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School’s back in session, and with this comes to your teen driver asking to take the car to school and to practice after class. They’ve completed all the required driver’s education training courses, they’ve taken responsible driver training, and they’re a good student. But, you’re still worried. The problem isn’t them; it’s the added threat of back-to-school time, more students on the road, and the typical driving dangers that you’re worried about. Thus, you begin to fear increased insurance premiums , and with good cause. So, what can you do to avoid those hikes?
1. Push for Good Grades
Teen drivers who do well in class and are responsible in their studies tend to transfer those skills behind the wheel. And, insurance companies are aware of this. This is why many companies offer incentives for good student drivers to students who maintain a certain GPA, don’t miss class, and do well in their coursework. The number of discounts you’ll receive varies from insurer to insurer, so it is worth comparing policy rates to find the best deal. To qualify for discounts, students must:
- Be 25 years of age or younger
- Be enrolled full time
- Maintain a 3.0 GPA or maintain a spot on the dean’s list
Insurers will require a letter from institutions/universities, proof of report cards, and other materials, to ensure students are maintaining their grades.
2. Require a Clean Driving Record
Teens who don’t get in accidents, and who don’t have speeding tickets or other moving violations on their driving record , tend to pay less for insurance (in fact, this is the case for adults as well). So, as a parent, you can make a deal with your teens before adding them to your policy. As long as they maintain good grades, and don’t have any violations, you’ll allow them to remain on your plan. If not, you can take them off your policy, and they’ll have to pay their own car insurance. Otherwise, you can limit their privileges until they’re able to improve their driving capabilities and become safer drivers.
If you allow your teen to get numerous speeding tickets and parking violations on campus, without eliminating certain privileges, you’re continually going to pay premium increases. So, work on a deal with your teen, which is beneficial for them, and keeps your rates down.
3. Continue Drivers Education
Even after completing drivers ed courses, there are continuing education courses many companies offer. And, many insurance companies provide additional programs for teens and adults, to help them save on insurance costs. Have your child take these courses . Doing so will allow them to keep up with changes to road rules/regulations, and it will also help them become safer drivers. If nothing more, it will keep your insurance costs at bay.
Additional Factors That Affect Policy Rates
Females typically pay a lower premium than male drivers, especially if they’re under 25. In fact, with individual insurers, the rates can more than double for male drivers. The reason being is that female drivers are typically more responsible and pay attention to traffic rules. Additionally, the type of vehicle driven by your teen, and whether they’re a primary driver or secondary driver , are also variables that will impact your policy rates.
If your vehicle has electronic monitoring devices , which can indicate your teen is a safe driver (i.e. maintains a safe distance, doesn’t hit the brakes immediately, doesn’t speed, etc.) these are variables which can help reduce insurance premiums as well.
Get the Most Affordable Rate
Both teen drivers in high school and college students, tend to pay increased insurance premiums. Not having a long-standing driving record, lack of knowledge, and the history of accidents/teen drivers, means insurers aren’t willing to insure teen drivers, without charging a premium rate.
As a parent paying insurance for a teen (or portion of the cost), these are some ways in which you can reduce policy costs. Additionally, check with your insurer about discounts. Many people would be surprised to learn there are many ways to save, if they ask–especially in instances where you’ve been with the insurer for years and have a clean driving record. Many insurers are also willing to offer discounts, after a certain amount of time, if teens are added to your current insurance policy.
Visit our Car Insurance Resource Center for more information.