Insurance In-Depth: Exploring Cheap Young Drivers Car Insurance
First of all, let’s dispel the rumor that there is such a thing as cheap young drivers car insurance. Young, inexperienced drivers cost more to insure than the rest of us for two reasons: they’re young and inexperienced. So what, you say? From an insurance provider’s standpoint, young and inexperienced means dangerous, distractible and, well, stupid. And they have the stats to prove it. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take to cut your teen or young adult’s insurance rate, however. Here is a list of things you and your kid can do to get the closest thing to cheap car insurance for young drivers on the market.
Why Cheap Young Drivers Car Insurance Doesn’t Exist
We could wax on for pages about how insurance companies weigh risk, how their assessment of risk influences insurance rates, and how that carries over to teen auto insurance rates, but in this case the statistics speak for themselves. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among Americans 15-20 years of age, teens and young adults are involved in 4 times more accidents than any other age group, teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use of any age group in the country, and they engage in risky driving habits (speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, driving under the influence, etc.) at a much higher rate than the rest of population.
How to Get the Next Best Thing to Cheap Car Insurance for Young Drivers
That said, there are things every concerned parent can do to help make insuring their teen driver’s more affordable, even if cheap car insurance for young drivers is more fiction than reality.
- Make Your Student Take a Driver’s Education Course —Driver’s education courses have been proven to increase the safety awareness and basic driving skills of young drivers. As such, most insurance companies offer discounts for teens who complete a certified driver’s education course prior to getting a license. It’s not cheap young drivers car insurance, but it’s something!
- Restrict Where and When Your Teen is Allowed to Drive —According the CDC, the risk of teens being in an auto accident drastically increases between Thursday and Sunday, and after 9:00 p.m. That being the case, by limiting your teen to daytime driving and restricting where they are allowed to drive (e.g. – limiting their driving to school and work only), you can take a big step towards a safer teen driver.
- Stress the Importance of Good Grades —Most insurance providers offer good student and/or honor roll discounts, since studies show that good students tend to be more responsible and safer drivers. Whether you use driving privileges as an incentive for a good report card, or just stress the importance of getting good grades, this is an easy way to cut insurance premiums.
- Choose Your Teen’s Car Carefully —Tempted to buy your teenager a new Mustang for their senior year? Don’t. Not only do new cars cost more to insure than used ones, but certain vehicles (like sports cars) raise red flags and insurance premiums. On the flip side, giving your kid a $500 beater isn’t the answer either. Safety discounts can make big dent in annual auto insurance premiums, and few older cars have the safety features required to make the grade. Finding a happy medium should be your goal if you’re looking for cheap young drivers car insurance.
- Ban Cell Phones and Texting While Driving —National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHTSA) studies have found that dialing a cell phone increases your chance of getting in an accident threefold, while talking on a cell phone nearly doubles it. Add to that the findings of the Transportation Research Laboratory that texting while driving reduces reaction times by 35% (compared to 12% for those under the influence of alcohol and 21% for those under the influence of marijuana), and making the car a no-cell phone zone should be a no-brainer.
- Restrict How Many Teens are Allowed in the Car —Whether it’s due to inattention, distraction, or peer pressure, young drivers perform even worse when other young adults are in the car in almost every measureable safety category. That being the case, you’re wise to enforce a strict occupancy limit when your teen is behind the wheel.
By adopting these proven strategies, you’ll be encouraging safe driving habits (and thus a safer driving record), and you’ll be taking full advantage of the discounts available to teen and young adult drivers. Add to that the savings you can find by using an online quote service like NetQuote.com to help you shop around for the best rates, and the end result is the closest thing to cheap car insurance for young drivers that a parent is going to find.