If you have a young driver in the family, you are no doubt aware of the high costs associated with putting them on your automobile insurance policy. It can be prohibitive–most insurance companies consider young drivers a risk due to their lack of experience. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of insuring a teenage driver. Following are a few tips on how to get cheaper car insurance for your teen driver.
Instruct the Young Driver
Before you even make a call to the insurance company to add your teen driver to your policy, take the time to instruct them in the value of being insured. Most young drivers are thinking no further than the freedom that driving a car will give them. They need to be made aware of the cost of being insured as well as the necessity of safe driving techniques. Perhaps the best way to get that point across is to have them pay for the increase in insurance costs–or at least a portion of it. It may also be a good idea to let them know that if they are in an accident due to their negligence, they will have to pay for any increase in rates the accident may cause.
Buy a Standalone Policy
Instead of adding your teen driver to your existing insurance policy, find a company that specializes in insuring young drivers and have your teen take out a standalone policy. It will more than likely be far cheaper. These companies can insure young drivers at reasonable rates because they require certain restrictions that reduce the likelihood of them getting into accidents.
Insurance companies may be willing to offer a discount for teens that have passed a safe driving course. Other restrictions could require them to not drive after dark, or with more than one passenger, especially if they’re other teen-agers. Even if the teen driver is fresh out of driver’s training, they can benefit from a safe driving course, and insurance companies know the value of such training.
Drive ‘Family Friendly’ Vehicles
It is well known that ‘muscle’ cars are involved in numerous accidents due to traveling at unsafe speeds. Add to that an inexperienced driver and you have the recipe for high insurance rates. One of the best things you can do in order to keep teen driver insurance rates down is to have them drive a more ‘family friendly’ vehicle. Instead of driving a Mustang or Corvette, they should be driving a Focus or an Impala. Fast cars and young drivers mean high insurance rates–if you make sure your teen driver has a car with a host of safety features built in, the cost of insurance will be less than it would be if they have a sporty car.
Raising your deductibles will decrease your premiums, but it comes at a cost. It is a standard practice for insurance companies to reduce rates as deductibles increase, but keep in mind that if you have to file a claim, the insurance company will not cut you a check until the deductible is paid. That means you will have to make sure you have enough money available to pay the deductible or your vehicle won’t get repaired.
Pay As You Drive
Another way to keep costs down when adding a teen driver to your policy is to go with Pay As You Drive coverage. Also known as Pay As You Go (PAYG,) this type of policy limits the number of miles you can drive and still receive reduced rates. A PAYG policy is a good way to introduce a young driver to the responsibilities associated with having a driver’s license and insuring a vehicle.
This is sound advice for anyone looking to buy an insurance policy, but it is even more important when trying to find coverage for a teen driver. Go online and get quotes from various places that you can use for comparison. Then, call the traditional brick and mortar companies and gather more quotes. Be sure to ask for any available discounts at each company. After you’ve gotten quotes from a variety of companies, call the company you presently do business with. They will more than likely be willing to meet or beat your best offer so they can keep your business. Most insurance companies reward longtime customers with reduced rates as well.
Guest post from Sam Landon. Sam writes for CarInsurance.org.