For a teenager, getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting and wonderful things that can happen to you. And for parents of teenagers, it’s one of the scariest.
Having a teen driver in the house isn’t all bad, of course. You no longer have to drive them everywhere, and you get to see how happy they are with the freedom that comes from being behind the wheel after so many years in the passenger seat.
But there are two distinct downsides. The first is that you’re their parent, and you love them and worry about them. Cars are dangerous machines, especially in the hands of young and inexperienced drivers. So you’re going to be nervous and worried watching them leave the driveway. And the second is that your car insurance rates will skyrocket the moment you have a teen driver in the house.
Teen drivers are far and away the most expensive demographic to insure, so you’ll likely notice an increase of a few thousand dollars annually on your car insurance premiums as soon as your teenager comes home with their license.
The idea of teenSMART is to help with both of those concerns.
What is teenSMART?
TeenSMART is an online program by the company ADEPT Driver (Advanced Drivers Education Products and Training, Inc.). It is designed to help teen drivers become safer, smarter, and more responsible when behind the wheel.
According to ADEPT Driver, teenagers who complete the teenSMART program reduce their chances of being in a collision by an average of 28%, and reduce their chances of receiving a traffic citation by an average of 54%.
Who is eligible to sign up for teenSMART?
In order to sign up for teenSMART, you have to be between the ages of 16 and 20, have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit, and not be married.
How does teenSMART work?
TeenSMART uses a series of online courses, each about 30 minutes long. In total, the program is about eight hours. The courses are interactive, and designed to help teen drivers combat the most common causes of accidents in young and inexperienced drivers.
The program focuses on everything from how to spot risks on the road and mitigate those risks, to how to safely adjust your speed and manage the distance between yourself and other drivers, to how to handle distractions such as smartphones, stereos, and talkative friends.
There are also portions designed for teen drivers to work on with their parents, so the teen taking the course will need to be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 26.
The entire program is online.
How much does teenSMART cost?
As of 2020, teenSMART costs $119.95, with discounts if you’re purchasing the program for multiple users.
Which car insurance companies offer discounts for teenSMART?
According to teenSMART’s website, if a teenage driver has passed the teenSMART program, they’ll be eligible for a car insurance discount through Allstate, Central Insurance, Commonwealth Casualty, CSAA, Erie, Hanover, Liberty Mutual, MAPFRE, MetLife, Mutual of Enumclaw, and West Bend. However, other car insurance companies might also be willing to offer a teenSMART discount if you bring it up.
Is teenSMART the only way to get an insurance discount with your teen driver?
No, there are lots of other discounts that might be available to teen drivers to help bring down policy costs. Many insurance companies offer discounts for teens who have good grades, or if you get extra safety features added to your teen driver’s car. Finally, if your driver is at school away from the car, you can likely get a discount since they’ll only be driving periodically.
If you want to keep your teenage driver safer on the road, and your car insurance premiums down at the same time, it might be worth trying teenSMART.