So, the time has finally come: Your teen is ready to hit the road, solo. While he or she may be thinking of nothing other than newfound independence, there are things to consider before you let the driving begin. First and foremost: car insurance. As you know from dealing with your own vehicle’s insurance, it can be a headache trying to figure out exactly what you need on an auto policy. Follow our guide to help you navigate the world of teen car insurance.
Decide if your teen will be on your policy
Presumably, if you’re reading this article, you will be adding your teenage son or daughter to your existing policy. While it is possible for your young driver to get their own separate insurance, the pros of adding your teen to your policy typically outweigh the cons. For instance, if you add your teen to your policy, you can qualify for discounts, such as the Multi-Car discount, if your insurance company offers this (as its name suggests, this discount is for drivers who have multiple cars on the same policy). Discounts like these can help ease the added cost of having an inexperienced driver on your policy.
Decide which car you will be insuring
This is a major part of the car insurance process, and is therefore something you’ll want to think carefully about. If you’re looking to save money (and who isn’t?), you’re much better off choosing an inexpensive, older car to insure for your teen. Because they are young and have little experience, teenagers are notoriously expensive to insure, regardless of the vehicle they are driving. If you insure them on a pricy sports car, you can bet you’ll pay way more in insurance costs than you would if you had picked a ten-year-old Honda Civic.
Go for a safer used vehicle to keep costs down. A reliable sedan is viewed as less risky than a fast sports car, and will therefore be viewed more favorably by insurance companies. Newer cars generally require more coverage anyway, so they will run you more on your insurance bill.
If your teen is not going to be driving their own car (say, they’ll be sharing a family car), you can save money by having them drive (insuring them on) the least expensive car you own. This way you’re not paying for insurance for an entirely separate vehicle.
Do your research
Perhaps the single most important part of the insurance process is doing your research before you select an insurance provider. Look into the various companies and the discounts they offer: the Internet is a wonderful resource for drivers shopping around for coverage. Just like buying a car, selecting an insurance company is not a decision that should be made before you’ve done quite a bit of looking around. Call and get quotes (or even do so online!) from multiple companies and see who can get you the lowest rate.
Ask about discounts
Don’t be shy about getting all your questions answered when discussing your insurance rate. Once they have all your information, the insurance agent should tell you about discounts you qualify for, but if you believe there are other reductions you should be able to get, bring them up and find out. There’s no harm in asking.
Just a few of the discounts you and your teen may qualify for include:
- Good student discount
- Safe-driving course discount (though your teen may be pretty fresh out of driver’s ed, some insurance companies offer a discount to teenagers for completing a driver training course)
- Low mileage discount
In the end, it’s all about getting the right amount of coverage for the right price. As long as you and your teen both feel comfortable about car insurance, you’ll be able to rest easier, even when they’re driving all on their own.
Kelly Larsen is a copywriter for I Drive Safely, the nation’s number one provider of online traffic school and driver’s education. With over 15 years’ experience in the field of safe driving, I Drive Safely has provided exceptional online courses to millions of new drivers, drivers looking to handle a traffic ticket and clear their diving record, and drivers looking to save money on auto insurance. To find out more or sign up, please visit http://www.idrivesafely.com/.
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