Car Insurance for Teen Drivers
Teen Drivers and Your Insurance Policy
You've coached them through it, white-knuckled at times, and maybe you even hired a professional to help with the finer points of their driving. But now their day has come, and your teen is a fully licensed driver. Now what?
First and foremost, you need to make sure your new driver is insured. Unfortunately, it's no secret that your insurance rates will probably spike once you add a teenage driver to your policy. Instead of reducing your policy, we've collected some tips to help keep your costs down without sacrificing the recommended car insurance coverage for your teen:
- Good Grades – Many insurance companies offer discounts for a teen that does well in school. Make sure they keep their grades up. It's not just to help them, but to help your premium as well.
- Driver's Education – If available, encourage your teen to enroll in his or her school's driver's education class. Consider having them take a safety course if one isn't offered through the school.
- The Right Car – For many teens the "right car" and their "dream car" are two completely different things. Instead of the sporty coupe, consider something with four doors and safety features. Your premium will thank you.
- Clean Driving Record – The better your teen performs on the road, the quicker your insurance premiums will drop. Teach them not to take risks, so they keep their driving records spotless.
- Safety Monitors – As technology advances, so do the ways we can help keep our teens safe. Some insurance companies can offer up to a 30% discount for policyholders with monitoring systems that report good driving habits. Some of these are GPS enabled and can track the location, speed, and braking pressure of the car.
- Going Away to College – Believe it or not, you may actually be able to save a few dollars if your teen is headed off to college without a car. Whether they're an occasional driver or a student away at school, check with your insurance agent for the details. Changing their status can save, in most cases, anywhere from 15% – 30% on your monthly premium.
- Same Policy Discounts – While your insurance rates will increase with a teen driver, you can continue to apply the discounts that you've already earned. In fact, some insurance companies will offer even deeper discounts if you're adding a teen's car to your policy – just make sure it's a safe car.
- Stacking – Don't forget to stack your coverage. Essentially, this will multiply your limits with each vehicle you have on your policy. You'll be able to provide your teen driver with additional coverage should he or she need it.
But before you start cutting coverage to save a few bucks, remember that your changes will apply to everyone on your policy – not just your teen. So, if you change from Full Tort to Limited Tort, no one on your policy will be able to recover expenses for pain and suffering.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
We always encourage having Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage for your car insurance policy. While this won't save you any money on your premium, it will protect you and your teen against the countless underinsured/uninsured drivers out there. Most drivers carry only the legal minimum for their car insurance, because they want the cheapest rates possible.
However, when an accident occurs, medical bills pile up quickly and often surpass insurance limits in no time. For a few extra dollars a month, you can have peace of mind knowing you and your teen will never have to worry about uninsured/underinsured drivers. Remember, UM/UIM isn't insurance to protect unprepared drivers, it's insurance to protect against them.
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