While a driver’s license brings freedom and excitement to teens, it also leaves the parents concerned about the impending auto insurance costs and the safety of their adolescent kids.
Your teen needs car insurance when they get behind the wheel, even if they have a learner’s permit. However, when they qualify for a driver’s license, you need to add them to your existing car insurance policy or buy a new one just for them.
Adding your kiddo to your insurance policy can push your premium since insurance companies consider adolescent drivers risky. They add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your policy to offset the risk factors.
However, the good news is that you can reduce insurance costs by shopping around and exploring potential discounts to keep the premium within your budget.
In this guide, let’s explore how to add your teen to your car insurance policy and get great discounts on it.
Is Insurance Mandatory for Your Teen Driver?
In most states, you can apply for a learner’s permit when you are 15 years old. However, the exact age at which you can get a learner’s permit can vary depending on the state you live in. It’s a good idea to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) to find out the specific requirements for getting a learner’s permit in your state.
In most cases, a parent’s auto insurance policy will cover a teen with a learner’s permit. However, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider to confirm this. Keep in mind that while a learner’s permit allows a teen to practice driving with an adult in the car, they are not yet considered a fully licensed driver. This means that the level of coverage provided by a parent’s insurance policy may be different for a teen with a learner’s permit than it is for a fully licensed driver.
The importance of insurance for teenage drivers cannot be overstated. Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveal that teens are four times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than drivers in their 20s. The leading causes of accidents among teenagers include driving errors, distractions by passengers, loss of control at high speeds, driving at night, and speeding. It is crucial for parents to ensure that their teenage children have adequate insurance coverage to protect themselves and others on the road.
Adding a Driver to Your Policy
State laws and insurer guidelines can vary, so it is important for parents to consult with their insurance agent to determine when they need to add their teenager as a driver to their auto insurance policy. This may be at the stage of obtaining a learner’s permit, or after the teenager receives their driver’s license.
In some states, policyholders may not be required to list their teenager on their auto insurance policy until they have a driver’s license. It is essential to check with your insurance provider and your state’s department of motor vehicles to understand the specific requirements and coverage options for teenage drivers.
To add your teenager as a driver to your auto insurance policy, follow these steps:
- Contact your current insurance company to determine when you need to add your teenager to your policy, whether it is at the stage of obtaining a learner’s permit or when they receive a driver’s license.
- Request a quote for adding your teenager to your existing policy with higher liability limits (such as 100/300/100). Shop around and obtain quotes from other car insurance companies to find the best rates.
- Add your teenager to your current policy or switch to a new insurer with better rates at the appropriate time. Remember to ask for discounts from both your current and potential insurance providers.
- To keep your teenager safe and maintain low insurance rates, monitor their driving behavior and insist on good driving habits.
- Review your insurance options at each renewal period or at least once a year to ensure that you are getting the best rates by comparing quotes from different insurance companies. Also, check if your teenager is eligible for any new discounts, such as a good student discount or a discount for completing a driver’s education course.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
There are several factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance, regardless of whether you have a teenager listed on your policy. These factors include:
Age: As an adult driver with years of experience, you may be eligible for lower insurance premiums than younger drivers.
Coverages: Adding additional coverages to your policy can increase the cost of your premiums.
Deductible: Choosing a policy with a high deductible can lower your premiums, but it also means that you will have to pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim.
Driving record: Drivers with accidents or traffic violations on their records often pay higher premiums.
Location: Auto insurance premiums may be higher for vehicles located in areas with a high risk of theft or in regions prone to severe weather. This is because insurers consider these factors when determining the likelihood of a claim and the potential cost of that claim. As a result, car owners in these areas may have to pay more for their insurance coverage.
Type of vehicle: Convertibles, luxury vehicles, and SUVs may incur higher insurance premiums.
Safety and anti-theft devices: Insurance providers may offer discounts for vehicles with safety features like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices. These features can save car owners money on insurance while protecting their vehicles.
Also Read: What Is the Basic Car Insurance Coverage?
How To Get a Deal on Teen Car Insurance
Adding a teenager to your auto insurance policy can be a shock to your premiums. However, most major car insurance companies offer discounts for young drivers that can help offset the cost. Ask your insurance provider about available discounts for your teenager.
Bundling discounts: Bundling auto and home or renters insurance policies can sometimes earn you a discount from your insurance provider.
Defensive driving discounts: Completing a defensive driving course may make teenagers eligible for an insurance discount.
Good driver discounts: Maintaining a clean driving record can help both adults and young drivers qualify for lower car insurance rates.
Good student discounts: Teenagers who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher may be eligible for a discount of up to 7% on their auto insurance.
Multi-car discounts: Insuring all family vehicles with the same carrier can often save parents money on car insurance.
Student “away” discounts: If your teenager goes away to college and leaves their car at home, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 10% on your auto insurance.
Increasing your deductible can lower your car insurance premiums. However, it’s important to remember that teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. Don’t set your deductible at a level that is higher than you can afford to pay out-of-pocket.