Data supplied by the Insurance Information Institute shows car insurance rates typically increase by 50 percent when a teenager starts using the family car. Far from being an example of ageism, it’s because teen drivers have less experience on the road and therefore represent a more significant risk.
And, the higher the risk, the greater the cost in the insurance business. Still, though, lowering the cost of car insurance for a teen driver is possible — when you take the following actions.
Be a Good Driver Yourself
All human behaviors are learned. Yes, instinct does play a role in our development, but instincts can be subverted by lessons learned as the brain develops. So, rather than expecting your child to do as you say rather than as you do, model good driving behavior for them to mimic.
This way, when it’s time for you to teach the child to drive, they’ll already have a sense of right and wrong on the road. Do everything possible to ensure they have a ready understanding of the rules of the road. Be certain they understand the consequences of disobeying them.
A good foundation makes a stronger structure.
Put Them Through a Formal Driver Training Course
Of course you’ll take pride in teaching your child to drive — and well you should. However, once they’ve absorbed everything you have to teach them, enroll them in an advanced car control course. This will enable them to practice maneuvers such as skid recovery and spins in a controlled environment. They will be safer drivers once they know how it feels when a car is about to go out of control — and how to bring it back under control.
Certificates from these courses earn lower insurance rates.
Get Them a Safe and Inexpensive Car
Cars with strong reputations for safety cost less to insure. Further, inexpensive cars make for inexpensive repairs in the event an accident does occur. Buy a car for your teen meeting these parameters and you’ll see a lower insurance premium as well. You’ll also have the comfort of knowing they’re in a crashworthy car should the unthinkable occur.
Push Them to Get Good Grades
High-achieving scholars enjoy lower car insurance costs as well. Many carriers offer good student discounts of up to 20 percent. Most insurers look for a 3.0 GPA, inclusion on the honor roll (or dean’s list if they’re in college) or a ranking in the 20th percentile on standardized tests. The assumption is they’re responsible enough to handle an automobile in a thoughtful manner if they’re disciplined enough to get such good grades.
Permit Electronic Monitoring
Usage-based insurance can reduce the cost of coverage for the entire family. This can be accomplished with an application on a smartphone you carry while driving, or a device plugged into the car’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) port.
Information such as the average speed at which the car is driven, how hard it brakes (and how often), how hard it corners (and how often) as well as how many miles it’s driven on average is forwarded to the insurance company. Rates are then set based upon the observed data.
The good news is substantial insurance discounts can be achieved. However, the other news is there will be a digital record of everywhere the car goes and how long it stays in a particular place. In other words, you’ll always have someone looking over your shoulder.
These techniques for lowering the cost of car insurance for a teen driver can save you money and — more importantly — keep your child safe out on the road.