” discount. Your child may qualify if they attend a college or university more than 100 miles away and don’t have a car on campus. they may also qualify for an “occasional driver” discount if they use an insured vehicle for less than 25% of their annual mileage. however, it is very important to make sure you are not claiming any discounts that would leave your teen driver uninsured or underinsured. contact your insurance broker for more information.
6. Find car insurance with free quotes.
In the world of insurance, it never hurts to ask. request free quotes, ask if you are eligible for any discounts and compare rates to get the best price.
As an independent insurance agency, webb insurance works with multiple insurance companies to provide our clients with the best quotes for insurance coverage. For potential clients, we source options for you, taking the pain out of finding the right insurance program for you. For current customers, we monitor your renewal premiums annually to ensure you receive the most competitive program available.
Get a free auto insurance quote.
7. maximum savings: safe driving!
We’re passionate about helping you get the right coverage at the right price, but your safety is our top priority. It goes without saying that the best way to save money on car insurance at any age is to have a clean and safe driving record, free from accidents and previous car damage claims.
Your teen looks up to you as a role model. remember to model safe driving behaviors throughout their lives, and not just when they approach driving age. and by the way: don’t text while driving!
get the best insurance coverage for your teen driver
safe webb in st. charles has been helping families protect themselves on the road for over 35 years. As an independent broker, our agents can provide a free, no-obligation rate quote from several of the best insurance companies to help you find the best auto insurance coverage at the best price. and we’ll work closely with you to help you feel confident that your insurance covers everything it’s supposed to.
As your family grows and changes, so do your insurance needs. Contact your friendly local insurance broker to schedule a free meeting over lunch or coffee, or submit an online application for a free auto insurance quote.
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