For many families, adding a teen driver to their car insurance policy can prove to be painfully expensive. After all, insurance companies generally consider teens as high-risk drivers. Fortunately, there are a few ways to keep teen insurance costs to a minimum.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to add your teen to the family insurance policy:
Make the grade
Typically, the higher grades a teen earns in school, the less their car insurance coverage will cost. Most insurers offer anywhere between 10 and 25% discounts for teens who maintain a B average or higher. Not only will this save you money, but it will also be a great incentive for your teen to keep up her grades. Consider telling your teen if their average drops below a B, she’ll have to take a break from driving until she can make the grade.
Increase your deductible
Most people cringe at the thought of a high deductible insurance policy. However, a higher deductible often means lower premiums-and that can save you loads of money when you’re adding a teen driver to your policy.
Your insurance premiums will probably increase significantly when you add your teen driver, so you’ll want to do everything possible to bring that premium down. You can achieve a lower premium by raising your deductible. However, if you choose a higher deductible, it’s important to stress that all the drivers in your family must be extremely careful on the road. If someone gets into an accident, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket before your insurance kicks in-and to top it off, your insurance rates will go up. Be sure to communicate this clearly to your teen driver.
Keep a clean record
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 16-year-olds have the highest rate of car crashes than drivers of any age. Sadly, many of these accidents prove to be fatal.
Many teens start off driving safely, but after a few months, become overly confident and start driving recklessly to show off for their friends. It’s critical to make sure that your teen is and remains a safe driver-not just for the sake of your insurance rates, but also for their safety.
If your teen has an accident or even gets a speeding ticket, your insurance rates will jump significantly. You may want to give your teen extra motivation to be safe behind the wheel. Explain to them that driving is a privilege, and if they receive a traffic violation you’ll have to take away that privilege.
Consider an older car
Many parents are tempted to buy their teen a new car that includes all the latest safety bells and whistles. However, it’s important to remember that new cars often mean higher insurance premiums. Consider buying an older used car for your teen or giving him or her the oldest car on your insurance policy.
Keep your policy up-to-date
Be sure to review your insurance policy at least once a year and ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. Once your teen graduates from high school or celebrates his 18th birthday, your insurance rates may drop. Also, if your teen heads off to college without a car, you may be able to take them off your policy for the time being. (However, before you remove your teen from your policy, confirm that your teen will not be driving at all. It could cost you big if he were to have an accident without insurance.)