As you’ve been driving around your neighborhood over the past several months, maybe you’ve noticed that something’s missing: teenage drivers.
It’s not because they’re all holed up in their homes playing video games, texting on their mobile phones, and listening to emo music. (Well, it could be that.)
There’s a more basic reason there aren’t as many teen drivers on the roads these days: money. More specifically, their parents’ lack of it. Meaning they can’t afford to buy everything they once could – such as auto insurance for their sons and daughters.
A recent survey by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company revealed that paying for auto insurance for teen drivers is a major concern among parents today. In fact, parents shell out an average of $3,100 annually to allow their teenagers to drive (including insurance, gasoline, and vehicle maintenance). The poll revealed that parents generally handle about 2/3 of these expenses related to their teens’ driving, while about 40% of those surveyed said they assume all of those costs. Only one out of six said their teenager is fully responsible for his or her driving-related expenses.
Because of the steep costs associated with new drivers, some parents are opting to delay buying auto insurance for their teens – which means keeping their kids out of the drivers’ seat. You have to wonder how the average teenager reacts to that.
As much as they might like to, parents know that they can’t put off insuring their teens forever. So for those families struggling with this conundrum, here are a few ways that they may be able to save some money on their teenagers’ auto insurance policies.
Add the teen to the parents’ policy. Many insurance companies allow you to do this and take advantage of any discounts that may have been earned by the adult listed on the policy. This might result in a lower premium than you would get if you purchased a separate insurance policy for your teen.
Opt for higher deductibles. When setting up your teen’s policy, you may want to consider choosing a higher deductible plan in order to save money on the premiums. If you combine this decision with parental restrictions on where (and how fast) your teen can drive, you can reduce the chances of motor vehicle accidents occurring.
Search for good student discounts. Studies have shown that better students make more skilled drivers, and insurance companies have taken note. That’s why you may be able to find auto insurance policies which reward academic performance with lower premiums.
Seek out additional discounts. Most insurance companies offer a discount on premiums when drivers complete a defensive driving or driver certification program. So enrolling your teen in one of these courses may cut your costs (and he or she might even learn something!)
Ask about multiline discounts. Almost all insurers give you a rate cut if you bundle your policies for life, auto, and home insurance together. So take a look at your overall insurance situation and see if switching companies could put some money back in your pocket.
Employing a little initiative and creativity may help you to obtain cheap car insurance for your teenage driver – and help bring harmony to your family. It won’t make your teen clean up his or her bedroom or answer your questions with more than one word – but hey, you can’t expect miracles, right?
Image credits: articlia.com, athenadiaries.blogspot.com, parentcentral.ca