October 5, 2011
Allowing teenagers to get their driver’s licenses can be an exciting and rewarding time for the entire family as they gain independence and the new “adult” responsibilities that come with driving.
While adding a teen driver to your policy may increase your auto insurance rates, there are several things you can do to affordably insure your teen drivers. Consider these potential cost-saving options when you get ready to let your teenager drive.
Think Safety When Buying a Car
If you’re planning on buying a car for your teenager, you may qualify for discounts if the car has a good safety rating, as well as airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and automatic seat belts. These safety features can reduce your insurance rates and also give you the comfort of knowing your teen is driving a safe vehicle.
Use Safe Driving Bonuses as Incentives
Some safe driving programs offer up to five percent off your six-month renewal bill as long as the driver’s record remains clean. Consider sharing the savings with your teen as a reward—and a positive reminder—to slow down, stay off the phone and remain focused on driving only.
Take Advantage of Good Grades
Want another “carrot” to dangle in front of your teen driver as incentive to get good grades? Tell him or her that maintaining a B average or better may qualify them for premium discounts that can range from 10 to 25 percent. Like the incentive for having a clean driving record, sharing the savings in some way with your teen can be a powerful incentive to keep those grades above average.
Slowing Down Could Save Money
Speeding tickets may increase your rates—perhaps substantially. If your teen gets a speeding ticket and your state has a ticket forgiveness program, make sure he or she attends the traffic school. It may spare you a rate increase, and more importantly, can make your teen an even safer driver.
Explore Options with Your Agent
There may be no better way to maximize premium savings for your teen driver than sitting down with your insurance agent to discuss options. Would it be less expensive to buy a car (and a separate policy) or add him or her to the policy of a car you already own? If you own two vehicles and don’t plan to buy a separate car for your teen to drive, would it be more affordable to add him or her to one car only? If so, which one? Your agent can help navigate these types of questions to make sure you get the lowest rate possible while still protecting your family with the insurance coverage that best suits your needs. Consider including your teen driver in the meeting with your agent—hearing firsthand from an expert in the field may help reinforce how their driving can impact what the family pays for auto insurance.
Watching your teen take that big step toward adulthood as a new driver can be a milestone in both of your lives. With some planning with your insurance agent, it should be a time you’ll remember fondly—and one that didn’t take too big of a bite out of your budget!
Disclaimer: The author is affiliated with Allstate Car Insurance. SocialMoms was not compensated in any way for this article. This article was edited by SocialMoms staff to meet our editorial and quality guidelines.