Perhaps you have a teen approaching the driving age and they are after you to help them learn. You, being part masochist, decide it wouldn’t hurt to get the process started. You teach them, often with clenched teeth and fingers gripping handles tightly. After many nerve wracking hours, they pass the exam. Now you have a teen driver on the road! Then the insurance bill arrives and a new kind of panic sets in. Insurance bills are high but are often most expensive for teen drivers. There is a litany of reasons for this, including lack of experience, crash data, and other factors that cause their premiums to rise. In the case of adding your teenage son to your insurance, your bill could spike by as much as 89 percent whereas adding your teen daughter adds an average increase of 66 percent. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate these high costs. Here’s how:
Search for Discounts
There’s a good chance your current insurance provider has discounts available that could lower your premium. If your child earns good grades, it would be worth it to see if they qualify for a good student discount. Typically, this involves showing the insurance company their latest report card. Another way you can save money is by having your teen take a driver safety course. Once they complete the course, you may qualify for yet another discount. Of course, if you have multiple policies with one provider, it’s likely you’ll have a lower premium. This means if for any reason you have multiple insurance policies with different providers, it’s a good idea to consider consolidating them to save money.
Your teen’s driving behaviors are the biggest influencer in how much you pay to insure them. With this in mind, teach them safe driving behaviors by practicing what you preach. Eliminate distractions like noisy passengers and cell phones that cause a lack of situational awareness. How much your teen drives also makes an impact on their premium costs. Many insurance companies offer low-mileage discounts for those who drive under a certain amount annually, so be sure to check with your insurance company on whether your teen will qualify.
Having your teen drive a vehicle that’s safe and reliable will not only ease any apprehensions you might have, it could also save you money too. A great segment to explore is compact SUVs. They have the coveted style found on sportier options without the characteristics likely to get your teen in trouble. Many come with a full complement of safety features that could help you earn a discount. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled a list of the safest vehicles for teen drivers, which includes a large selection of small and midsize SUVs.
The internet has made it easy to shop from anywhere quickly. As your policy comes around for renewal, it wouldn’t hurt to see what you would pay for a premium with another company. A good rule of thumb is to receive quotes with at least three other providers for the same level of coverages you now have. This will help you identify which provider offers the best deal for you. And, best of all, you can do this within a matter of minutes.
Technology Can Drive Down Costs
Some insurance companies offer discounts when you participate in their monitoring program. A good illustration of this is the Drivewise program through Allstate. How this works is you download the free mobile application then take it with you on your commutes. The system monitors your driving behaviors and awards you points for achieving safe driving goals. You could also lower your insurance premium by as much as 15%. Concerning teen drivers, this is a great app for them to use, provided they don’t let it distract them during their commutes. A good rule to institute is to start the app when they get into the car, then place the phone face down and on mute when they drive. This will help them avoid the temptation to look down at their phones or reach down to pick them up as they hear alerts. What’s more, apps like these create teachable moments as you can go through the data with your child and correct any problems that arise before they become habitual. This will help them develop safer driving behaviors and help you receive lower insurance premiums. That's a win-win!
Off to College
If your child plans to attend a college at least 100 miles or more away and plans to drive only when they come home during the weekends or on holidays, you could save money since they are not driving regularly. If or when this situation applies to you, feel free to contact your insurance provider to see if they offer a discount.
Since insuring your teen driver can add considerable expense to your insurance premium, these tips are meant to help you chip away at those increases. The most important focal point concerns safe driving, and there are plenty of useful monitoring tools to help you when you can’t be in the vehicle with them. We know this can be a somewhat stressful time for you. By taking these suggestions into account, you can have confidence knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare your child to drive safely!