According to the Center for Disease Control, teens only represent 14% of the U.S. population, but they account for 58% ($23 billion) of the total cost for auto injuries.
With such staggering statistics, there's no wonder why insurance companies charge such high auto rates for teen drivers. Before parents resort to throwing their hands in the air in despair, there are a few things they can do to get the best possible auto insurance rate for their teen driver. Read also: Purchasing Used Car Extended Warranties.
Encourage the Teen to Maintain Good Grades
Insurance companies reward teen drivers that maintain a "B" or better average in school. They have found that teen drivers with good school grades are more conscientious drivers. As a result, they earn a discount on their auto insurance premiums.
Be a Driving Role Model
Whether or not a parent realizes it or not, teenagers learn good and bad driving habits from their parents. Parents must make sure to buckle up, use hands free devices for cell phones and most importantly don't drink and drive. Teens emulate what their parents do. If a parent is known to have a drink or two with dinner and then drive home, expect the teen to mirror the behavior. Read also: Buying Automobile Insurance in Texas.
Select a Safe Car
While a teen may have a grand time driving a brand new, high-powered sports car, purchasing such a car for a teen will send the auto insurance premiums through the roof. Instead, select an older car with built in safety features such as anti-lock breaks and auto alarms. When deciding which car to purchase, make sure to check the National Insurance Crime Bureau's list of Top 10 Cars Most Likely to be Stolen to make sure the teen doesn't select a high target vehicle.
Take a Safe Driver Class
To get the best possible rate for a teen driver, teens should be encouraged to take a safe driver class. It not only earns a discount on the auto premium, it equips them with driving skills that makes them a better driver.
Keep an Eye on the Teen Driver
When the teen is driving, keep an eye out for habits and tendencies. Notice if she tends to make turns without signaling or drives a bit too fast, make note and comment on the developing habit. Adults should be mindful when critiquing a teen's driving as teenagers tend to be sensitive and my not be receptive to correction. However, it's better to correct dangerous habits as they start. It not only helps to improve their driving, it helps to maintain low insurance rates by avoiding accidents and violations as a result of bad driving habits. Read also: Car Insurance Coverage for Imperfect Drivers.
Speak to the Insurance Agent and Request Discounts
Have a conversation with the auto insurance agent to see if there are any additional discounts that can be applied to the auto insurance policy. Adding a teen driver increases the auto insurance premium. Other drivers on the policy may qualify for discounts that previously went untapped such as teacher, senior, military or AARP discounts. While the discounts may not apply specifically to the teen, such discounts can lower the overall auto insurance premium.