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  • Teen Guide To Car Insurance

    Teen Guide To Car Insurance

    While teens face higher car insurance premiums, both they and their parents have a few options when it comes to insuring teen drivers.

    Do Teens Need Their Own Insurance Policy?

    Generally, teens do not have to worry about getting their own car insurance policy. More often than not, parents add their teen drivers to their own policies because it’s usually the cheaper option.

    NOTE: Some teens own their own cars; in these cases, usually they have their own car insurance policies. However, most states have strict rules on teens owning property (such as vehicles), meaning parents have to at least co-sign for the property. If this is your case, talk with your state’s motor vehicle agency about state policies for teens to own vehicles outright.

    Will Insuring a Teen Driver Raise Parents’ Rates?

    Typically, adding your teen to your policy will increase your premiums; however, it doesn’t have to skyrocket your rates.

    There are plenty of steps both teens and parents can take to maintain affordable premiums. Continue reading below for more information.

    Tips to Save Money On Teen Car Insurance

    Both teen drivers and their parents can find ways to to get cheaper teen car insurance.

    Teen Drivers

    • Get good grades.
      • Many auto insurance companies offer good student discounts, which are discounts for teen drivers who make a certain grade point average (usually a B average).
    • Enroll in driver's education.
      • Your state may or may not require Driver’s Ed. However, many providers offer discounts for successfully completing a driver's education course, so you may wish to seriously consider it, even if it’s not a state requirement.
    • Take an additional driver training course.
      • Depending on your insurance company, an additional driver training course could knock even more dollars off your premium. The extra training brings instant and future benefits as far as safe driving is concerned.
    • Avoid pushing for a fancy ride.
      • Newer models and flashy cars are more expensive to insure than older models or practical rides.
    • Pay a higher deductible.
      • If your parents agree to increase their deductible, it will help lower insurance rates overall.

    NOTE: Lots of companies offer good driver discounts. Because you’re young and just starting out, you haven’t had much time to prove yourself as a good driver (most companies require consecutive years of accident-free driving before a driver can qualify for this discount). However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of potential savings. Spending the first several behind-the-wheel years driving safely will help you get cheap car insurance in the future.

    Parents

    If your teen is just getting her license, you can employ the following strategies to save money when you add her to your policy:

    • Ask about multiple-vehicle auto insurance discounts.
      • Adding another vehicle to a policy that already has at least one vehicle could earn you a discount.
    • Buy (or encourage your teen to purchase) a sensible vehicle.
      • “Sensible” means it has a high safety rating (bonus points for added safety features) and is not a luxury vehicle, which is much more expensive to insure.
    • Consider increasing your deductible.
      • Doubling your deductible usually lowers your rates automatically.
    • Think twice about collision and comprehensive coverage.
      • If your teen drives an older model car that isn’t financed, it might make more financial sense to skip these optional coverage types.
    • Find out if you can include your teen driver on your policy as an “occasional” or “pleasure-use only” driver.
      • Listing her as a primary driver will cost more.

    Other Discounts

    Don’t forget to ask about other discounts unrelated to your teen driver. You might be eligible for certain car insurance discounts that have nothing to do with your teen and not even know it.

    For example, do you purchase both home and car insurance from the same company? Have you been a loyal customer who’s renewed his policy on time for many years? Have you been accident-free for a significant amount of time, enrolled in a driver safety course, or opted to pay your annual premiums in full? Any of these factors can get you a discount.

    And if they don’t, it might be time to shop around and compare rates from other companies.

    Teen Drivers with Learner’s Permits

    Most car insurance companies don’t require parents to add teens with learner’s permits to their policies; generally, that happens once the teen has a driver’s license.

    However, it’s crucial to notify your insurance agent when your teen driver gets a learner’s permit. Every provider has its own coverage requirements, and that includes how the company handles drivers with learner’s permits.