Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) July 26, 2013
When compared to older drivers, teens aged 15 to 19 are four times more likely to get in an accident, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a combined lack of experience and high accident rates, teenagers are the riskiest group of drivers to insure. Not surprisingly, higher risk translates into higher insurance costs for parents. Fortunately, parents can help reduce these costs by taking advantage of programs offered through most insurance providers.
Inexperience Equals Higher Premium Rates
While many teenagers may start out as cautious and attentive drivers, over time many parents find their teens tend to take more chances and become more reckless behind the wheel. Anytime risk becomes a factor, insurers must respond accordingly in order to protect their interests. This means parents can expect to see significant premium rate increases as soon as a teen is added to the family policy. On average, these increases equal double or more the amount of an existing policy’s premium rate.
While teenagers as a group carry high rates, the “inexperience” factor carries a lot of weight in the eyes of an insurer. Compared to 19 year olds, 16 year olds are three times more likely to get in an accident. Compared to drivers aged 20 to 24, 16 year olds are six times more likely to get in an accident. Consequently, the younger a teenager is the higher premium rates will go on parent policies.
Many insurance companies offer discount programs specifically designed to help lower insurance costs for teen drivers. The most commonly offered programs include “good student” discounts and “drivers’ safety training” discounts.
In order to qualify for a good student discount, teens must maintain a certain grade point average. Parents submit student transcripts as proof and must continue to submit transcripts for each policy renewal period.
The drivers’ safety training discount requires teens to attend a drivers’ education program. Parents must submit proof of program completion. Some insurance companies may also offer their own version of drivers’ safety training for teens.
The type of car a teenager drives can have just as big of an impact on insurance costs as the teenage driver driving it. Luxury cars, sports cars and cars with a history of costly repairs already carry high premium rates. Add a teenager to the mix and policy rates can increase exponentially. On the other hand, insurance cost increases can be better contained in cases where a teenager drives a used, older model car.
Armed with this knowledge, parents can plan ahead before making a vehicle purchase for their teen. A quick online insurance quote comparison can help avoid paying higher premium rates than absolutely necessary. Not only will insurance costs run lower overall, but certain coverages, such as collision and comprehensive can be dropped altogether.
While policyholders do well to make a habit of reviewing their car insurance coverages on a regular basis, keeping insurance costs down with a teenager behind the wheel all but demands yearly policy reviews. Barring any accidents or traffic violations, once a teenager turns 18 years old premium rates go down. Likewise, a teen living on college campus with no vehicle can be taken off the family policy provided he or she doesn’t drive at all.
Policy renewal periods are a good time to reconsider existing policy coverages and compare offers from different insurance companies. While adding a new driver to an existing policy may seem like the most logical step to take, finding better coverage rates through a different insurer can actually reduce the overall impact of insuring a teenage driver.
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