We as adults have had car insurance for a long time now, but adding a teenage driver is… different. To make the process easier, we’ve put together a list of steps you can take to ensure your young driver is added correctly to your policy.
The best time to add a teenage driver is before they are actually licensed. It is wise to have them added as soon as they receive their permit. This ensures proper coverage and will keep you protected in the best way possible.
Spoiler alert: This is expensive. Most people are not prepared for a major spike in their auto insurance costs when adding a teenage driver. But not you because you are wise and read the Stewardship blog ;)
Let’s be real–this sucks. However, it makes sense because inexperienced drivers are statistically proven to get in more accidents and file more claims. As a result, the auto insurance company has to charge enough for this risk (for more information on why this is a good thing for you, check out this blog here: Why Insurance Costs Are Going Up), but it still stings!
The bottom line here: be prepared for an increase in your insurance.
If your teenager can make an income now that they have the ability to get around town, have them pay for their portion of the auto insurance (the amount it increased). This is a great way to teach them about managing bills and the thing we call “adulting.”
Most insurance carriers will provide discounts for good grades. If your student has an A or B average, the insurance costs could be less! Just like it is statistically proven for inexperienced drivers to create more payouts from insurance companies, it is also true that students with good grades cause slightly fewer payouts. Use this to your advantage. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about good student discounts.
NOTE: a good insurance agent will ask you before you can ask them! But not all agents are good agents. Check out why at this blog, How Insurance Agents Get Paid.
DO NOT TRY TO MANIPULATE THE SYSTEM
Many people think they will be able to save money by getting their teenage drivers their own separate insurance policy. It might seem like a good idea to keep the higher-risk person off your policy, but this is not only WAY more expensive, it is a bad idea for many reasons. The biggest reason? It causes risk and liability issues that you do not want to deal with. The right way is to insure your teenage driver living in your household is on your insurance policy.
One way to keep costs lower is to get your teenage driver a less expensive car. The lower the cost of the vehicle they drive, the less money the insurance company may need to pay to repair it or make you “whole” in the event of an accident.
Adding a teenage driver can be a frustrating process. It is an expense most people are not fully prepared for. The wise thing is to plan months or years in advance to ensure you are ready for the change in monthly cash flow. Inviting your child into this preparation process is a great way to give them a head start on financial responsibility.
If you would like to talk with our wise and loving Insurance Advisor about a teenage driver, schedule an appointment with him here.