Nine ways to reduce your teen driver auto insurance costs
Your son or daughter has talked about it forever – the day they finally get their driver’s license. But with that new independence comes some big expense – in the form of higher insurance rates.
In fact, parents of a new teen driver can expect their insurance bills to almost double, according to a recent study.
The amount of your premium increase depends, in part, on what state you live in. In a report by insurancequotes.com, five states double their rates when teen drivers are added to an auto insurance policy. New Hampshire is the most expensive nationally – increasing rates 115 percent over the original premium, according to USA Today. Lagging behind New Hampshire were Wyoming, Illinois, Maine, and Rhode Island.
The increase may also depend on the gender of your new driver. Male teens increased premiums about 92 percent while females increased costs by 67 percent. Six states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Massachusetts, did not increase or decrease teen driving rates based on gender, according to the study.
The states with the small increases include Hawaii (16.83 percent) and New York State (53.03 percent). Nationally, the average increase was 79.73 percent, InsuranceQuotes.com reports.
For parents of drivers in their teens and early 20s – there is some hope. Insurance companies do typically offer a variety of discounts that can help reduce the bottom line.
Here are eight things you can do to bring down auto insurance premiums if you have a teen driver:
1) Hit Those Books
If your teen driver is a good student you may qualify for discounts. Many insurance companies will offer discounts up to 20 percent if your student has a “B” average or higher or ranked in in the top percentile of his or her class. Discounts may vary by state as well.
2) Take A Safety Course
Your insurance carrier may offer discounts if your teen participates in a driver safety course. This may be a formal driver’s education course or it may be a course offered by your insurance carrier directly. In some cases, these courses may knock up to 15 percent off the additional premium.
3) College bound savings
If your son or daughter is moving away, typically 100 miles or more from where the car is principally garaged, you may get a discount for temporarily removing them from your policy. This depends on your insurance company. Note that some insurance companies do discourage this since many students return home frequently and will need insurance coverage to drive the car when they’re back.
4) Invest in a safer car
A car with extra safety options and higher ratings may reduce your premiums. Sites like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety allow you to look up a vehicle’s safety ratings. Additional safety options, such as daytime running lights, blind-spot detection system, and electronic stability control, can offer additional discounts. Once you’ve identified the safest vehicles and technology, confirm with your agent whether these will reduce your insurance costs and by how much.
5) Buy an older car
As a rule of thumb, an older car is usually a less expensive insurance option for your teen driver. Expensive, newer cars generally cost more to insure so there could be some savings if your son or daughter isn’t driving the family’s new luxury sedan. Do some research and check with an agent before you buy an older car.
6) Electronic monitoring
Ok, sounds a bit creepy but some companies will offer up to a 15 percent discount if you install a device that monitors your teen’s driving. The information collects how fast he drives, hours he drives, and how often the brakes are applied harder.
7) Do some shopping
Take your time and do your homework. You may be able to get a better rate by shopping for new auto insurance. You may not necessarily get a less expensive rate for your teen driver, but you could knock down auto premiums by switching companies – allowing you to offset the additional costs.
8) Raise or eliminate your comprehensive and deductibles
This is a good alternative if you can afford the deductible or the car isn’t worth repairing if damaged in a crash. By raising comprehensive and collision up to $1,000, it may reduce your overall premiums. If the car is really old, you might even consider dropping this coverage all together, if possible. Is this a good choice? It depends whether you can dole out the extra money if a claim is made.
9) Get a multipolicy discount
If you have separate insurance carriers for your home, car, or other items consider a multipolicy discount. By combining them under one carrier, you may see some significant savings to offset the cost of your teen driver.
Additional sources used in this story