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Five Ways to Get the Best Teen Auto Insurance

When a child turns 16, every parent feels both pride and anxiety. While the family gains a driver who can run errands or pick up younger siblings, it can be difficult to trust teenagers with the responsibilities of driving.

In spite of the uncertainties tied to young drivers, one thing that parents can take control of is reducing the cost of auto insurance.

Many parents assume that getting auto insurance will be expensive and difficult. But be encouraged — there are proven strategies parents can take in lessening the cost of car insurance for teen drivers. It’s why we’re taking a look at five of the top money-saving strategies below.

#1 – Choosing a Vehicle

ways to get the best teen auto insurance

While teenagers may have their heart set on a particular kind of car, the vehicle parents choose for their teen driver has important consequences for both safety and affordability. Many teenagers would love to pull into the school parking lot with a convertible. While these vehicles are stylish and fun, parents will have trouble getting affordable car insurance for them.

Another tip? Parents should also consider the maximum speed and occupancy size of the vehicle.

It’s harder to insure an SUV than a two-seat coupe because it can hold more people, which exposes the insurance company to additional liability risk if a driver gets into an accident with a car full of passengers. This risk is multiplied exponentially by teen drivers who are more likely to get into accidents while there are other passengers in the car to distract them.

Another strategy is to choose older vehicles that have lower top speeds. For instance, a car from the 1990s will have more trouble reaching the engine’s top speed than a car built in the 2000s. Choosing a smaller two- to four-seat vehicle can bring down insurance costs substantially.

In the end, all of these factors are taken into consideration in the risk models for insurance companies. Choosing a car that is smaller, older, and sturdier is an easy way to reduce insurance premiums for teen drivers.

#2 – Educating Teen Drivers

Many insurance companies offer reductions in insurance rates if teenagers take driving courses.

A basic driving course, in addition to the certification program required for a license, could lower the insurance premium much more than the actual cost of the course, making it an excellent investment for teen drivers.

Courses in additional skills like defensive driving can also further reduce insurance premiums. Some insurance companies even offer weekend seminars or online courses to certify teen drivers. Bottom line? Completing one or more of these courses could lead to lower insurance rates. To be sure, inquire with insurance agencies to see if they offer rebates or reductions for drivers who complete safety courses.

It’s also important that parents consistently educate teen drivers. After all, even a simple parking lot fender bender could lead to astronomical increases in insurance premiums. Making sure that teen drivers are well-prepared for a variety of driving challenges – whether that’s in learning to overcome distractions, or mastering defensive driving techniques – will ensure that accidents are avoided.

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#3 – Good Grades Matter!

Several companies offer considerable discounts to teen drivers who maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. Insurers offer these discounts because there is a strong correlation between a teen driver’s grades and their likelihood of getting into an accident. In fact, research shows that students who maintain high grades are more likely to pay attention on the road, take fewer risks, and use caution when driving.

Therefore, emphasizing the importance of grades to a teenage driver could save nearly $50 per month on auto insurance premiums.

One example of a compromise that parents can offer to students is giving them permission to drive themselves to school on the condition that they stay after school for tutoring. Both sides win with this compromise — parents get cheaper auto insurance, while students get better grades and the freedom of driving to school.

teen good grades auto insurance

Parents can also condition their student’s driving on maintaining a certain GPA. Almost all states have laws that empower parents to seize and hold their minor child’s license. Because parents will often shoulder the liability for teens’ accidents, states want to give parents the power to keep their children off the road if necessary.

#4 – Modify an Existing Policy

Some parents choose to take out an entirely new policy when their teenager gets a car either to avoid personal liability for accidents, or to require their teenager to pay for their own insurance. However, this strategy is costly and unnecessary.

In most states, parents are still liable for the accidents of minor children even if they have a separate insurance policy. It is far less expensive to adjust an existing policy to add a new teen driver.

Most insurance companies can limit the driver’s coverage to one vehicle. This means if Dad has a convertible, he doesn’t have to pay extra for his insurance just because there is a teen driver in the house. This works well for parents who have new cars but want their child insured only for an older, safer car.

By choosing to modify an existing policy, some parents will be able to add an additional driver for less than $100 per month, and in some cases for far less than that if the family elects to have high-deductible insurance.

#5 – Comparison Shop

The easiest way to find the best deal is to compare quotes with multiple providers. In fact, experts with the Insurance Information Institute suggest getting at least three quotes simply because it pays to shop around. What you may also learn is that some smaller insurers offer lower rates that are more competitive than those of larger insurance companies.

But there’s more.

As you shop rates, be sure to do your homework. Look into the company’s financial health by checking out ratings through well-respected organizations such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.

The good news? You don’t have to spend hours on the phone with multiple agents. Searching for an affordable insurance company is as easy as using our FREE car insurance comparison tool. Just enter your ZIP code below to begin.

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