Teenagers look forward to their 16th birthday because of one thing – driving. It has become a rite of passage for them. Some do it because of peer pressure and others because of parent pressure. But most of them just want more freedom, which they can get if they learn how to drive. In order to drive at such a young age, you of course need auto insurance to protect you.
The age requirement varies by state. Some can get their learner’s permit between the age of 14 to 16, a restricted license at 16, and a full license by 17 or 18. You bring them to driver’s education classes to help them prepare for their driving. Once they pass the class, they are now ready to face the different challenges on the road.
Some parents may not be ready to let their child drive just yet. Based on statistics, the top cause of death in the United States is car crashes. That would make parents hang on a little bit before they allow their child to drive.
MAIN CAUSES OF TEENAGE DRIVING ACCIDENTS
Teens are unable to recognize dangerous situations. They are more reckless and will not be able to react quickly when they encounter road challenges. Inexperience will cause mistakes, which may eventually cause accidents.
Crash risk increases when teen drivers consume alcohol. Even with a few sips, their level of concentration can decrease and driving might lead to accidents on the road.
Nighttime driving for an inexperienced driver is an accident waiting to happen. Their reflexes will be not as good as when they drive during the daytime especially when they are tired from school or work.
Driving with other Teens
Having their friends in the car can embolden the teen driver to show off. Peer pressure will make them do things that they are not supposed to do when driving.
Texting while driving is one of the things that teenage drivers do. The need to reply or call someone on the phone increases the risk of an accident while driving.
Not Using Seatbelts
Wearing seatbelts should be the first thing that a teenage driver must remember. Statistics show that 48% of teenagers who died in car crashes do not have their seatbelts on at the time of the crash.
Teen drivers are most likely to speed than experienced drivers. They also tend to tailgate and when the car in front suddenly brakes, it will be too late to stop causing car crashes.
You might not want to let your teenager drive at this point but if your child really wants to and you need them to drive, then, you must make sure that they are ready before you let them drive alone.
Before you let your teen drive, you need to do a few things first.
- Call your auto insurance agent.
- Ask the pros and cons of adding your child to your policy
- Ask for discounts
- Give the details of your child and license number
Adding your teenage driver to your car insurance has its advantage:
- Your teenage driver will have coverage
- If your provider gives you a discount for adding a new driver, you can save money.
- It is easier to manage one policy for all drivers using the cars at home.
WHEN TO GET YOUR KID THEIR OWN INSURANCE
Your teen driver may want to be included in your policy for as long as they can but eventually, they would need to get their own auto insurance. Here are some reasons why it is time to get their own policy:
They turned 18
Turning 18 is a big deal for most teenagers. They have more freedom and more responsibilities to take on. Starting them early by having their own auto insurance will make them more careful drivers. You will also have lesser liability if your child is not included in your policy.
They moved out of the house
Once your child moves out of the house, they should get their own car insurance because they are sold per household. But if your child is only away for college, they can still be under your auto insurance policy.
They buy their own car
Buying their own car means that it will be in their own name thus the need to buy their own car insurance.
They want to build their credit score
A good credit score will make your child’s life easier in the future. So, why not start now? The earlier they start the better.
They can save on premiums
If your child gets car insurance as soon they have their license, they will be able to purchase with no bad driving record yet that can affect their premium. And if they turned out to be a good and safe driver, they have set up a good basis for future payments.
TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR KIDS AUTO INSURANCE
Getting separate auto insurance for your kid can get expensive. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot save on premiums. Here are some tips to save money.
Get good grades
There is such a thing as good grades discount. Encourage your kid to do well in school to get at least a 10% discount for maintaining a grade of B. Making it to the honor roll or dean’s list will up the discount significantly.
Learn defensive driving
Some insurers give discounts if you have completed a defensive driving course. This is a win-win solution for your kid. They learn from the course and get discounts on auto insurance.
Get a safe vehicle
Sniffing for a sports car? How about that new SUV? Better think twice before buying those kinds of cars. A 4-door sedan will cost less insurance than a sports car. A used car cost less insurance than a brand new SUV. Be sure that the car your child chooses has safety features including airbags, seatbelt alarm, anti-lock brakes, and over speeding warning device among others.
Be a safe driver
The best way to save on insurance money is to have a good driving record. Safe driving means a record-free accident and claims thus giving you a substantial discount on car insurance.
Get a monitoring device
Telematics is used for monitoring vehicles. It records and transmits data like speed, location, maintenance requirements, and more. This device can help you and your insurer to monitor your driving.
Shop around for a good insurance company
Before deciding on an insurance company, do your research first. Get quotes from different insurers. Check if you need all the coverage given and take out what is unnecessary. Get referrals from family and friends who have experience in dealing with agents.
TYPES OF COVERAGES
If you have talked to car insurance agents, you will notice that there are quite a few options when it comes to choosing the right coverage. Agents will have a different take on what is essential and it is up to you and your kid to choose which one will benefit them the most.
If your kid is found to be at fault in an accident, liability coverage will help pay for the damages. There are two types of liability coverage:
- Bodily Injury – pays for expenses incurred when your kid injures a pedestrian or person in another car. This included medical expenses as well.
- Property Damage – pays for damage to another person’s car or other property such as poles, buildings, fences, and trees.
This coverage pays for your kids’ car in case of an accident with a hit-and-run driver or if the other driver has no auto liability insurance.
In case the other drivers’ liability coverage is not enough to pay for the damages, UIM will cover the difference.
This coverage pays if damage to the car is not the driver’s fault. This includes collisions, potholes, and accidents with inanimate objects.
Comprehensive coverage comes into play when damages to cars do not involve collisions. It pays for car damage due to fire, vandalism, or falling objects.
Parents are often worried when their children start driving. They would want to shield their kids as long as they can but eventually, children need to go out on their own and start being responsible adults. Getting a car is a big responsibility. From registration to car maintenance to getting their own car insurance are just some of the things they need to take control of.
If you want to guide your children, make sure that you get them a good insurance company for their car. Check out Advantage Insurance Solutions (AIS) here in Denver, CO for your auto insurance needs. You can choose from qualified agents who can help you and your child choose the right insurance policy and coverage for their car.