How to Keep Your Auto Insurance Costs Down When Your Teen Begins Driving

Written by Ryan Hurlbert on January 6, 2010 & Posted in Auto Insurance

Your teenager is about to get their license. No more driving them to practice, games, the mall, dates, or to a friend's house. It's all good until you see how high your insurance premium becomes.

How do you keep your premiums in line, keep your child safe, and still avoid driving to 5:00 AM swim team practice? Take advantage of the discounts offered to kids, and shop around. Auto insurance companies treat children differently, and some are more teen friendly than others.

Find the right company for you by filling out the form at the top of the page, and keep these tips in mind while you shop for rates.

Make Your Teenager Hit the Books

The biggest discount most auto insurance companies offer teens is the Good Student Discount. A 3.0 grade point average is normally required, but the exact GPA requirement varies by company. Gather up your child's latest report card and shop around.

Have a Pro Teach Your Teen to Drive

Sending your child through an accredited driver education program could save you some money on your insurance. Defensive driving and accident avoidance classes may not qualify your child for a discount, but it may save your car and your child's life in the long run.

Get a Ticket, and Lose Your Privileges

Tickets, dings, bumps and accidents all drive up your premiums. Tickets may be an indication that your teen is either not paying attention or may not be driving safely. Make the consequences clear, and stick to them. It may mean that you have to drive your child to the 5:00 AM swim team practice again, but it may also keep your child safe and your premiums in check.

Ride With Your Kids

Let your kids drive when you are in the car with them. Observe how they handle themselves behind the wheel, and help them recognize risky situations and how to avoid them.

Don't Let Anyone Else Ride With Your Kids

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the chances of a crash by a 16- or 17-year-old driver double with two friends in the car. The chances quadruple with three or more friends in the car. According to Alan Williams, Chief Scientist at the the institute, "Every passenger you add increases the risk."

Shop for Rates

Every company is different, so shop around for rates. Start by filling out the form at the top of this page, and let insurance companies compete to earn your business. Ask about every available discount.

Remember, just because your teenager can get a license at 16 doesn't mean that they should. You know your child, and if you feel they are not ready, make them wait.

About the Author

Ryan Hurlbert lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. As an insurance agent, he produced and presented educational seminars on various topics from insurance basics to strategies for dealing with teen drivers. He has researched and produced marketing materials in the insurance, auto, and financial industries. Ryan majored in business and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University.

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