Teaching your teen to drive safely can mean more than just a few scratches and dents on the family vehicle. Adding any inexperienced driver onto your insurance policy can cause a bad case of sticker shock, thanks to teens being higher risk factors for insurers.
As a result, your insurance premiums can easily double and add to your current financial burdens. According to an InsuranceQuotes.com study, adding a teen driver also adds an average annual premium increase of 84 percent. Luckily, there are several ways you can take the financial pressure off while keeping your teen covered and fully protected in the event of an accident.
Ways You Can Save
Despite representing just 14 percent of the population, young drivers ages 15-24 account for 30 percent ($19 billion) of motor vehicle injury costs among males and 28 percent ($7 billion) of motor vehicle injury costs among females, according to the Centers for Disease Control. These costs are passed on to the consumer, especially if there’s a teen driver on the policy.
When it comes to your teen and your wallet, you can use all the help you can get. Available discounts for safe driving may also carry over to your teen’s own insurance coverage as they get older and get their own insurance. Don’t forget that car insurance providers like State Farm offer a wealth of resources to help teens and parents through the driver education process:
Prevent distracted driving — A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a driver’s risk of crashing becomes four times higher when using a cell phone, hands-free or not. One smartphone app, SecuraFone, uses GPS to lock the phone screen if teen users are moving more than 5 mph. In addition to keeping your teens’ eyes on the road and away from their cell phones, SecuraFone also allows parents to set virtual boundaries for their teens. For instance, parents can use the app to prevent teens from driving on certain roads. The app can also alert parents via text message or email if their teens drive faster than a preset speed limit.
Sign up your teen for driver’s ed — Most school systems offer some form of driver education for enrolled teens. For areas without driver’s ed classes in schools, driver training or a safe driver course from a trusted and credentialed outside source serves as an excellent alternative. Either way, your teen may qualify for significant discounts. DMV.org offers a wealth of information to find a suitable driver’s ed course for teens.
Set ground rules — The best thing you can do for your teen is to set some firm ground rules before handing them the keys. Explain how you expect them to behave behind the wheel, as well as the behaviors you will not tolerate. Set up incentives for safe driving as well as penalties for breaking the rules (e.g. cell phone usage, inattentive driving, etc).
Get your teen involved — There’s nothing like a little hands-on experience when it comes to getting teens familiar with their cars and, budgeting their auto-related expenses. Have your teen slowly but surely assume financial responsibility (repairs, fuel and other incidentals) for the car.