Watching your teen grow up and get their own driving license is an exciting experience for parents. It’s also huge relieve since you don’t have to drive them to school early in the morning or pick them up in the evening. This leaves you more free time to focus on other things. However, your freedom will come with a huge price to pay. Your car auto insurance will cost more now that you have a teenage driver. Teens are considered to be high-risk drivers, and thus insurance companies will not go easy on them.
Some parents fail to disclose to the insurance company that they have a teen driver. However, this is not advisable as it might lead you to financial and legal problems in the event of an accident. If your teen son or daughter gets into an accident and you have not disclosed that he or she is now a driver, the insurance company may fail to pay for the damage. You will have to cover for the damage which might be very expensive. The insurer can also decide to pay but charge you backdated rates from the date your teen first got his or her license. Therefore, it is wise to talk to the insurance company as soon as your son or daughter starts driving.
Why teens hike insurance rates
The risk of teens getting into an accident is much higher compared to all the other age groups. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2013, nearly 400,000 people were injured and 3,000 people killed from road accidents involving teen drivers. With the high risk, insurers have no option than to raise rates for teenagers. Adding a teenage driver can raise the cost of insurance by more than 50%.
The younger the driver, the more the rates will be. The impact of adding a 16-year-old will be much higher compared to that of a 19-year-old driver. Also, the increase rate will be determined by whether your teen has her own car or she is using the family car. If she has her own vehicle, she is likely to drive it more and thus the rates will be higher. If she is using the family car, she will be driving it less and thus the costs will be lower.
However, there are actions that you can consider to ensure t that you don’t spend much on car insurance when your teenager starts driving.
How to lower the insurance rates
Encourage your teen to be a good performer in school
Insurance companies will give discounts to students who maintain good scores throughout the year. They will the report cards to verify the good performance. Your child will have to be an A or B student to qualify for such discounts. The requirements vary depending on the insurer.
Advanced driving course for your teen
Taking up additional driving and safety courses proves to the insurance company that the driver is keen on following driving rules. It is not guaranteed, but additional training could give you a discount. However, it is a skill will help your child to be a better driver.
Clean driving records
Teens also need to be advised on how to maintain a good driving record and the importance of it. If they cause accidents and get tickets, your rates will increase. However, with a clean record, you can negotiate for better rates.
Before you enroll your children for driving lessons, have a plan on how you are going to cater for the increase in insurance rates. Plan ahead so as to avoid financial constrains or getting your teen a license and then telling her she can’t drive because the insurance will be too high.
Inform your insurer when the child joins college
If your child goes away to college, you should tell your insurance company so that they can reduce the premiums until he comes back home. This will give you a break from paying huge rates when your teen is not driving the car.
Ensure the car is safe and get electronic monitoring
A safe car can be a good negotiating ground for good rates. If you let them drive high-performance cars, you should be prepared to pay a huge sum of money to the insurance company. Let them start with conventional vehicles and then you they can upgrade when they are more experienced. Getting an electronic monitoring device plugged into the car can also reduce the rates.
Compare different offers
The company that gave you the best rates when you were the only driver can turn out to be the most expensive when you add a teenager. So shop around and see what other companies have to offer. If you get a better rate, you can always switch insurers to save on cost.