Adding a young driver to an auto insurance policy can cause sticker shock for a parent. According to InsuranceQuotes.com, a rate comparison site, adding a single teenager to a policy caused annual premiums to increase an average of 78%, or $671. The good news is that teen driver rates have been decreasing since 2013 when the average increase was 85%! (1)
Why do insurance companies charge more for young drivers?
Teen drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group. Their inexperience is the leading cause of accidents, and many of their accidents are severe. For example, drivers 16 to 18 years of age are 400% more likely to die in a car crash than drivers between 25 and 35 years old. (2)
What are some discounts auto insurers offer young drivers?
- Good Student discount. This discount often applies to full-time high school and college students maintaining a “B” average or upper 20% class ranking. Grade and age qualifications can differ between insurance companies.
- Extended Good Student discount. This extends a discount for good grades after the student graduates from a 4-year college or university, usually to age 25.
- Away to School discount. Discounts may be offered when a student attends school over 100 miles from their home and does not take a car to school.
- Driver Training discount. This discount often applies when students successfully complete a certified driver education course that satisfies a minimum number of hours in the classroom and driving experience.
How can you better protect your teen and save money?
Many driver’s training programs focus on passing the driver’s test. ADEPT Driver (Advanced Drivers Education Products and Training, Inc.) instead focuses on reducing collisions! Their teenSMART program identifies and addresses the following six behavioral and social factors that cause more than 90% of all teen collisions. (3)
- Visual Search
- Hazard Detection
- Speed Adjustment
- Space Management
- Risk Perception
- Lifestyle Issues
teenSMART is the most widely evaluated and tested teen driver safety program. It has been proven to improve drivers’ knowledge, skills, and behavior. In fact, graduates of this program have up to 30% fewer collisions than teens who don’t enroll. That helps explain why more state Departments of Insurance have approved insurance carriers to offer bigger discounts for the teenSMART program than for any other teen-crash reduction plan.(4) Discount or not, I would recommend any teen that is of driving age complete this course. It could save their life! To find out more about it, visit http://www.adeptdriver.com/products/teensmart/.
The best advice I could give another parent is to ride along with your child often and have them practice different driving scenarios. Don’t forget to be a good role model when you are driving, as your children are watching! Sit down with your son or daughter to share your concerns and set rules regarding night driving, seatbelt use, cellphones/social media, passengers in the car, etc. I hope these ideas will help ease some fears you might have when you hand over the keys to your child!