After prepping for 16 years your teenage son or daughter has finally reached the “right of passage” by getting a driver’s license. Now comes the harsh reality of paying substantially higher premiums for their auto insurance. Here are a few ways to bring down the cost to insure them.
• Encourage your children to get good grades. Most carriers provide a 10-20% discount on premiums for students with a “B” or better GPA.
• Have your teenager enroll in a driver’s education course. Some carriers provide an additional discount for students completing a Driver Safety Course.
• Insure your teen on your policy. This is a much less expensive option than having them get their own policy. Adding your child’s vehicle to your policy provides discounts for this vehicle not eligible in a monoline policy. Your child’s vehicle will receive the multi-car policy discount as well as the homeowner’s insurance discount you currently receive on your auto policy.
• If you are adding another vehicle for your teen driver make sure you get a vehicle deemed “safe” by the insurance industry. This usually means a somewhat older, four-door vehicle with normal power, i.e. not turbo-charged. These vehicles have a much lower rate for your teen driver. Consult your agent to get “what if” quotes to see if the vehicle you are thinking of buying is one that is considered “safe” and is also within your insurance budget.
• Consider raising the deductible on your vehicles or have your child contribute toward maintaining lower deductible amounts.
• If the vehicle is an older model, usually over ten years old, consider eliminating collision and comprehensive coverage.
• See if your teen can be listed as an “occasional”, “pleasure-only” or the primary driver on the least expensive vehicle on your policy to get a lower premium.
• If your teen is going away to college, ask for the “away at school” discount on your policy. The student usually needs to be 75 miles away from the primary residence to qualify.
• Comparison shop to find the best rate. Not all carriers have the same discounts or rates for teen drivers. Have your agent shop your auto insurance with different carriers to see if there might be substantial savings available with another carrier.
• Encourage your teenager to keep a safe driving record. Traffic tickets and accidents usually have a more severe impact on your premium if it involves an under 25 driver.
• Do not allow your teen to let a friend drive one of your vehicles. Remember in Arizona insurance follows the vehicle. So, if there is an accident involving your vehicle your policy will pay the claim and impact your insurance premium for a minimum of three years.
Following these suggestions should help lessen the impact on your auto insurance premiums. At the same time look to your insurance agent as a good resource to get the right coverage for your teenager and to best protect your financial well-being.
Also remember in the state of Arizona drivers do not need to be added to an insurance policy until they become a “licensed” driver. Once your child becomes a licensed driver notify your agent immediately to add them to your policy.