Auto Insurance and Teen Drivers

As a parent of a new teen driver, having your teen get their license is enough to cause you to break into a cold hard sweat. Not only do you now have to worry about the safety of your teen behind the wheel, but your auto insurance premiums could go through the roof.

Why is Teen Insurance so Expensive?

Teens cost more to insure for good reason. The rates are typically higher for teens than other drivers primarily because they pose a bigger risk of accidents as opposed to experienced drivers. Teen drivers are also more likely than the average driver to get tickets.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the leading cause of death for teens is motor vehicle crashes and make up more than a third of all deaths of teens between the ages of 16 through 19.

A 2015 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that among the deaths of teen passengers, 55 percent happened in vehicles where another teen was driving. Among all passenger deaths, 12 percent happened when a teen was driving.

Your insurance premium could very well increase to over 50 percent by adding your teenager says the Insurance Information Institute (III), and in some cases, it could double.

According to a new insuranceQuotes.com study, although the rate increase can vary by state, the average premium across the country is an increase of around 80 percent. In some states, it can even double.

What are Parents Required to Do?

Most insurance companies will require that all licensed members of your home be added to your policy, regardless if they are driving your vehicle or not. You do not have to add teens if they are simply holding a learner's permit. This does not mean that you do not have to notify your insurance agent when your teen gets their learners permit, you do, but there should be no charges to your policy since your teen is not listed.

Once your teenager gets his license, you have to either take out a separate policy for them or add them to your own. You also need to contact your insurer to ask about their rules in the event you are divorced and only have custody part-time. Typically, the parent who has primary custody adds the teenager. This is not always the case, however.

If you have multiple vehicles, you may be able to save money on premiums by limiting your teen to driving only a single vehicle. To avoid having to pay a premium for your teen on other vehicles, you will need a named exclusion. This is where you and your insurance company agree, through an endorsement to your policy, that your teen does not have coverage on those vehicles. Your teen is not covered for any claim caused by them either.

How Can I Add a Teen Most Cost Effectively?

It is often less expensive to add a teen to an existing policy instead of buying a separate one, and this is what most parents do. There are other things you can do to reduce the cost of adding a teen driver to your insurance.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Many insurance providers provide discounts. The Good Student Discount is one that insurance providers offer to students who maintain good grades (B average or higher). Others offer programs, such as educational videos, online safety courses, contracts between parents and teens, and driving logs to foster safe driving habits.

Some insurance companies are subsidizing the costs of electronic gadgets, such as GPS tracking devices, which can be installed by parents in their cars for monitoring their teen driver. Then they offer discounts to the policyholders whose teenagers use the gadgets. This is part of a concerted effort to reduce teen-involved crashes.

Drop Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

You can save some money on your policy by dropping comprehensive and collision coverage on older cars that are not worth that much more than the deductible itself. Chances are with an older car; you’ll pay more in the premiums than you would receive from the insurance company in the event your car is totaled. You can research Kelley Blue Book to see your car's value.

Get a Safe Car

Not only will you be able to sleep better knowing your teen is driving a safe car, but your premiums will be cheaper as well.

Take Advantage of Bundling

If you have both a homeowners and auto insurance policy with the same insurance company, you’ll likely be granted a multi-policy discount. By adding an umbrella policy, you can even get another discount, which offers additional liability coverage beyond the limits of your auto insurance.

Consider 'Pay-as-you-go' or Usage-Based Insurance

For this insurance policy, a device, which will monitor the driving behavior of anyone behind the wheel, is installed in your car. When the driver displays good driving habits, you are financially rewarded. This is the perfect way for you to keep an eye on how your teen is driving and save some money as well.

The bottom line is this: there are always ways for you to save money on your insurance premiums while keeping your teen safe at the same time. Give your insurance company a call to get a quote and discuss the number of options you can implement to save on adding your teenager to your auto insurance policy. Of course, your main priority is to keep your teen safe while they are behind the wheel; saving money on your auto insurance is a bonus.