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Auto Insurance for Teens

By Compuquotes Team on February 23rd, 2009
Auto Insurance

As most parents can verify, a teenager behind the wheel of a car for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience - just as much for the parents as for the driver. And with good reason - statistics indicate that a 16 year old driver is almost ten times more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver aged between 30 and 59. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 20.

Because of this, teenage drivers - also known to auto insurers as new drivers - tend to pay the highest auto insurance premiums. Typically, parents can expect to see an increase of anything from 50% to 200% on their car insurance premium, once a teenage driver has been added on to the auto policy. However, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate with your auto insurance company, once your teenage driver has driven for a year or two with a safe driving record.

Although auto insurance for teens is costly, there are some steps you can take to soften the financial blow. It's usually less expensive to add your teenage driver on to your own car insurance policy, rather than taking out a whole new policy - any discounts that apply to you will also apply to them. If you have more than one vehicle, insurance companies may automatically assign the teenage driver to the car that's the most expensive to insure - unless you request them to do otherwise.

Many insurance companies offer a discount for teenagers who have completed a safe driving course. You can save an estimated 5 to 15% on your rates if your teen takes one of these courses. Some insurers will even give a discount if you take advantage of their instructional videos or booklets on safe driving. And if your teen keeps up his or her grades at school, you may be able to save money - typically, a discount of between 10 and 20% is possible for a teen who maintains a B grade or better.

The type of car that your teen drives may make a difference to how they drive - and also to your insurance rates. A teenage driver in a sports car is perhaps more likely to drive fast; a teenager in a family car or minivan fitted with safety features is more likely to drive sensibly. Try to avoid letting your teenager drive an SUV or a truck - they are more likely to be involved in a rollover accident. You may be persuaded into buying a new car for your teenage child - consider buying a used car instead, which costs a lot less to insure.

Finally, despite your child's objections, you should take a ride with your teenage driver. Riding with them as a passenger will give you a good idea of how well they are driving and any errors that they are making. Be sure to point out any examples of bad or aggressive driving - speeding, lack of signaling or dangerous lane changes. And if your teen is riding with you - set a good example!

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