How to Lower Your Teens Auto Insurance Rates
February 5, 2009
As with your own auto insurance rates, your teen’s rates are comprised of several factors believed to determine the risk the insurance company takes when selling you a policy that covers your child. Unfortunately, teens fall into a high-risk category at once due to age – mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.
Since you can’t do anything about your child’s age, it’s important to try to minimize the cost of your teen’s insurance in ways you and your teen can control. First, make sure your teen understands the concept of auto insurance – how much it costs, what it covers, and what makes the premium increase or decrease. Ask your agent how much one traffic violation on your teen’s driving record will raise your rates (usually two to three times) and explain the consequences of a traffic ticket to your teen. Make sure your teen understands that keeping premiums as low as possible is part of her or his family responsibilities.
Second, make sure your teen is driving a regular, safe vehicle – nothing fancy or high-powered, but nothing too old either. Older vehicles may not have safety features, which help keep your teen safe in a crash and also help you earn insurance discounts.
Third, continue driver instruction for your teen even after she or he is licensed. Learn the graduated driver licensing laws in your state and be sure your teen complies. Ride with your teen periodically to be sure she or he isn’t slipping into bad driving habits. Monitor your teen’s cell phone bill to make sure the teen isn’t making calls or sending texts during times she or he is usually on the road.
Fourth, enroll your teen in driver education courses and treat these courses just as seriously as you do other aspects of your teen’s life. Too many parents pass their attitude about driving courses on to their teens – that driver training is boring and time-consuming with little reward. Since driving is the leading cause of death for people up to age 34, it’s the most dangerous thing your child will be doing for a long time. Teens are not mature enough to realize this independently, and will take their cues from you.