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Insuring Your Teen Driver

Your child’s sixteenth birthday is a milestone. It’s probably the most important birthday that he or she will celebrate before reaching adulthood. Your teenager can finally enjoy the privilege of a driver’s license while navigating the responsibilities that come with this coveted freedom.

Watching your teen achieve this stage in his development is exciting for both of you. However, putting your teen in the driver’s seat is going to mean some worry, as well as additional expense. You’ll be faced with adding your teenager to your auto insurance policy, resulting in an increase in your premium that depends on location, gender, and coverage amounts. 

Here at YourPolicy, our friendly, knowledgeable agents can help you find the best coverage to fit your needs and your budget by taking advantage of discounts, using safe driver programs, and setting coverage limits.

How Will a Teen Driver Affect Your Insurance Premiums

The average cost increase for adding a teen driver to your auto insurance is about 130%. The parents of male drivers, however, should be prepared to expect about 30% on top of that  because the Centers for Disease Control have determined that male drivers are riskier than females. 

Keep in mind that car insurance rates vary by state, and some states factor in gender more than others. For example, in Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, male teen drivers will increase your rate by 189%. In Delaware, Washington, D.CHawaii, Michigan, and New York, the increase for males is approximately 80%. 

The good news is that with every ticket-free and accident-free year spent behind the wheel, your child’s insurance rate will decrease. According to data provided by Coverage, a 20-year-old male will see a decrease of 55%, with another 54% decrease at the age of 25.

So, let’s get this kid insured.

How to Add a Teen Driver to Your Auto Insurance

Discuss Coverage With Your Agent – The first thing to do is have a conversation with your agent regarding the best time to add your teen to your insurance. If possible, add your teen as the primary driver for the least expensive car listed on your policy. Adding a teenage driver to your existing policy is significantly cheaper than coverage through his or her own plan. In most cases, a driver with a learner’s permit is covered through your insurance at no cost. 

Following are the coverages you should consider when adding a teen to your car insurance.

  • Collision: If your teen is at fault in a car accident, this coverage will pay to repair or replace your car. It’s typically required by the lender if you’re leasing or financing your car. If you own your vehicle, collision coverage is optional.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive plans cover damage to your car that is not caused by a collision, but an event that is out of your control. Examples of losses covered by comprehensive insurance are windshield repair, hitting an animal, hail, falling tree branches, and other unexpected occurrences.
  • Extended Liability Limits:  This coverage increases liability limits beyond state minimum requirements. It’s an added layer of protection if your teen causes an accident. Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage pays for the other parties involved. This plan will also pay your legal and settlement fees if a lawsuit occurs as the result of an accident that you caused.
  • Liability Umbrella:  If you’re involved in a lawsuit for a sum that is greater than your existing coverage, umbrella insurance will kick in to pay these expenses.

Save Money on Auto Insurance for Your Teen

  • Ask About Discounts: Full-time students with a 3.0 GPA  or top 20% class ranking can receive a student discount. In addition, there are some discounts for ranking in the top 20% on ACT, SAT, PSAT, TAP, PACT, California Achievement Test, or Iowa Test of Basic Skills. To receive these discounts, the driver must be unmarried and under 25.
  • Distance Student Discount: If your teen driver lives at least 100 miles away from school and does not take a car with him, he may be eligible for a distance discount.
  • Low Mileage Discount: If your teen drives very little, you can potentially take advantage of pay-per-mile insurance as a way to save on costs.
  • Safety Programs: Some companies offer driver safety programs, which provide the double advantage of a discounted rate as well as teaching your teen to be a safer driver. App-based programs which require teenagers to view safe driving videos, record driving trips, and pass knowledge assessment quizzes can award up to a 10% discount on your insurance premium. These programs require a clean driving record.

Final Thoughts

A driver’s license is just one of many steps on your teen’s path to becoming an adult. Your job isn’t over yet, but you’re beginning to see the rewards of all your hard work. We know it’s not easy, but try to relax, mama and papa bear. You finally have some help with carpool duty; and, with your skillful guidance, it only gets better from here.