According to detailed studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are three times more at risk of having auto accidents than older drivers. This can mean trouble for parents as their insurance premiums see a big jump once the premium for their teen drivers is added to their policies. However, with a little planning and foresight, it is possible to reduce the cost of the policy. Some useful tips:
Select the Right Car
As a rule, the more expensive your car is, the more costly its repairs will be if it is involved in an accident. Again, there are a number of cars that might not be so costly to buy, but repairs and spare parts may be quite expensive. There are cars too that are very attractive to thieves, and cars that are more liable to meet with an accident due to their sporty and powerful engines. The examples outlined are cases that will have the insurance companies quoting premiums that are significantly higher than for models that are sober and easy to maintain.
The ideal car, as far as keeping insurance premiums to the minimum, should not be very expensive, either to buy or to repair, be safe to drive and keep the passengers protected better in the case of a crash, and not be theft-prone. Typically, mid-size family cars are among the most inexpensive to insure, especially those that have all the latest safety features such as airbags, ABS, electronic braking distribution, daytime running lights, etc. Use insurance company guidelines if you are in the market for older cars.
You can get a lot of help in selecting cheap and safe cars if you refer to the 5-Star Safety Ratings issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Top Safety Pick awards given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You can also refer to the list of most commonly stolen cars published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. If have a shortlist of cars that you are considering, then ask a few insurance companies to quote on each, and you’ll easily be able to figure out the one that cost the least to insure. You can also reduce your premium a lot if your car is old and you do not opt for collision insurance.
Alter Driver Adjustments
When you want to add your child to an auto insurance policy, you will be asked to designate the cars that will be driven most often by each member. By designating the least expensive car for your child, you can save a lot on the insurance, however, you will need to establish which car in your garage qualifies, and ensure that your child drives that car.
Search for Student or Alumni Discounts
Many insurance companies tie up with alumni organizations to offer discounts that may range from 5-10%. It is also possible to get a substantial discount if your child studies away from home and does not take the car with him. The assumption is that they will drive only during the vacations and weekends so the chances of accidents are slimmer than if they were driving the car the entire year. Handsome discounts of up to 25% may also be obtained for students who get a good school or college grade. As the child advances to senior classes, they also qualify for better rates so be sure to keep the insurance company posted on both the performance and progress your child is making.
Waiting for the License Can Pay Off
In many states your child can qualify for a learner license upon attaining 16 years of age; though driving independently without restrictions is not possible for another two years. Waiting this period out can save a lot of money in insurance premiums. Allow your child to get a license only when it is really necessary, the more you can wait, the lesser the premium applicable.
Taking Driving Classes
Encourage your teen to take a safe driving course that is usually spread over six hours, and can be attended both in person and online. A number of insurance companies too are providing safe driving courses for teens to reduce the incidence of accidents. Proof of having attended safe driving courses can knock off a good amount from the insurance premium applicable.