Dealing with teenaged children is always difficult; once age 16 rolls around, however, that job gets even more difficult with the introduction of a teen driver in need of auto insurance. Teenagers are considered high-risk drivers due to long records of impulsive behavior, disregard for safety measures and overall inexperience. These may all be valid points, but when they bring about a sharp spike in your insurance premiums, it can be hard not to at least try explaining why your child is the best-behaved teenager in town in the hopes of getting a discount.
Thankfully, there are a few options to soften the blow, or at least lower the spike. DMV.org offers some simple advice:
- Compare rates. Even if you’ve been with one insurance company for years, exorbitant teenage driver fees could be too much to handle, so do some comparison shopping before you sign onto anything. Don’t stress about switching if it’s what’s best for your family—not to mention your bank account.
- Add your child to your own policy. Often, instead of purchasing a separate policy for your teen, it may be less costly to add them to your own policy as a second driver. This may cause a jump in costs, but it’s rarely anywhere near the bankrupting fees of a policy just for your child.
- Research policies contingent upon usage. Usage-based insurance is based on monitoring the driver’s behavior, allowing teenagers to attach a device to the vehicle that keeps track of their driving habits. Good habits net discounts on insurance premiums, not to mention allowing you to keep a closer eye on your child when they’re driving on their own.
- Look for discounts. This is a given when shopping for any insurance policy, but if you’re looking for insurance for a teenager this is an absolute must. Seek out discounts for bundling multiple policies together, insuring multiple vehicles and maintaining a safe driving record. These could just save your pocketbook when it comes time for your child to take the wheel.
- Make safe driving a given. Always stress the importance of driving safely to help your child avoid getting into an accident or taking part in a traffic violation; don’t turn it into a lecture, instead making sure you instill these values into your child from early on in their driving education.
Another major deciding factor for your child’s insurance, according to Edmunds, is which car they drive. By assigning your child to a safer vehicle, one that’s a little slower and costs less to repair, can help keep your insurance premiums low both through driver assignment records and by helping your child to maintain safe driving habits. Putting a teenager behind the wheel of a brand new sports car may seem like a good idea from a wish-fulfillment point of view, but inevitably leads to reckless driving and more dangerous behavior. Giving your teen access to a more stable vehicle not only protects them more in the event of a collision, but helps them to maintain the same stability.
Rest assured, it is possible to get your teenaged driver insured without breaking the bank. Follow these tips, talk to your insurance agent and make the best choice today.