If you’re already complaining about your teen's extracurricular expenses, then you don’t have a 16-year old who’s about to get their license and start driving. Not only does the expense of purchasing an additional vehicle come to your mind, but the added expense of an auto insurance policy probably gives you a little anxiety as well. While teens are considered a higher-risk, it doesn’t mean you will have to break the bank when purchasing an auto insurance plan. Here are few tips and tricks you can do to help save some money.
1. Buy used, not brand new
Sure, pulling up to your house to surprise your kid with a brand new car sounds like a great idea, but take it from an expert, there are millions of used, safe cars out there that will bring the same exciting effect as a new car—but at a lower cost. Plus, if your teen happens to get into a car accident, it will be considered a less expensive loss when it comes to insurance claims.
2. Shop around for the best rate
Have you ever heard the term, “shop long, shop wrong?” If so, remove that slogan from your brain right now! It actually pays to shop around, especially when you are looking for the best rate. A rule of thumb is to compare three quotes from three different providers. This will help you find the best rate. However, be sure not to sacrifice coverage over price. Just because you found a great deal, doesn’t mean it’s the best insurance. Take time to do your research.
3. Teenage driver discounts are a “thing”
While researching online, check with your carrier first to see if they offer any driver discounts to teenagers. Then, check out other providers to see what they offer. Teen driver discounts can include something as common as having a good report card, the completion of a driver safety education course, or even low annual mileage.
4. Your policy may be the best policy
Before you start researching other insurance companies, start with your policy first. You might be surprised to find that it’s cheaper to add your teen to your existing policy, or if purchasing a separate policy is a better choice. In most cases, adding your teenage driver to your own policy is the better option because your insurance carrier wants to keep all the business they can.
5. Have a driver safety talk
Be sure that you have an extensive talk about driving safely with your teenager before they get behind the wheel. Reassure them that not only are they accountable for their actions while driving, but also for the lives of others inside and outside of the vehicle. Remind them that traffic rules are to be followed at all times, and if avoided can lead to an accident, a ticket, having their driver's license suspended, and ultimately if any of these happen—higher insurance premiums. A few tips to keep them on the right track while driving are to:
Educate. Make sure to keep up-to-date with your teen’s driving habits. Ride with them every now and then to monitor their driving. Give them some pointers when you see them doing something wrong and encourage them when they make smart driving decisions.
Set road rules. Be straightforward and clear about what and where they can go when driving. Enforce a car curfew if you don’t want them driving too late at night. Educate them on the importance of never using a cell phone while driving, and never to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Be a good remodel. You’ve heard the old saying “monkey see, monkey do?” Well, in this case, it holds true, too. Be a good example of responsible, safe driving, and act how you would want your teenage driver to act while behind the wheel—remember, they are watching you!
With all of the competitive auto insurance companies out there, taking the time to do your research on your teen's auto insurance policy is the smartest thing you can do. Finding something that works best for you and your family will always win in the end. And above all, your teenager's safety is the most important.