Learning how to drive is a rite of passage for teenagers all over the world. They wait all their lives for the moment they can drive by themselves and can have more mobility and freedom than what their parents allow them. It allows them to feel more like an adult, take responsibility, and even help out with household chores like grocery runs.
However, having a teen driver in the house is not all fun and games. Statistics show that the fatal crash rate for teens in the United States is three times that of adults aged twenty and over. This statistic is very worrying for parents who have teenagers on their insurance policy, as even a non-fatal car accident can result in very high insurance premiums.
So, what kind of insurance should teens get? Why do they need it the most? What can you do to reduce premiums on your teenage offspring driving your car? Let’s find out.
Nearly all the U.S. states require you to have at least some basic form of car insurance. This rule usually includes liability coverage which helps you pay off any bodily or property damage that you incur in a car accident in which you are at fault.
However, since teenagers who newly learn to drive are some of the most dangerous drivers, you need more than just liability coverage to ensure that you don’t have any out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident.
So, what are the different kinds of coverages that you can get your teenage offspring’s car? Let’s see.
Most states require this type of coverage, so you will have no choice but to get this coverage. Suppose your teenage son or daughter causes an accident that causes the other person bodily harm, damages their car, or damages public property. In that case, liability coverage can help you pay it off.
This type of insurance will help you cover the damages incurred by your car when your teenage offspring crashes it into another car or object. You should only get this type of coverage if the car model you have is new and will cost a lot to repair.
Comprehensive coverage is another type of coverage that covers damages incurred by your car. Instead of collisions, this coverage covers damages inflicted by natural disasters such as floods, objects falling on the car, or theft. You should add this to your insurance package if your teen has insisted on a newer model that’s relatively expensive and will be very expensive to repair.
Personal Injury Protection
In case of an accident, this kind of coverage helps pay the medical fees for all the passengers of your teen’s car, including the driver. Personal Injury Protection applies to your teen’s car regardless of who caused the accident.
Since hospital bills can get very expensive very fast, this type of insurance is a good add-on for your car insurance package.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
Statistics released by the IRC show that up to 32 million motorists in the U.S. are uninsured. To put it into perspective, that’s around one in eight drivers! This figure means that your teenager could get into an accident with an uninsured driver at any time!
These kinds of accidents can quickly get very expensive as the at-fault motorist cannot pay the damages incurred by your car or body. To make sure that your teenager never has to suffer such a situation, make sure to get this coverage for them.
Well, these are all the basic types of insurance that you can get for your teen driver.
Why Teenagers Need Car Insurance The Most
While most parents know that newbie drivers such as teenagers need car insurance the most, some wonder why it’s necessary to get them the maximum coverage. The answer lies in the fact that teen drivers such as high school students are often the most reckless drivers among all the age groups.
Several factors such as peer pressure, underage drinking, drugs, and speeding can affect their driving. According to numbers released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens are the most high-risk drivers.
Why is that? Statistics show that teens are the age group most likely to text while driving, not wearing the seatbelt while driving, driving at nighttime when the visibility is limited, and driving after drinking alcohol.
Another factor contributing to the high number of accidents caused by teenagers is their level of skill in driving. Since they haven’t had much practice, they cannot prevent car crashes or have close calls the way experienced drivers do.
When You Can Get Them Car Insurance
Teens driving on learner’s permits do not need car insurance. However, if your teenage offspring gets a license, you will need to buy their car insurance as most insurance companies do not allow children under eighteen to buy insurance policies.
So, even if your teen works and can pay for their car insurance, you’ll still need to get involved if they’re under the age of eighteen.
Most people usually include their children in their policies to avoid paying for separate ones. That needs to change when your children move out to another city or state. They will have to get their insurance policy when that happens.
How You Can Lower The Premiums On Your Teen’s Car Insurance
If you have a teenage son or daughter who has recently gotten their license and is driving their car, you’ll know how expensive having a teenage driver on your policy can be. As mentioned above, teens are some of the most reckless drivers among all age groups. This statistic leads insurance companies to charge higher premiums when you have a teenage driver on your policy.
However, there are some ways around that. So, let’s find how you can lower your car insurance premiums with a teen driver.
Make Use Of The Good Student Discount
Statistics show that students who do well in school are generally less likely to drive recklessly or cause a car accident. If your child has a 3.0-grade average or an overall B, they can qualify for the good student discount — which in some cases, can be as much as 25%.
Add Them To Your Policy
Most parents add their teenage children to their policy as it’s generally more expensive to get a separate policy for your son or daughter. However, make sure to explain to your child what insurance policies entail and how they need to practice all the safety rules to make sure that they keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe and sound.
Get A Separate Policy If The Parents Have A Strike Against Them
Car insurance premiums are generally higher for people who have previously been in accidents. Instances of Driving Under The Influence (DUIs) can also result in overall higher car insurance premiums.
If one of the parents has such a strike against them, it is best to purchase a separate policy for your teen as it will be cheaper than adding them to their policy.
Make Use Of The Empty Nester Discount
If your teenage child goes off to college and lives over a hundred miles away, you should notify your insurance company about this change. While your kid will still have coverage when they come home to visit, the insurance company will lower your premiums because your teen is now at a lower risk of causing an accident.
Do Your Research
You don’t necessarily need to purchase car insurance for your teen from the same place you purchased your car insurance. Do some thorough research before committing to one option. Who knows, you might find some great options with cheaper premiums that you can purchase for the teen driver in your family.
Don’t Get Comprehensive Or Collision Coverage
This trick only applies to when your kid has an old, second-hand car. If that is the case, it’ll probably be more expensive to get collision and comprehensive coverage for it than it will be to repair it in case of an accident.
This reasoning is why most people buy second-hand models for their kids. However, if your child insists on a new make and model, it would be best to get these two coverages as repairing a new car could get very expensive in case of an accident.
Well, these were some tips we picked up along the way on how to get lower premiums when shopping for car insurance for teens.
Allowing your child to drive is a very slippery slope as teen drivers can inflict some very real damage on themselves and others.
To make sure that you don’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money in case of an accident that your teenage son or daughter causes, you should always get the maximum car insurance coverage that you can get. Doing so will go a long way in allowing you to rest easy knowing your teen is safe and you will not have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for anything.