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  • How To Add Teens To Your Auto Insurance Policy

    How To Add Teens To Your Auto Insurance Policy

    Adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy might seem a little scary. Not only is your child taking a huge step by getting behind the wheel, but you’re also facing increases in your insurance rates.

    Fortunately, we have ways for you to keep your teen safe and save money on those increased premiums.

    When Must You Insure Your Teen?

    Generally, auto insurance companies don’t require you to formally add your teen driver to your policy until he or she becomes a licensed driver; this means, you can usually hold off while your teen has a learner’s permit.

    However, it’s important to notify your car insurance provider when you have a teen with a learner’s permit. Your company might have specific regulations in place.

    Once your teen graduates from a permit to a license, it’s time to get him or her on the policy or purchase a separate policy. Many parents choose to add their teen drivers to their own policies; this is usually the cheaper option for teen car insurance.  

    Teen Car Insurance Rates

    Almost always, auto insurance rates go up when you add a teen driver to the policy. Teens are among some of the highest-risk drivers, and insurance companies have more at stake when they insure them.

    Simply put, be prepared for an increase in your car insurance rates.

    However, your rates don’t have to go through the roof. Continue reading for ways to save money when you add your teen to your policy.

    Money-Saving Tips for Teen Auto Insurance

    Whether you’re a parent or a teen, you can find ways to save money on teen car insurance.

    Parents

    First, don’t assume having a separate policy for your teen will save money; on the contrary, it could actually cost more to purchase a separate car insurance policy for your teen than to just add your teen driver to your own policy.

    Why? Because both you and your teen will be paying for separate car insurance policies, Even if you face a potentially significant increase on your policy; it will likely be more expensive to pay for two policies.

    Below are a few additional ways you can save money when you add your teen to your policy:

    • You could get a discount for insuring multiple vehicles with the same company.
      • Ask about this discount if your teen has his or her own car.
    • Consider sensible vehicles with high safety ratings over flashy, expensive rides, which cost more to insure.
    • Talk to your agent about increasing your deductible.
      • Typically, you can get lower premiums by increasing your deductible; just make sure you can afford to pay the deductible in the event of an incident.
    • Based on your vehicle(s), determine whether you actually need collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
      • Although teen drivers are more likely to become involved in accidents, it might not make sense to purchase these coverages for older models.
    • Ask your agent about “occasional” and “pleasure-only” driver discounts.
      • Generally, rates increase if you list your teen as a primary driver. Often, this applies to teens who are away at college, too (especially if the teen doesn’t bring a vehicle to school).
    • Find out if you’re eligible for discounts unrelated to your teen.
      • Do you have multi-line coverage or qualify for good driver discounts? Both situations could help you save money on car insurance.
    • Consider usage-based, or “pay-as-you-go” insurance.
      • This type of insurance uses a device installed in the vehicle that monitors driving behavior and financially rewards you for good driving.
      • This is a great way for parents to view their child’s driving habits and correct any potentially dangerous behavior.

    Visit our Auto Insurance Discounts section to learn more about ways to get affordable auto insurance for yourself and your teen. 

    Teens

    Teens, you can do your part to help your parents save money on car insurance, too!

    • Hit the books. Lots of car insurance companies offer good student discounts to teens who make good grades.
      • Generally, this means in the A- or B-average range.
    • Complete a driver’s education course (see “Teens and Driver’s Education” below).
      • Even if your state doesn’t require driver’s ed, enroll! Completing a driver’s ed course with flying colors shows insurance companies you know the rules of the road, and many companies reward you for that.
    • Enroll in an extra driver training course.
      • Maybe you’ve taken driver’s ed; maybe you haven’t. Either way, additional training never hurts and could you get a discount.

    Also remember the importance of keeping a clean driving record. The more traffic infractions and at-fault accidents you have, the more points you rack up and the more likely your rates will increase.

    Teens and Driver’s Education

    Some states require driver’s education; others don’t.

    Regardless, enrolling in and successfully completing driver’s ed can significantly impact car insurance premiums.

    There are different ways to enroll in driver’s ed courses, including:

    • Through your high school.
    • With third-party companies that provide driver’s education courses (this includes online courses).
    • Parent-taught driver’s ed training.

    NOTE: If your state requires driver’s ed, the option you choose must be state-approved.

    Check our Take Driver's Education section for your state’s requirements.

    Teen Driving Safety

    Keeping your teen safe on the road is of the utmost importance; getting cheaper car insurance is just an added benefit.

    In addition to driver’s ed and driver training courses, consider these tips for safe driving that could potentially help you save money on car insurance:

    • Be aware of your state’s teen driver regulations. These include but are not limited to:
      • Driving only at certain times of the day/night.
      • Having only a certain number of passengers.
      • Making sure there’s a driver of a certain age in the vehicle at all times.
    • Enforce your own driving regulations. If you don’t feel your teen is ready to drive at night, for certain distances, or with friends in the vehicle, don’t let him.
    • Practice driving with your teen, even if he or she already has a driver’s license.
    • Stress the importance of keeping a clean driving record. Even the simplest driving infractions can add points to your teen’s record, which can raise your car insurance rates.
    • Consider modest vehicles with high safety ratings. No matter how skilled you feel your teen is, she could still end up in an accident. You can’t control other drivers on the road.

    Good preparation with a focus on potential discounts and ways to increase driver safety will go a long way toward getting affordable teen car insurance.