Ways to Save on Auto Insurance for Your Teenager
Getting a driver's license is one of life's first major rites of passage, but passing that test is no substitute for experience on the road. Driving can be dangerous for anyone, but because teenagers are inexperienced drivers, parents dread their child being out on the road. They also dread getting the first insurance bill in the mail that reflects the increase for adding a teen driver to the policy.
Lack of experience is the main reason that insurance rates skyrocket when a teenager is added to a policy. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) teen drivers have crash rates three times higher than those of drivers age 20 and older per mile driven. Fortunately, there are ways for parents to save and minimize the sticker shock.
Parental Guidance and Safe Driving Courses
Though the specifics vary by state, all states have a graduated driving program that starts with a supervised learning stage. Teens then move to an intermediate stage that allows them to drive unsupervised at certain times, and then they eventually become fully licensed. This is designed to help teens learn safe driving habits from more experienced drivers like their parents.
What Your Teen Drives Does Matter
It's natural for teens to want a new, trendy vehicle with a lot of horsepower. (Do we ever really outgrow that?) However, brand new vehicles cost more to insure. In addition, vehicles with a lot of horsepower could be dangerous for an inexperienced driver. You should also avoid vehicles that have a higher likelihood of being stolen. On the other hand, it's also not a good idea to have your teen driving around in an old clunker that is unsafe or could break down. The ideal car for a teenager is something that is 3-4 years old and mechanically sound. It might be something your teen considers "boring" like a 4-door sedan, but they can get what they want later in life.
Although there's no substitute for teaching your teen good driving habits, your local Shelter agent can steer you in the right direction when it comes to insuring your teen.