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How can I insure my teen without breaking the bank?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

 

Insuring teenagers is expensive because younger drivers are more likely to get into car accidents than older drivers with more experience. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year olds is vehicle collisions.

Consequently, insuring your teen driver comes with a high price tag – a premium increase of 44 percent if you have one car; 58 percent for two cars; and if you have a third vehicle, premiums can increase by 62 percent, according to the Insurance.com article "Adding A Teen To My Car Insurance Policy Costs How Much?"

Having a separate auto insurance policy for your teen is an option but generally a more expensive one. The average car insurance policy for a teen driver can run $2,267, which is probably significantly more than the increase you might see on your existing policy.

4 strategies to reduce teen car insurance rates

For parents, teenagers behind the wheel of a car can be a scary thought, not only from a safety aspect but financially as well. Here are four strategies that can minimize your auto insurance premiums while insuring your teen driver has the proper insurance coverage.

  1. Enroll your teen in a driving safety school. Choose a program with a good reputation; your insurance company may have suggestions. Spend time with your teen drivers while they practice driving. Remember, it's ultimately your responsibility to evaluate how well your teen is doing and when he or she is ready for the road. As a bonus, your insurance company may offer a discount at course completion.
  2. If you're buying a car, buy the right one. There isn't one right car, but ideally you want a combination of safety and reasonable premiums. SUVs and luxury cars can be very expensive to insure and aren't necessarily safer in an accident. Also, new cars are generally more expensive to insure, so a used vehicle may be more cost-effective. Before committing to a vehicle, research online car insurance quotes and look for vehicles with excellent safety ratings.
  3. Look into student discounts. Find out if your insurance company offers discounts for student drivers who maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average or who participate in community service activities.
  4. Comparison shop for insurance. It's more convenient than ever to compare auto insurance quotes online. Look for all available student discounts to get the best deal you can when you insure your teen driver.

Once licensed, don't forget to add your teenager to your policy. Intentional misrepresentation could result in cancellation of your policy or refusal by your auto insurance company to pay a claim. Some companies may pay the claim and then back-charge you for the premiums, but don't take it for granted that they will.

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