It is so exciting for a teen to get their license. New found freedom; however, with that freedom comes tremendous responsibility. One responsibility it to make sure they have insurance – as it is illegal to drive without it. Insurance rates are based on probability, and unfortunately, there is a much greater probability of a newly licensed teen driver getting into an accident than other age groups. Statistically, the risk of crash per mile driven is three times higher for 16-19 year olds than for drivers age 65-69! There are many other factors that go into the cost of insurance; for example, the type of vehicle being driven, how many miles are driven, and the type of driving. That is why it is best to speak to us about your teens. We then can work with you to ensure you have the right level of protection at the best price.
Here are some things to consider:
- One policy for the family – It is generally much less expensive to add a teenager to their parents’ policy, rather than having their own insurance policy. Most companies will not charge an additional premium until the teen is licensed. Once licensed, the insurance company needs to be informed of the licensure so they can be added to the policy.
- Good grades make a difference – Most insurers offer a discount – up to 25% – for students who get good grades in school.
- Driver training – A driver’s education program, whether offered through the teen’s school or through a private company, is usually a good idea. Successful completion of these kinds of programs generally lead to a discount on insurance premiums, often by 10% or more.
- Drinking and driving – Unfortunately, this is a major problem. While the legal drinking age limit is 21, the reality is that for teen drivers drinking and driving is a major problem. The consequences can be serious – deadly serious. Even if no one is hurt, a DUI ticket can be very costly – possible loss of license, fines, court costs, and an increase in insurance premiums. Many times, a DUI will lead to coverage cancellation upon renewal. If you can get coverage, the rates will be higher for three to five years or more.
- Accidents and tickets – Accidents and tickets also can lead to increased premiums and the possibility of the non-renewal of policies.
- Cell phones and texting – the laws about cell phone use and texting while driving are changing, and many states have very stringent and restrictive laws. Teen drivers tend to be more distracted than other groups, and cell phone use and texting creates even more distraction. It is important for parents to continually reinforce to their teen drivers the importance of focusing on driving and to minimize all other distractions, including the cell phone.
- Your type of vehicle makes a difference– some vehicles are more insurance friendly than others. Pairing a teen driver with a high performance vehicle can result in much higher premiums than a “grandpa” car. Also, vehicles that are a favorite of thieves, or are expensive to repair, will cost more to insure. You may want to contact us before you purchase a vehicle to find out how it will affect your insurance premiums. Don’t automatically assume an old vehicle is the best insurance bet. Newer makes and models are designed to be safer with more safety equipment; therefore, various discounts may be available.
We will design an insurance program that best fits your needs. Just let us know of upcoming changes including the licensure of your teen driver.