It was inevitable – you knew this day would come. Your teenager is about to join the ranks of the “driving” by getting their permit. Of course, as a concerned parent, you’re nervous, but you realize it’s a fact of life and you accept it. You wonder what it’s going to do to your auto insurance rates when you add them to your policy.
Well, the truth is…they’re potentially going to skyrocket. That, too, is a fact of life. And, there isn’t much you can do about it…or, is there? The idea of your teenager hitting the road alone as they become more and more mobile is grounds for concern for any parent.
Now, for some tough questions – What sort of insurance should they have? What type of car should they drive?
First, don’t wait to inform your auto insurance company that your teenager is ready to get their permit. They’re not on a “need to know” basis. Some states are sticklers about this and require you to notify your carrier as soon as you have a teen with a driver’s permit. The majority of the time, the insurer won’t begin charging you for the additional driver until they advance from permit to license.
“Forgetting to tell” your insurance company is not a valid excuse and it may cost you if your child is involved in an accident. In such a case, your insurer can retroactively jack up your rates or revoke your coverage altogether. The same can apply if you “forget” to let them know that your teen has moved from permit to license. Again, they can charge you retroactively for the additional driver or worse, deny you any coverage at all should they have an accident.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks on your premiums, encourage your teenager to strive for good grades – many insurance companies offer discounts for students maintaining a B average in high school or in college. Other insurers may also offer additional discounts for community involvement such as: Girl or Boy Scouts, 4-H Club, civic or other community organizations.
As far as what type of car they should drive, you want a safe one. If they intend to drive a car other than yours, make sure you shop wisely. Choose a vehicle equipped with safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and functioning seatbelts. It’s to be expected that your teen will automatically be drawn to a flashy vehicle to impress their friends. Stand tough, if you can…though it won’t be easy.
Shoot for an older car in good driving condition that will keep your teen safe behind the wheel. Besides, older cars are less expensive to insure. With older cars that have a lower Blue Book value, you can save even more money on your premiums by dropping collision and comprehensive coverage…and, purchase only the state required liability insurance.
Additionally, the extra vehicle, which should be kept in your name, may qualify you for the multi-vehicle discount, if insured with the same company.
Let’s face it; raising a teenager can be a full-time job – even more so when they get to driving age. If they’re not asking to borrow your car, they’ll be hitting the road in their own vehicle. Discuss safety with them from the start. While they may not listen to everything you tell them, watching you and how you act when you’re driving will help them become a great deal safer out there…and, possibly keep your stress to a minimum.
If you don’t want to get stressed out at the thought of paying too much for your premiums – make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Do you have a teen of driving age – how’s that working out for you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.