As much as we love them, being a parent of a teenager is a challenge… to put it mildly. Not only are they spending these formative years before they leave the nest testing boundaries, parents also have the added worry of finally handing over their keys to freedom – car keys, that is.
Here’s the thing: Adequate coverage is essential to protect your teen while he or she is on the road, but teen driver insurance can be expensive.
Thankfully there are several tips and tricks you can use to help lower the cost of insuring your teen driver – without sacrificing the quality of your coverage.
The Importance of Teen Driver Insurance
Before we dive into how to get the most cost effective insurance rates for your teen driver, first we want to explain why having the right teen driver insurance coverage is so important. Without sufficient coverage, your teen could be liable for the costs arising from an accident. When you add up medical bills, damage to the other driver’s car, and lost wages arising from injuries, your teen could be facing a huge bill following a road accident.
Until your teen becomes a legal adult, you as the parent could be liable for the costs, which means that an accident could lead to financial devastation for the whole family if your teen doesn’t have adequate insurance.
Three Ways to Spend Less
- Look for Discounts
Some insurance providers offer discounts for responsible teens. For example, your teen might be eligible for a discount if he or she completes a driver safety course. These courses teach young drivers good habits to help them stay safe on the road. Some insurers even offer insurance discounts for teens with good grades at school, so you may want to look for this kind of discount.
Finally, look for insurance policies that offer discounts for drivers with a low annual mileage — if your teen only takes short trips, then you might be able to get an inexpensive low-mileage policy. However, you must be honest about the number of miles your teen drives, as supplying false information could invalidate the insurance policy.
- Add Your Teen Driver to Your Auto Insurance Policy
Adding a teen driver to your own auto insurance can be more cost-effective than purchasing a separate policy. Some insurance companies allow you to specify the car that the teen is going to drive, which can be much less expensive than insuring your teen for all cars in the household.
- Choose Your Teen’s Car Carefully
Your teen may want a fast, sporty car, but that kind of vehicle is likely to push the cost of insurance even higher. Instead, opt for an older car with a good safety record to reduce premiums and keep your teen safe on the road.
Remember, Don’t Sacrifice Coverage for Cost
Don’t simply choose the cheapest insurance policy for your teen driver. Check how much coverage the policy provides and the size of the deductible, which is the amount you or your teen will need to pay if an accident occurs. If you can’t afford to pay the deductible without taking on debt, then it is too high and you should consider paying higher premiums to access better coverage. On the other hand, if you have savings to draw on, then increasing the deductible could be one way to reduce the cost of teen car insurance.
Reduce the cost of insuring your teen by encouraging him or her to choose a safe car and to take a driver safety course. Shop around for the most cost-effective policies and compare options such as adding the teen to your policy versus purchasing separate coverage to keep your premiums low.