Tips to Save Money and Keep Your Teen Safely Insured
CLEVELAND, OH - May 5, 2009 - While average auto insurance rates across the United States continue to come down from their record highs of last fall, there's still one guaranteed way to increase your insurance bill - add a teen driver. According to Insurance.com's RateWatch for car insurance, adding a teen driver to your policy can increase the annual rate anywhere from $1,200 to $4,900 a year - or an average of $2,171 a year.
April's RateWatch data found that on average, auto insurance rates last month had returned to their year-ago price point of $1872, continuing a downward trend in rates that began at the first of the year. While this is a welcome break for cash-strapped consumers, those who are considering adding a teen driver to the family plan still need to do some budgeting - and homework - to get the best plan for their young drivers.
"Parents of teen drivers may be in for some sticker shock when they begin getting quotes to add a teen to their policy," said Sam Belden, Vice President at Insurance.com. "Given the increased number of claims associated with drivers aged 16-19, those insurance premiums have always been high. But as rates overall begin to level off, now is a great time to shop for a new policy. By taking advantage of multi-car discounts and other savings features, you may be able to save money and keep your teen safely insured."
Insurance.com offers these tips for parents of teen drivers:
Your teen may have his eye on a used Mustang, but insuring a Honda Civic will be easier on the budget. Rates can be almost $200 higher to insure a teen on a Mustang. Safety features can also help manage your insurance costs. Many carriers offer "Safe Car" discounts for air bags, antilock brakes, and antitheft devices such as alarms in the car. In some cases, these discounts can save 5% off your premium.
Some auto insurance companies offer discounts to policies with teen drivers if they have a B or better grade average at school. Of course, proof of those good grades is required, but good students can sometimes help parents save as much as 10-15% on car insurance.
Graduated drivers licensing laws are designed to help new drivers gain experience under lower risk conditions. It's common for states to impose curfews and limit the number of teen passengers until a driver is 18. A car full of teens late at night is a recipe for disaster.
Video cameras and GPS are new tools that can help parents monitor their teen's driving. Some insurers will offer discounts to policyholders who use these devices.
According to RateWatch, the most affordable states to insure teen drivers are Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio, where rates were $2600, $2700 and $2900, respectively. The most expensive states to insure teen drivers? Connecticut ($5400); New Jersey ($6200) and Louisiana ($7900).
The RateWatch report data is based on the average lowest car insurance rates quoted to consumers in each state, from more than a dozen of the nation's leading auto insurers. The complete report is available at www.insurance.com/ratewatch.
Insurance.com is the leading independent online auto insurance agency in the United States. Our innovative technology allows consumers to link directly to the rating systems of more than a dozen top insurance companies. We streamline the shopping process for consumers, empowering them to instantly compare rates, make the smartest decisions for their insurance needs and buy a policy online or by phone. Headquartered in Solon, Ohio, Insurance.com also offers information for life, health and home insurance.
Sari Martin/Susan Hartzell, ICR
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