Teenagers and their driving habits are a cause of concern for parents. People get restive when their ‘fresh out of the driving school’ children take the car out for a spin. A recent research has revealed that teen driving tops the list of parental worries. A carefree attitude has been associated with young drivers and there is always the risk of accidents. This is not all. Auto Premiums also compound a parent’s anxiety. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 16 year olds are nearly 10 times more likely to get into an accident. And with teen children, parents need to invest double the money in auto premiums. However, parents can adopt a ten-step strategy to keep a check on this premium spent. This ten step method will go a long way in controlling teen auto insurance costs.
Controlling Auto Insurance Costs for Your Teenager
It is always better to include your teenager children in the same policy instead of getting a separate one for them. When there is no separate coverage, the premium rates, ideally, have a conjoint history of all the drivers that are covered in the policy.
In cases where the teenage kid does not drive the insured car more than anybody else in the family, it would help if you designate them as an ‘occasional’ driver. It will help in saving the additional costs that you would incur if you designate him/her as a ‘principal driver.’
You must understand that the insurance costs for certain cars are higher than the rest. For example, the costs on new and sporty cars would be significantly higher. Costs on two door cars are also higher than four door cars.
When the car is over 6-7 years old, it would be a better idea to buy liability insurance rather than a collision or comprehensive insurance. Better still; get a high collision deductible at a minimum.
Try to get plenty of liability coverage. Make sure it is at least 100/300/50.
When you don’t have an umbrella policy that adds at least $1 million to the auto or homeowner’s liability protection, you must consider getting one. It is a relatively cheap insurance buy that saves you the shock of incurring seven-figure medical and legal costs during major crashes.
Ensure that your rates are rechecked regularly. You must know that rates for teens drop every six months.
It is always good to find out if your teenage child has a ‘B’ average. Some insurers offer discounts in case the child has a ‘B’ average.
Your teens should realize that they should own responsibility for traffic violations and such. Ensure that they shell out an affordable amount of money to pay their insurance costs. Ask an agent what the increase in amount would be in cases of traffic violations so that the teen gets to know how much he would be accountable for in such cases.
There are insurers that offer discounts when teenagers complete surveys on driving attitudes and enter information and details like their driving episodes shortly after getting licensed, in a log sheet. Parents can also avail discounts when they follow a Crashproof Plan or get a CrashProof contract signed with their teenage children.
Teen Safe Driving Practices
There is no better way to avoid accidents and save costs than responsible driving. Teenagers should know that they can help their parents save a lot of money in repair and medical costs when they drive safely and avoid accidents. Parents need to bring about awareness in their kids about safe driving practices and they can adopt these five key ways to help their teens avoid accidents.
Reversing a car is a big problem for teens. In order to reduce costs related to rear-end crashes, teens should be taught how to use the emergency brake and maintain a four-second following distance from other cars.
Teens should know how to get rid of their distractions. Focus is a must to avoid accidents. When there are additional teen passengers in a car driven by a teen, the possibility of a crash increases by 50% for every teen added.
Teens should be given strict instructions not to make or answer calls while driving. It has been found that call distractions have impact on mental focus equivalent to a .08 blood alcohol level – legal intoxication.
You should insist that teens use their seat belts. Forty percent of teens still do not follow seat-belt instructions. Using seat belts can help in avoiding deaths and injuries due to hard impact.
Parents should make it a point to spend at least 50 to 100 hours driving with the teen in different driving and weather conditions over a period of 6 to 12 months after the teens get their license.
Parents need to be role models. Teens tend to imbibe and imitate the qualities of parents. So be a responsible driver yourself. Jumping stop signs, road rage, over speeding, etc should be avoided if you wish for your children to imitate you and your positive driving practices.