The day that your teen gets her license is indeed worth celebrating. It is also a milestone you have to prepare for, especially when it comes to your insurance premium.
Just like other drivers, teens are required to have coverage once they receive their full-fledged driver’s license. While some states allow 16-year-old teens to purchase their own policy, most states require that the owner be at least 18 years old. As a result, most parents or guardians end up adding their child to their existing policy.
If you are doing the same thing, then be ready – enroll her in a drivers ed course, take a defensive driving course & ask her to get good grades. You need to do these things to get a discount because your insurance premium is going to be expensive.
According to reports, parents can expect an increase of 130% on their car insurance premium. As compared to insurance quotes for drivers in their mid-30s, those for teen drivers are three times more expensive.
Reasons for High Teen Car Insurance Rates
Why are car insurance rates so high for teen drivers? It is primarily because of their age. In the insurance industry, age serves as a measure of driving experience and accident risk.
The prevailing belief is that younger drivers have fewer years behind the wheel and are more likely to get into accidents. The unfortunate reality is that this is true.
Car crash risk among teen drivers aged 16-19 is higher than drivers belonging to other age groups. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they are three times more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident.
In addition, 16-year-olds have the highest number of crash rates which further supports reports saying that younger drivers are more accident-prone. As a result, 16-year-olds are the most expensive to insure.
High accident rates among teen drivers are attributed to their limited driving experience. Since they haven’t been on the road for a long time, they haven’t honed their driving skills yet. Due to their inexperience, they often fail to respond quickly and appropriately to road hazards.
Teen drivers can also be very reckless when they are on the road. They usually underestimate dangerous driving situations. They are even unafraid of engaging in dangerous behaviors while they are behind the wheel.
In fact, teenage drivers are more likely to speed than adult or experienced drivers. They also have the propensity to engage in distracted driving behaviors.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2018 data, those belonging to the 15-19 age group tend to be more distracted than those aged 20 and above. On the same year, nine percent of teen car crash deaths were due to distracted driving.
Using mobile devices while driving is one of the most common risky behaviors teens engage in. This isn’t surprising given the fact that teens of today are always on their social media pages.
What’s even alarming is that one survey noted that teenagers who text and drive also engage in other risky driving behaviors like driving without wearing a seat belt and driving while intoxicated.
Can You Get Lower Teen Car Insurance Premiums?
There are insurance companies that offer discounts on teen car insurance premiums. All you must do is to ensure that your child meets certain criteria like completing a drivers ed course.
Depending on your insurance provider, you may receive a discount of 10% to 15% when your teen completes drivers ed or classroom-based course. Studies have shown that completing this program significantly lowered the number of traffic tickets teen drivers got. More importantly, it reduced their car collision rate. A good start for this is doing a permit test like the California permit test to allow your child to prepare themselves for the permit test. Getting used to being tested on driving regulations only furthers their chance of lowering insurance premiums.
Meanwhile, other family members who are part of your insurance plan can take a defensive driving course. Just like a drivers ed course, this program is designed to help people become safe drivers. Some insurance providers also offer discounts to clients who complete this type of course.
Aside from taking drivers education or defensive driving courses, you can encourage your child to get good grades. This usually means having a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. All you have to do is to show proof of your child’s academic performance to get the ‘good student insurance discount’.
Lastly, ensure that your child maintains a clean driving record. No citations, no accidents! Getting even just one citation can cause your premiums to skyrocket. On the other hand, if your teen has an impressive driving record, you can expect your insurance rates to drop in the coming years.
Getting a driver’s license is truly a milestone worth celebrating. But teens also need to be aware that there are risks and costs associated with driving. Show them how much their insurance coverage is costing you. This information gives them an additional reason to be extremely careful when they are behind the wheel.