Need Insurance for Teen Drivers? Here’s What to Think About
What does it cost to add a teen driver to your insurance policy? It may be more than you think.
When our 16-year old son said he wanted to get his driver’s permit, we knew insurance rates were about to go up. Little did we know that insuring a teen driver would result in such a dramatic increase in our monthly insurance premium. The lesson we learned? Shop around.
Insurance for Teenagers
Shop Around for Insurance
After being with the same insurance company for years, my husband and I were hesitant to switch. We were worried we’d lose those loyalty discounts and that we’d end up paying a higher rate. However, shopping around for insurance was one of the best moves we made – especially when we added our teenage son to our policy.
Members of our Main Line Parent Community have had similar experiences with switching insurance carriers. “I loved my agent of 18 years – but when I had to insure [my child] my insurance would have skyrocketed. He told me all his products would not be competitive with other companies out there. I price shopped till I dropped,” explained Patricia Harnett.
“Always shop! Some companies don’t want to insure young drivers, so they have higher rates than others,” explains Sarah Todd, an Insurance Producer at Element Risk Management. Those higher rates average between a $1000-1500 yearly increase and can be even more depending on your location and the vehicle your teen is insured on.
Be sure to check with your insurance provider as soon as your teen gets his permit to make sure that he’s covered under your policy. Some insurance companies cover permit drivers without additional fees until they get their license, while others require an additional insurance purchase for teens with permits.
Ways to Lower Teen Insurance Rates
While car insurance for teens is going to be high no matter what steps you take, there are still some things you and your teen can do to minimize out of pocket expenses.
- Take a driver’s education class. – Most insurance companies give discounts for teens who have enrolled in an official driver’s education class. Many private driving companies around the Main Line provide classroom and behind-the-wheel driver training for new drivers. Check to see if your area’s Vo-Tech School has driver training classes as well. Typically, they have larger class sizes, but they cost less than one-on-one driver training.
- Can you increase your deductible? – If you have the funds available, you may want to consider raising your out-of-pocket deductible. While there’s always the risk that your teen will be in an accident and your car will need repairs, the higher deductible should lower your monthly insurance bill.
- Study hard! – Many insurance companies offer student drivers a discount if they have A or B averages in school.
- Choose a car’s safety rating over style. – When insurance companies look at insuring teens, they’re also looking at the type of vehicles they’ll be driving. Cars with higher safety ratings are not only safer for your teen, but they also cost less to insure.
While covering your teen on your insurance policy may sound like a daunting prospect, the average cost for independently insured teen drivers is well over $2000/year. With some shopping around, asking a lot of questions, and being pro-active about getting insurance, your teen will be driving insured in no time.
What has your experience been with insuring teen drivers? Tell us about it in the comments below. Thousands of other Main Line families need your advice!
Photo Credit: Easton Oliver (Unsplash)