Having a new driver in the family can be a daunting prospect. Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of teen deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Every day in 2018, about 7 teens aged 13 to 19 died because of car crashes. Male teens 16 to 19 years old, teens driving with teen passengers, and newly licensed teens are high risk for motor vehicle crashes.
The highest risk factors that put teens at risk when driving include inexperience, nighttime and weekend driving, not using seat belts, distracted driving, speeding, and alcohol use. Teen drivers are inexperienced drivers, have an unproven driving record, and are considered higher risk, making their auto insurance coverage more expensive. To encourage safe driving awareness and compliance, the CDC suggests using a parent-teen driving agreement, or a safe driving contract with your teen that prohibits having more than one other teen in the vehicle, drug or alcohol use when driving, and cell phone use, and gets agreement to always use a seat belt.
When your teen is old enough for driver’s education and has a learner’s permit to practice driving, it’s time to make sure your new driver is insured. Your policy may cover your teen driver at no cost, but you should check with your insurance company to verify your policy before your teen gets behind the wheel on the road.
When the driver’s education is completed, and your teen has been granted a driver’s license, you should add him or her to your auto policy for full coverage.
Having a teen driver means making some decisions, and there are a lot of factors to consider, especially when it comes to auto insurance. You may get sticker shock the first time you look at teen driver insurance premiums, but there are things you can do to keep them under control.
Will your teen use your family car or have his or her own vehicle? If your new driver will be driving a car that is paid for, liability may be enough if you don’t mind some dings and dents or if you plan to repair yourself or leave any minor damage to an older vehicle. If your teen will be driving a vehicle that is financed, you’ll need more expensive comprehensive and collision coverage.
Many insurers offer premium discounts for higher deductibles. Consider changing your deductible to the highest amount you can afford to offset the added premium for your teen.
Ask your insurer about discounts for your teen driver coverage. Many insurers offer discounts for young drivers with good grades in high school and college, for attendance in defensive driving education, and for multi-policy coverages such as auto, homeowners, and umbrella policies. Cars with safety features often yield insurance discounts, so check with your insurer if they offer discounts for features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and anti-theft devices if your teen’s vehicle has any of these.
At Kyle Insurance Group, we want to help you with your insurance needs. If you have questions, please feel free to call us today.