How to Switch Car Insurance Companies When Your Teen Starts Driving
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It's a big day when your child walks through the door with their own driver’s license, ready to hit the road. You’ve spent your whole life trying to protect them from harm and teaching them along the way. Now you’re trusting them behind the wheel of a large machine on a potentially dangerous road.
Well, you’re not the only one afraid of your teenager driving on their own. Insurance companies know that teens have little experience and are more likely to be reckless behind the wheel compared to their older and wiser parents. This significantly increases their chances of getting into an accident.
That’s why it’s very important to rethink your car insurance policy — and even the insurance company itself — during this time. This is the time to shop around and try to find the best deal you can possibly get, knowing that your rates are going to increase. Here are some tips for shopping around for new car insurance that includes your teen driver.
Decide Whether Your Teen Will Have Their Own Car
This will be the number one determining factor of the premiums you will pay.
Obviously a teenager wants their independence. But you should consider postponing a vehicle purchase for them. If you do postpone, maybe you can list your teenager as an "occasional" driver. This would come with lower rates compared to having them listed as a "primary" driver on your policy.
If you decide your teenager does need their own vehicle, or if they decide they can’t wait and want to purchase one themselves, shop together for a sensible car. The newer and flashier the vehicle, the higher your rates will be.
Also, if your teenager does decide that they can’t wait to purchase their own vehicle, it is possible for them to get their own insurance policy. Then they wouldn’t affect your policy at all. This could be a stipulation you set if you two disagree about when your teenager should have their own car.
Get Your Teen to Take a Driver’s Course
One of the reasons your rates go up with teenagers is because of their lack of experience and knowledge on the road. This can be addressed with driver’s education courses.
In some states, these courses are actually required to get your license. But even if they’re not, consider sending your teenager to one to potentially lower your rates with insurance companies.
As you're shopping around, look for companies that offer a discount for taking a driver's education course, since it’s one more way to save money.
Raise Your Deductible to Lower Monthly Payments
The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums will be with any insurance company. Now might be a good time to temporarily raise those deductibles to keep an affordable monthly payment.
As long as your teenager doesn’t establish a pattern of reckless driving (and then stay on your plan for an indefinite period of time), your rates will eventually fall again and you can consider going back to a deductible you’re more comfortable with.
Look for a Company with the Most Discounts
Different insurance companies offer different discounts. Once you have a teenager, it’s important to try to get as many discounts as possible to avoid paying outrageous amounts of money.
Some of the discounts that may be available to you include:
- Multi-car discount
- Good student discount
- Discount for additional driver’s courses
And, of course, there are many other discounts out there that may be unrelated to your teenager. Now would be a good time to ask around and research any possible discounts you’ve been missing.
Encourage your teen to keep up a good driving record. If they can establish a good record on the road, your rates will eventually began to fall. Don’t let higher rates due to teenage drivers break the bank.