Most teens will get their driver’s licenses at some point between 16 and 18, and few parents or families really prepare in advance even though planning can help save on car insurance for teenagers and young drivers.
There are several ways to get cheap car insurance for teens, including discounts for young drivers who will be on their parents’ policy. A little research can help parents find the best car insurance company for teenagers before they add a son or daughter to their coverage. Here’s how to buy the best car insurance for your teen.
Finding The Right Auto Insurance Company
Not all car insurance companies offer teenagers discounts, so shopping around and asking questions is a good idea. It is important to realize that even the best auto insurance companies calculate rates differently, which is why a car insurance quote comparison will yield varying premiums.
One insurance company may specialize in insuring high risk drivers with DUIs and multiple traffic violations, while another carrier may prefer customers with clean driving records, no accidents or violations, and high credit scores. For this reason, picking the right insurer that provides cheap car insurance for young drivers is critical to finding low premiums, which is why we recommend comparing car insurance quotes, coverage, and rates online. It is frankly the only way to know who provides the best, affordable rates.
Multi-Policy and Multi-Car Discounts
Furthermore, combining other policies such as life, homeowners, boat and/or RV insurance with the same carrier will help parents save money on all their coverage needs as well as take advantage of the discounts for teen drivers when they add their student driver to the policy.
Raise Your Deductibles
Raising your car insurance deductibles can lower your rates no matter who you are – a teen driver, adult, or senior. Most insurance policies come with a standard $500 deductible. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 prevents you from filing small claims and ruining your “No Claims” bonus, resulting in companies rewarding you with cheap quotes.
Good Student Discounts
Quite a few insurance companies offer “Good Student Discounts”. Since young drivers do not have a driving record or history, carriers need to use other indicators to calculate and determine risk. Good students with good attendance at school demonstrate more responsibility than students with poor grades and poor attendance, therefore students with GPAs of at least 3.0, or a “B” average, may qualify for a “Good Student Discount”, which can save their parents’ as much as 15% on car insurance.
Working or Volunteering Can Lower Rates
A clean driving record demonstrates a responsible attitude, but with no driving record to check, other indicators of responsibility can help teenagers keep their rates low. A good work record or employment history at a weekend or after-school job, or volunteering several hours a week for community service shows a good attitude and a sense of responsibility.
Insurance companies and colleges look for many of the same qualities in young adults, so parents can help teens prepare for driving and college at the same time. Cheap car insurance can also allow parents to save more towards college.
Drivers Education Classes
Most high schools offer drivers education classes for student drivers. These driver-safety courses prepare students to take the written exam and road test for their permit or license. In addition, many car insurance companies offer discounts to teens who successfully complete a high school driver’s education program.
If a teen’s school doesn’t offer a safety program, signing up for a course at a private driving school may qualify you for the discount. Just make sure to ask your insurance company in advance.
Defensive Driving Discounts
In several states, car insurance companies provide a 10% discount for drivers who complete a defensive driving class. By requiring their kids to take the defensive driving class, parents can make their own car insurance quotes more affordable, and in some states, lower their teen’s rate as well. Defensive driving classes are cheap, take about 8 hours to complete and keep rates low for up to two years.
Choose The Right Car Insurance Coverage
Optional coverage like collision and comprehensive can be expensive when adding a teen to a policy, so if mom and dad are driving new cars, it may be a worthwhile investment to buy an older sedan or compact car for a teen. Liability-only coverage for old vehicles is cheap compared to full-coverage for luxury or sports cars.
If you’re trying to save money on car insurance, don’t ever place your teen as the primary driver for a new car with full-coverage and a $500 deductible. Research the different types of car insurance before choosing the right one for your family.
Should A Teenager Have His Own Insurance Policy?
If a teen is a minor, he/she may have to be on the parents’ policy. Usually, it is cheaper for teens living at home to be on their parents’ policy since most companies offer discounts, such as multi-car or multi-policy discounts that lower the rates for the entire family.
If a teen is over 18 and not a full time student, parents must decide if the teenager should find and pay for his/her own auto insurance policy. However, a better option would be to include the young driver on a parent’s policy and have him/her pay the premiums. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
What If A Teenager Gets A Traffic Ticket?
For a teenage driver, a traffic ticket can increase car insurance rates significantly. In some states, if a driver is cited for a moving violation, he/she may opt to attend traffic school and have the ticket removed from their driving record. This maintains a clean history and low rates. In states where traffic school is an option, the one-time fee for traffic school is a lot more affordable than 2 or 3 years of higher premiums.
Parents With Preferred Rates
Parents can save money on car insurance for teenagers if they themselves qualify for preferred rates. Parents who maintain a clean driving record and a good credit score qualify for the lowest rates. When parents secure preferred rates, their teen driver’s premiums are usually lower, too. This can also set a good example for children who learn that good driving habits and financial responsibility save money.
Teens or Students Living Away From Home
If your young driver is over 18 and a full-time student living in a college dorm more than 100 miles away from home, he can stay on your insurance policy. Just call your company, let them know your child is away at college and you will earn a huge discount on your premiums.
If your child is not a full time student, is employed full-time, and living on his own, he will probably have to buy protection independently.
Teenagers or young drivers who are members of the Armed Forces maintaining their parent’s home address as their own usually qualify to be added to a parent’s policy.
Teens In the Military May Qualify For Discounts
Although not all insurers offer special discounts for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, many car insurance companies do provide discounts to members of the military. If a teen or young adult in the military is still insured on their parents’ policy, the parents should ask about military discounts. If a teen is out of the country on active military duty, parents should notify their company since the teen is not driving the car on a regular basis.
While finding and keeping premiums low is important, the safety of teen drivers is paramount. Buy your young driver a safe car with a high safety rating. Insurance companies check to make sure vehicles have a variety of safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control systems, and alarm or anti-theft systems.
Cars with side curtain airbags provide protection from head injuries. Anti-lock brakes and other safety features help teens avoid accidents, and companies often reward high safety-rated make and model vehicles with affordable car insurance.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online
Planning ahead, getting all the right discounts and comparing free car insurance quotes from different companies can help families find cheap auto insurance for teenagers. Even if you aren’t interested in switching carriers, just increasing the deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage can save money, and it’s free to find out how much the savings may be.
Complete a car insurance rate comparison today and see how good grades, a safe car, defensive driving programs and various other discounts can get your family cheaper coverage.