For a teenager, turning 16 is a happy event that means they can finally drive a car. The milestone is not as happy for their parents however, as they are faced with trying to find car insurance for their teenager that they will not have to spend their college funds to pay for. Finding reasonable car insurance to cover a teenager takes time and a little research. Teenagers, in some states, are automatically labeled high-risk drivers; in other states, their rates will be higher than experienced drivers, but not quite the level of high-risk drivers. Your first decision is to decide if you are going to add your teenager to your insurance policy or help them find a teen auto insurance policy of their own. Historically it has always been less expensive to add a driver to your policy. However, if you are not the most innocent driver yourself, you may want to get a separate policy for your teenager. When getting quotes, use both options to see which will offer the most savings.
With the current state of some school budgets, driver education is usually one of the first extra-curricular activities that schools will cut. This leaves parents the responsibility of finding a driving school that actually teaches your teenager how to drive. You can teach them yourself, but in most states, if a teenager does not receive instruction from an accredited driving school, they have to wait to get their license until they are 18 years of age. It is usually not difficult to find a driver education school or course offered at a local vocational school or community college. Just make sure it is accredited and will give your teenager proof of passing the class that they can submit to the DMV to get their driver’s license. This information will also be given to your insurance company as credit toward a rate discount, which can be up to 15%.
There are other things you and your teenager can do months before the big day, as well as after, to make sure that there will be no problem getting and maintaining a reasonably priced policy. Grades are very important when it comes to insurance rates. The better their grades and the longer they keep up those grades, the better the discount on their insurance policy. You also want to start discussing what the rules of the vehicle will be long before they get their license to make sure that there are no misunderstandings. Most states have taken care of most of the issues that may cause problems while your teenager is driving such as cell phones and a number of passengers, but it is always a good idea to make your own rules with their own consequences. You also want to be realistic about choosing a vehicle for your teenager. They may want a little red sports car or a big powerful muscle car, but for teenagers, this is just not a reality. Not only do these kinds of vehicles encourage bad driving habits, but also most insurance companies will charge you maximum rates if they will even insure you at all.
Insuring a teenager can be a challenge, but doing some homework of your own cannot only make it less of a challenge but a less expensive task as well. Remember that adding your teenager to your own policy is usually the least expensive option, but make sure to get quotes on an individual policy as well in the rare case it may save you more money. Make sure you keep your teenagers involved in the process so they know how important good grades and good driving habits are to save money on car insurance. It also makes them feel like they are more of an adult, and hopefully, it can help them to act that way.
Nicholas is an active blogger over at California Auto Insurance HQ and has a young child who is still several years away from being able to drive. As eager as he is to teach him to drive, he’s even more eager to save the cost of insuring a teenage driver.