It’s no secret that teenage drivers are typically more dangerous than their adult counterparts. After all, when you combine their relative inexperience behind the wheel with their tendency to multitask, you have a recipe for unsafe and irresponsible driving behaviors.
So it stands to reason that teenage drivers will usually pay more for auto insurance than drivers who are older. Adding a teen to the family car insurance policy will almost always increase the overall premium. But did you know that putting your teen on your policy can possibly cause your rates to double?
Family Coverage + Teen Driver = Surge in Premiums
It’s true. Recent research revealed that including a teenage female driver on a policy will boost premiums by an average of 72%; and for teen males, that average increase is about 96%. As you might imagine, the rate hike is more if the driver is younger. In other words:
• For 19-year olds, the typical family auto insurance premium will rise by 65%.
• For 18-year olds, the typical family auto insurance premium will rise by 82%.
• For 17-year olds, the typical family auto insurance premium will rise by 90%.
• For 16-year olds, the typical family auto insurance premium will rise by 99%.
Moreover, the increase in rates becomes more drastic depending on the state you live in. For example, teen drivers in Louisiana and New Hampshire will boost premiums by an average of 101% — which is more than double the old rate. And in Arkansas, the average increase is a whopping 116%!
Teen Drivers Are Inherently More Dangerous Behind the Wheel
This isn’t some conspiracy by auto insurers to bilk families out of more money. The accident data for teen drivers easily explains why they must typically shell out more money for coverage. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that fatality crash involvement rates are three times greater for drivers under age 20 than for a typical driver over 20. And the trend seems to be getting worse: the Governors Highway Safety Association reported earlier this year that 16- and 17-year-old driving deaths climbed by a combined 19% percent during the six months of 2012 (after about ten years of declines).
What Can You Do?
Thankfully, there are ways that families can mitigate the effects of adding a teen driver to their policy. In order to reduce the surge in premiums:
• Teen drivers can enroll in and complete a driver’s education course to receive a discount on their auto insurance
• Teen drivers can maintain a B average in school, which usually qualifies for a good student discount from an insurer
• Parents can obtain a car for their teen that is older, safer, and/or less likely to be stolen (insurance rates for these
vehicles will be lower)
• Parents can raise the deductibles for themselves or their teens on the family policy, which will result in a rate reduction
• Parents can limit how many miles per year their teen drives, which usually lowers the premium somewhat
• Parents can look into whether their carrier provides a discount for college students who are away at school and aren’t driving while on campus• Parents can see if buying their family’s auto insurance from the same carrier that provides other types of coverage (life, health, or homeowner’s insurance, for instance) will earn them a lower rate
Another strategy is to contact Auto Insurance Specialists when shopping for coverage for your teenage driver. AIS has amassed vast experience in finding affordable policies for California drivers of all ages. So when it comes time to pass the keys to your teenager, contact AIS Insurance to see about covering them while they’re out on the road.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.