Your son or daughter has reached driving age and you may be worried about how much it will cost to insure your young driver. The good news is you don't need to go through sticker shock. There are ways to save on your young drivers auto policy by qualifying for discounts and following guidelines insurance companies offer to keep your premiums at a minimum.
Teenage DriversLearning Good Driving Habits
Statistics show that young drivers have the highest accident rate of any other driver on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers under age 25 are four times as older drivers to die in an accident, and traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.
Many drivers education programs have been cut from high school budgets, which leaves the responsibility of teaching teenagers to drive in the hands of the parents. But some states require young drivers to take a certified driver's education course in order to get a drivers license at age 16, or the teen will have to wait until they are 18.
These courses are important for two reasons: they provide your teenage driver with a solid foundation of good driving habits and can help to reduce a young driver's car insurance premium by as much as 15 percent.
Young DriversThe Laws of the Road
Because of the rising statistics of accidents involving teenagers, state governments have introduced new laws to help lower those statistics and provide guidelines for young driver safety.
Some states enforce what's called graduated drivers licensing laws, which vary from state to state, but may include:
- Mandatory driver education completion
- Specific learner's permit or intermediate license requirements
- Minimum number of hours of required adult supervision while driving
- If the event of an accident or speeding ticket, additional training is required
- Suspension of driving privileges in the event of an accident
- Limited nighttime driving
- Limits on the number of passengers
- Tougher drunk driving penalties
- Requirements to abide by laws applicable to all drivers, such as seat belts, restrictions on talking on the cell phone, etc.
Some insurance companies also encourage you to present your teenage driver with your own set of laws they need to abide by in order to have the privilege of driving. Even if there are no passenger restrictions in your state, it's wise to enforce this yourself. Studies have shown that distractions such as friends talking, using cell phones and listening music have contributed to teen auto accidents. Establishing a curfew, while also restricting their driving on weekend nights will set boundaries for your young driver and keep them off the road during high-risk times.
Good Grades, Good Driving Record Equals Good Rates
Not only will a good grade point average help with your teen's college plans, it can save you money on your car insurance premium. Most insurance companies offer a young driver discount for students with good grades, which can lower insurance rates by as much as 10 to 20 percent.
The longer your teenager keeps a spotless driving record, the more chances you have for keeping their car insurance costs down. Some insurance providers will consistently lower the cost of the premium and/or deductible each year your teen drives safe and free from traffic incidents.
Car BuyingChoose Wisely
As with other types of auto insurance policies, the rate for your young drivers insurance will be factored by the make and model of their car.
Choosing a practical car with a high safety rating over a sports car will give your teen a reliable mode of transportation and contributes to more affordable insurance rates. Buying a certified used vehicle versus a model straight off the showroom floor will also help.
It's smart to shop around for a teen driver auto policy to find the best rate and car insurance program that fits your needs. If you or your family's driving record is clean, it could be a good time to shop for a policy for all the drivers in the house. If your driving record is less than spotless or you drive a luxury car with higher premiums, you may want to opt for a separate policy for your young driver.
See how much you could save today on your car insurance. Get your free auto insurance quotes today!