Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How To Plan For A Brand New Driver On Your Insurance

Having a child can be one of the most exciting moments in a couple’s life together. But having a child that grows up and turns into a teenage is a whole separate level of excitement.

It is also a new level of worry, anxiety and expense that most parents willingly shoulder on behalf of their kids. Parents are shepherding a teen through the process of taking driver’s education, obtaining a learner’s permit, and passing their state’s driving test requirements, and only then qualifying for a driver’s license of their very own, not to mention paying for any fees involved.

The whole process can be a lot for a parent to tackle, but there are a few things to consider.

When Do I Add Them To My Policy?

Laws and guidelines vary from state to state and insurer to insurer, so the best policy here is to ask. In most cases, it is best to alert the insurer as soon as a teenage family member begins learning to drive. This allows your insurance provider to prepare, and you to ask any questions you have about it.

According to Insure, the teen driver can typically be listed at the learner’s permit stage without impact to the overall policy premium, since this type of listing requires that a licensed adult driver over the age of 21 be present to supervise the teenage driver. This allows you to teach your child to drive without changing your policy before they have their license.

Once the teenage learner passes the driving test and is granted a license, it is time to add them to the family car insurance policy as a legitimate driver, and this is when you can expect your rates to change. It may be worth considering talking to your child about the responsibility they now have, and what they can do to save you money.

How Can I Save Money?

The most expensive driver to insure is a teenage boy. The second most expensive is a teenage girl. But there are ways to save money on insuring a teen driver, such as:

Encourage or incentivize your teenage driver to keep their grades up. Teen drivers with a good grade point average are thought to be safer drivers, so often insurers will give them better rates. Not only can this save you money, it can keep your driver doing great in school.

List your teen as a secondary or occasional driver. Drivers that aren’t listed as a primary driver on any family vehicle or only drive a certain limited number of hours per week often quality for lower premiums. Limiting their driving can also help them value the time that they are driving, and make sure they aren’t driving absent-mindedly.

Find out more about your coverage. The more you know about what your insurance does and does not cover, and how, the more money you’re liable to save. For example, if you live in northern Utah and your provider only pays for locally based auto body repair, Park City may be a great place to find services. If they will pay for specific companies no matter where they are located, you just have to find the nearest shop to you. Finding out where to go for repairs will save you from making costly mistakes after a collision.

What Should I Be Paying?

Finally, when it comes to teenage drivers in particular, not all insurers are the same. While states set minimum coverage limits for all drivers, teen or adult, what separates one insurer from another often comes down to the discounts offered.

Some insurers will offer greater incentives to families with teen drivers as an effort to get in the door early and earn that teen’s business later on in life as well. Some auto insurers will also offer more perks and discounts to families who insure all drivers under one policy or bundle together several policy types. Not all insurance companies will list every possible discount you can get, so the only way to know what is available is to ask!

With some careful planning and knowing which questions to ask, it becomes easier to afford to add a new teenage driver to the family’s auto insurance policy. Today, many insurers are keen to compete even for the business of this high risk demographic to keep customers from moving their auto insurance policy over to a competitor.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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