We all remember the feeling of excitement we got when we sat in the drivers seat of a car for the first time, our parents sitting next to us sweating and anxiously hoping they make it out of the lesson alive. Well, eventually we got to drive without adult supervision, becoming official teenage drivers. Teenage drivers want to feel grown up; they want to experience that moment when they can finally drive their girlfriends to the movies, drive to and from soccer practice, and, yes, even chauffeur their siblings around town. But for their parents, the same feeling they got when they sat in the passenger seat to teach their child how to drive, they now get when they think about how the new driver may impact their auto insurance premiums.
Auto insurance rates for teen drivers start out much higher than those drivers beyond the age of 25. The price for premiums for teenage drivers varies, depending upon the teenager and the vehicle, but coverage from state to state is fairly consistent. It is still important to sit down with your independent auto insurance agent when shopping for insurance for a younger driver because some states require policies that include protection for uninsured motorists and personal injury protection.
Now all teens are different, and there are different attributes that can affect the price of a teenager’s auto insurance policy. For better or worse, male drivers tend to have to pay more than females for auto insurance because the data shows that male drivers are at a greater risk for accidents and traffic tickets. While female teenage drivers may be more prone to smaller dents and crashes, male drivers tend to get into accidents that have greater damage.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gathers information on teenage driving statistics. Here are the most troubling facts:
- Teenagers get into three times as many accidents as other drivers
- In 2013, over 2,500 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 died in an auto accident. This number is slowly decreasing each year, but it is still too high.
- Auto accidents is the leading cause of death for American teenagers
So why are these statistics so staggering? Teenage drivers have less experience than older drivers, but this is just one factor. Studies have shown that teen drivers are also more likely to engage in risky behavior while driving, like speeding, not paying attention to the road, and driving without a seatbelt. Insurance companies are aware of these risks and determine insurance premiums accordingly.
There are other factors that insurance companies consider when setting the premium rate. When it comes to new drivers, the smaller the engine of the car they will be driving, the lower the premiums will be. Newer models, or that flashy red sports car, are more expensive to insure than the older, more practical vehicles like your dad’s old Toyota Corolla. That’s because these cars are safe to drive, and the teen driver is less likely to engage in questionable behavior. Drag racing in a Corolla is far less likely to happen than drag racing in a Corvette.
Other than the vehicle itself, there are also different things that young drivers can do to help ensure their auto insurance is cheaper. Getting good grades in school helps a great deal. You should ask your independent auto insurance agent about insurance policies that offer good student discounts. Generally, there are grade point average requirements of a 3.0 (B average) for drivers to benefit from these discounts.
Enrolling drivers in driver’s education also can help lower the cost of auto insurance for your teenage driver. Driver’s education is required in some states, but whether or not it is required does not matter because many auto insurance companies offer discounts for successfully completing a driver’s education course.
Determining the cost of a teenager’s auto insurance policy is difficult to do because there are so many different variables that go into it. It is pretty safe to say you are likely to spend upwards of $1,000 every six months, but that is just an estimate. Your independent auto insurance agent will be able to walk you through several different policies, helping you find the one that provides you the coverage you need at a reasonable price.
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