A New Teenage Driver

teen accident

How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Bills After a Teenager Hikes Them Up

The most important thing to remember when staring into the adorable face of a baby or toddler is that one day, that child will be a teenager. While teenagers aren’t all bad, they come with their own special set of challenges. Every teenager eventually turns sixteen, bringing a whole new set of concerns with driving, vehicles and car insurance. In almost every single case, adding a teenage driver to your insurance policy will make the premium increase significantly.

Your insurance company doesn’t have any prejudice against your teenage driver. They just have decades of detailed research that backs up what we all know: teenagers are more likely to have insurance claims than an adult driver. Teenagers are new to driving so they’re still learning how to handle themselves. They also have shorter attention spans and less experience making mature decisions. Based on this information, insurers rate drivers under the age of 21 as more of risk than others and collect more premium to insure them.

After you add your teenager to your auto insurance policy, you will likely be looking for a way to counteract that big rate increase. The easiest way is to take your kid back off your policy and refuse to let him use your car. That will eliminate the problem altogether. However, many state insurance laws require your company to cover any licensed driver in your household. The company won’t remove a driver from your policy they have to cover anyway. Depending on your state, you can sign a driver exclusion form or driver waiver form that says you won’t let your child drive your car and you waive any rights to coverage if he does.

Another way to decrease your policy rate is to make him go get his own. Once your teenager has his own insurance, your insurance company can’t charge you to cover him anymore, even if you live in a state that forces them to cover him in the
event of a claim. The price of insuring a teenage driver on his own policy is astronomically high compared to being on your policy with you, though. Your insurance company will also probably want a copy of your kid’s insurance policy for its files.

If you have to keep your kid on your policy and he’s driving the rates up, consider dropping some of the coverage on the car he’s driving. For example, if you let your kid drive the ten year old fixer upper that’s been sitting in your driveway for years, you don’t need theft, vandalism and collision coverage on it. Instead, you can only insured it to cover losses your kid causes to others and make sure that your insurance company understands that your child only drives that car. This can drop your payments down a bit.

Your teenager can do a few things to help lower your premiums, too. Almost all carriers offer discounts for anyone who completes a safe driving class. It’s a good idea to check that the class is one accepted by your carrier before enrolling your kid, though. Some companies offer discounts for kids who maintain a certain grade point average, too. But, the best way your teenager can help keep your premiums down is to drive in a safe, legal manner. As long as he avoids traffic tickets, police citations and car accidents, he won’t add any additional violation surcharges to your policy and eventually he’ll be old enough to drop the young driver rate, too.