The 21st century teenager. Over the millennia, it has evolved into a creature of many curious habits.
Notice the speed in which its thumbs move across the keypad of its smartphone. Or how it will stand silently when asked by its parent about the events of its school day. It can even flawlessly execute a stunning roll of the eyes in order to communicate equal parts boredom and disgust.
But one skill the modern teen struggles to master is the practice of operating a motor vehicle. Because of this, auto insurance providers must try to mitigate their risk of paying out accident claims for teen boys and girls who are still trying to learn how to drive. These companies do this by charging significantly higher insurance premiums for teens than they would for typical adult drivers.
Teen Auto Insurance WILL Be Expensive
According to InsuranceQuotes.com, when a typical married couple adds a teenaged driver to their auto insurance policy, the total premium surges by an average of 79%. In other words, a couple who pays $1,000 for six months’ coverage would see that figure skyrocket to $1,790 after enrolling their teen for auto coverage.
It’s worse for boys than for girls, simply because statistics show that teen boys are involved in more collisions than their female peers. While the average 16-year old girl’s inclusion on her parents’ policy raises the combined rate by 67%, a boy of the same age added to the family policy typically results in a more drastic 92% increase.
These numbers underscore the importance of comparison shopping for auto insurance coverage for teenaged drivers. After all, it’s a major purchase much like a house, car, or large appliance; and in those cases, you wouldn’t simply buy the first product that you see, right?
Teach Your Teens “Safety First”
While there are certain ways to receive discounts on insurance policies (more on that later), the most effective way to minimize household spending on your teenager’s auto coverage is for him or her to maintain a clean (preferably spotless) driving record. And the best way to accomplish that is to train your teen to be a safe driver.
This process actually starts before your teen becomes eligible to drive a car. There’s a good chance that over the years, you may have developed a few bad driving habits yourself. Therefore, since your children will mimic your behaviors (much like they always have growing up), make sure that you are being a good role model when it comes to driving safely, properly, and cautiously.
Whenever possible, enroll your teenager in a certified driving instruction course so he or she can learn the appropriate way to drive from someone who has experience in teaching new drivers. And when your teen is practicing what he or she has learned while you’re in the vehicle, make a concerted effort to remain calm and offer constructive advice instead of being stressed and dictating orders or pointing out mistakes.
As the day approaches when your teen will begin driving solo, it’s important to communicate your expectations and boundaries regarding the use of your (or his or her) vehicle. Don’t simply rely on state law to define the driving limitations for your teen; instead, discuss topics like curfews, destinations, and purposes for driving, and then make sure your teen understands the rules you’ve laid out. (If you feel it’s necessary, there are numerous smartphone apps and/or technological devices which can help monitor teen driving or help minimize distractions while they’re behind the wheel.)
Teens + Drugs Or Alcohol + Driving = Major Problem
Here’s another important topic to cover: driving while impaired. While parents may differ on the appropriateness of alcohol and/or marijuana use for their teens, the laws in most states are pretty strict concerning minors who are driving under the influence. While the minimum level of blood alcohol content for adults to be considered intoxicated is .08%, that figure ranges between .00 and .02 for drivers under the age of 21.
In practice, that means the consumption of a single drink, pill, or joint is usually enough to make a teen impaired in the eyes of the law. Not only does driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs substantially increase the risk of a collision; but if your teen is convicted of a DUI, his or her auto insurance premium will shoot up drastically – and remain that way for several years until the offense is removed from the teen’s record or he or she turns 25 years old.
Other Strategies For Decreasing Teen Auto Insurance Rates
Finally, there are some steps you and your teens can take to lower the amount you’re paying for auto insurance coverage. One of the most practical is to do something you’re probably already doing: encouraging your teen to excel in the classroom.
That’s because statistics show that students with good grades tend to be lower risks for insurance companies. Most insurance carriers will slice a nice chunk off your premium if your son or daughter maintains a B average or better in high school or college.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a vehicle for your teen, be cognizant of the fact that the type of vehicle you buy will factor strongly into your auto insurance premiums. As a rule, insurers tend to charge lower rates for cars, trucks, and SUVs that are older, safer, and less targeted by thieves. So when researching your vehicle purchase, be sure to check safety ratings, theft frequency reports, and insurance premium estimators in order to minimize your future auto insurance payments.
If you are confident in your teen’s driving abilities, then you may want to consider usage-based insurance. While not available in all states, this typically involves installing a device inside your teen’s vehicle which records metrics like mileage, speed, braking, and acceleration. The insurance company then downloads this data and uses it to help determine how safe your teen is being behind the wheel – and your rates may be lowered accordingly.
Last but not least, there are some common tactics for reducing your auto insurance costs. Paying six months of premiums in advance, bundling your policy with your life and/or homeowners’ insurance, and raising deductibles are all methods that often result in a discount from the auto insurer. Jettisoning optional auto coverages, agreeing to online “paperless” statements, and investing in anti-theft devices can also shave a few dollars off of your premiums.
It also helps to have a partner who has the experience and resources to find you the most affordable auto insurance coverage for your teenaged driver. That’s what AIS Insurance has been doing for its customers for over four decades. So if you could use a little “parental assistance” when it comes to your teen’s auto insurance policy, contact AIS today!
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.