Helping Named Drivers Keep Their Auto Insurance Premiums Down

By Insurance.com Posted : 08/22/2006

Many teenagers see their driver's license as a passage of independence from their parents or a chance to head out on the open road with their friends. That is until they find out how much auto insurance is going to cost them - then being on Mom and Dad's policy doesn't seem so embarrassing!

Due to the lack of funds, many teenagers elect to become a named driver on their parent's auto insurance policy. This solution works for a while, but eventually these teens graduate from school, land their first job and purchase their first automobile - only to be faced again with the high cost of auto insurance premiums as a first time policyholder. It's a vicious cycle many young adults just can't seem to avoid.

However, one auto insurance company in England has developed a solution to help named drivers develop a driving history while they are on their parents' or guardians' insurance policy. This new plan allows the named driver to build up a no-claims discount in the event they do not make a claim while on another driver's policy. For instance, under this arrangement a teenager who spends three years as a named driver and does not make a claim could potentially receive up to a 50% discount when they switch over to their own plan. That's a considerable discount when you are just starting out on your own!

Even though this policy is not yet available in the U.S., there are steps young adults can take to help reduce their auto insurance premium, such as:

  1. Buying an older car vs. a newer model. Typically older cars cost less to insure verses newer, faster models
  2. Avoid modifying your car. Adding chrome rims and grills, customized murals, Spree wheels (spinner rims), pipes, decked out stereo systems, ground effects and hydraulics will only increase your auto insurance premium, possibly making it more than you can afford.
  3. Drop collision coverage on less valuable cars. Multiply your current annual insurance premium by 10. If your vehicle is worth less than that amount, consider dropping the collision and /or comprehensive coverage portion of your policy. Not sure how much your car is worth? Visit the Kelley's Blue Book website to find out.
  4. Ask for higher deductibles. Requesting a higher deductible can help lower your auto insurance rate by 15 to 30 percent. However, if you decide to do this, make sure you have enough money set aside in the event you have to make a claim.
  5. Take a defensive-driving class. Often, auto insurance companies will offer drivers a 10% discount just for taking a defense-driving course. Check with your local city or town to find a class near you.
  6. Combination discounts. Many times insurance companies will give a 10% - 20% discount to customers who insure both their house and car, multiple cars or take out renters' insurance and car insurance with the same company. It's a potential savings worth inquiring about.
  7. Maintain a good credit history. Numerous insurance companies base your insurance premium on your credit score. So the better your credit score, the lower your insurance rate will be!
  8. Low mileage discount. Some insurance companies offer discounts to motorists that drive lower than the average number of miles allotted per year. So if you work close to home or take the train or bus to work each day you might be eligible for this discount.
  9. Group insurance discounts. Membership has its rewards! If you belong to an alumni group, club or organization then you might be eligible for a group discount just for being a member. Check with your organization or ask your insurance company if your club is eligible.
  10. Shop around. Prices vary from insurance company to insurance company. So make sure to do your research first before you make your final decision. For assistance, logon to Insurance.com's auto quote comparison module. Here you will be able to compare the quotes of up to 12 insurance providers, helping you save time and most importantly money on your auto insurance rate.
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