Parents, ease the sting and anxiety over trying to figure out the best way to insure your son or daughter when they begin to drive. Check out these five ways to save money on car insurance for your teen driver.
First, however, a word of warning: Your household car insurance premiums are about to go up. There’s simply no getting around that fact. How much will it increase? A study by Insurance.com in 2010 showed increases ranging from 44 percent for one car in the household to 62 percent for three cars in the household.
Still, there are some things you can do, as we hinted in the headline.
Choose a safe, inexpensive car for your teen. – If you’re planning to buy a car for your teen to drive, say, to and from school and part-time job, the most sensible choice is one that has a good number of safety features, is inexpensive, and costs less to insure. That means avoiding large SUVs, sports cars and luxury cars. Consumer Reports lists several smart car choices for teen drivers, including the (2008 or later), sedan (2009-2011), (2009 or later), , (2008 or later), (2010 or later), and (2007-2010), among others.
Add your teen to your auto policy. – Generally speaking, it’s best to put your new teen driver on your own auto policy as an additional driver. That way, the household discounts will be passed on to your teen. Note that when your teen turns 18 and has his or her own car, it may make sense to get his or her own car insurance policy.
Ask for a good student discount. – Encourage your teen to maintain good grades at school for at least a year prior to looking to buy auto insurance coverage. Then, ask for a good student discount for your teen. Most insurers offer this discount for students maintaining at least a 3.0 grade-point average.
Enroll your teen in a defensive driving course. – A number of auto insurance companies offer a discount for teens that complete a safe driving course. This is one area where you can’t lose. Your teen learns valuable lessons that can prove life-saving – and, you can save big on your teen driver’s coverage.
Compare rates. – This recommendation makes a lot of sense for every household, including when it comes time to get car insurance coverage for teen drivers. Not all companies are the same, and some specialize in teen auto coverage. Keep in mind that an insurer that has the best rates for you may not have the best rates (or discounts) for teen drivers. Always shop around and do a thorough comparison of rates, coverage and services.
One final piece of advice that will prove beneficial for your newly-licensed teen driver is to practice driving with your child for as long as possible. By imparting safe driving tips and modeling safe driving behavior, you will be helping your teen establish responsible driving behavior.