Watch your insurance rates increase perhaps as much as a 96% when your teen graduates the driver training program and gets behind the wheel of your automobile. Yikes! Why?
A spokesman for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Joe Annotti says about teen drivers “The first month, they’re fine, then they think they know everything about driving and safety . . . (and) pretty soon they’re flying 60 mph down a back street to get to school.”
The statistics are not good for crashes and it’s still the #1 killer of kids 15 to 20, and teens under 25 are three times more apt to die in a car crash.
No wonder the car insurance rates jump 50% to 200% the very minute you add your teen driver to your insurance policy. The auto insurance companies are just not willing to handle that risk with out your financial help.
There are a couple things you may want to consider to perhaps reduce the amount your rates will climb before your teen driver takes the wheel.
1. Find out how your insurer assigns drivers to cars. This differs from insurer to insurer and can make a huge difference in the premium you pay. You may want to consider picking up a cheaper car for your teen to drive, such as an old beater that sits in the driveway most of the time. At times this can be less costly than the double or triple insurance premiums on your luxury or new car your teen will drive. Or if you have an older car as well as the new car in the family, see if your auto insurance provider will allow you to assign the teen to the older car, thus reducing your costs. If not, you may want to switch insurance companies.
2. A straight-A student in many instances may not drive better than the C student, but there are many insurers that offer a 10% to 25% discount to teens who maintain a B average or better. Why? These kids are looked at as better future risks. “Long-term, they want the A student as a customer,” Joe Annotti said. Better students are seen as “more responsible.”
3. Have your teen take Drivers Education vs the short-term courses. Short-term courses are not effective in reducing future accidents, according to studies published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, but the auto insurance companies will reduce your costs 5% to 15%. Go figure.
4. Raising your deductible should reduce your premium by about 35%. Ron Lovatt of the Automobile Club of Southern California boosted his deductibles from $500 to $2,000 when his daughters began driving. It just makes good financial sense to raise the deductible to lower the on-going premiums. It may be the wise idea regardless of teen drivers.
5. If your teen enters college and will not have a car available to them, take them off your policy. However, know your teen will not drive during this time, ever, regardless of who’s car. If they drive uninsured and cause an accident you can be sued.
6. Do not report the fender-benders to your insurance company. If you do report it they will certainly raise your premium. More than likely it will be cheaper to pay for the minor repairs yourself or maybe think about having your teen pay. Ouch!
It should come as no surprise that finding low rates & superior auto insurance coverage comes with knowing something about what the other companies are offering and at what cost. The savvy shopper will find the best rates to meet their needs.
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