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Newly Licensed Teen: Recommended Insurance Coverage



Once upon a time in a place far away, late on a glorious summer's evening a young man was (foolishly) driving down the highway at 90 miles per hour. Speeding along in the country at such a rate of speed, this young man had no idea that shortly ahead of him was a ninety-degree sweeping turn that he would have to slow down for and negotiate.

The car's headlights had not yet picked up the rapid turn to the left, but he was almost on top of it! Suddenly, a cold chill ran up his spine, as his eyes picked up the highway sign that said, "Ninety degree turn" with the arrow. He knew instantly that somehow he was going to have to slow down his 5000-pound automobile enough to make the turn without rolling the car repeatedly. In those days, cars were made of heavier steel, gasoline was cheap, and seat belts were not even installed by manufacturers, and obviously not required.

As with many young men, he was 18 years of age, a high school athlete, handsome and full of energy and promise. Oh, and he had a fine car as well. The only problem with this particular 1956 V-8 was that brakes on American cars then were not as capable of bringing such a mighty rocket of kinetic energy to a quick slow down. They tended to turn to mush on a high-speed stop, even with power brakes.

Let us leave the fate of this neo-race car driver for a moment to get down to the details of car insurance for teenagers.

Teens (statistically and generally speaking), have a much higher rate of accidents, over speeding, careless driving, not paying attention, showing off, overestimating their abilities, lack of understanding of the laws of physics, and inexperience. Sorry teens to sound so harsh, but remember we are talking about statistical results, not you personally. Your driving may be outstanding, and you may get through your teenage years with a spotless record. We definitely hope so.

But, even if you have a spotless driving record, terrific grades, and all the other things that will help your rates, rates will still be high, if only for those same statistics mentioned already since you are seen as an inexperienced, young driver in the eyes of an insurance company. So the question is, as a teen, or the parent of a teen, how can I keep my insurance costs as low as possible?

If you add your teenage son or daughter to your family auto policy, this is usually the best way to go, but you can expect your premium rates to double. You should also assure your coverage is the maximum you can afford.

Sometimes it is not possible or practical to add a teen to the family policy, so if your teen has his or her own vehicle, then he or she will need his or her own auto policy. The car insurance premiums for this are usually as much or more than the cost of adding the teen on to a family policy.

Some of the factors affecting rates for teens are the type of car, grades, driving history, taking a driver education course and whether the young driver will be placed on a family policy or start their own policy. Usually, the type of car is the opposite of the one most teens would like to have. The sporty types are much more expensive to insure for a teen than the older, heavier vehicles.

A driver's history, better known as a Motor Vehicle Driving Record or MVR for short, can be a big premium factor due to the higher cost per accident and speeding tickets for teens. Also, if the court will allow, be sure to take the traffic safety driving school, you can usually do this online, although some judges will make you go to the class.

You may be able to achieve up to a 25% rate discount for grades of B and above; this can add up to a lot of premium saved over the high school years, so hit the books and get those grades. Check with your insurance agent about discounts on rates.

Parents have several ways they can help their teens and stabilize, or reduce insurance premiums. Stay in communication with your teen, so not only you are aware of what is going on in their world, but also so they will know they can come to you for advice and support.

Take them out driving with you as the passenger, compliment them on their good driving habits, and teach them if they are falling short in some areas. Remember that they are nervous and no one drives as you do, even if they are not a teenage. Help them to see the necessity of waiting before they buy a sport model with a hot engine. Everyone wants the Corvette, but they are usually quite expensive to buy and definitely expensive to insure, even for someone far older than teens.

Give your young, teen drivers a positive example to follow with your own driving skills. Obey traffic laws so your teenage son or daughter can see that you are serious about driving safely. Whether your teenager is driving an older car with minimum liability coverage on his own policy, or he is driving your vehicles on a family policy, insurance will be more expensive, but these are a few helpful ideas to enable you to get the most value for your insurance dollar.

You can get a quick quote to give you what an individual policy would cost for your teen, or if you need to renew your family policy, CarInsurance.com can help you. Call 1-855-430-7753 if you want a friendly agent to assist you with questions about your new teen driver. The hard part of buying coverage for a teen is that it is more expensive, but it is the most important time to purchase higher liability limits.

At the first of our article was the story of our fast driving teenage, let us return to see what happened to him as he entered the 90-degree turn. Somehow, his quick reaction time saved him; he stomped both feet onto the huge power brake pedal and put as much pressure as he could without locking up the wheels.

The brakes were barely up to the task as they almost melted from the heat but he did survive the curve with the car tilted over by centrifugal force to the point it almost rolled. By luck and some skill, he made it. Shaken, scared, and wiser, he quietly drove home from a memorable and miraculous Saturday night.


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2 Responses to "Newly Licensed Teen: Recommended Insurance Coverage"
  1. theron hill

    I get about $100 off a month just if I have a 3.0 or better.

  2. Cassandra Howard

    For young drivers to be able to get a good rate they need to get good grades. The type of car matters too.