Every teen waits breathlessly for the day he turns 16 so he can start driving, and at the same time every parent holds her head in despair. For teens, driving means freedom, but for parents it means more expenses, more headaches and more worries. Parents should be worried as drivers under the age of 25 are four times more likely to die in a traffic accident according to the Bankrate website. Not only that, but insurance rates can increase by as much as 50 to 100 percent when adding a teen to an insurance policy, so finding the best teen insurance policy becomes crucial in the teen driving process. The best insurance often depends on each teen's unique situation.
If you have a good insurance rating with your current auto insurance company, ask about rate increases for adding your teen to your insurance policy. In many cases, the increased premium you pay will be lower than purchasing another policy just for the teen driver. However, if you have an accident registered on your adult insurance policy, you want to shop for a different insurance policy for your teen, as your insurance rate will increase by too much if you place the teen on your current policy. Compare teen policy prices and check to see when the insurer classifies the teen driver as an adult, as some companies give adult policies with lower rates to adults at the age of 23, instead of 25. Call well-known insurance providers and review different online insurance policies (see Resources).
When purchasing a car for the teen, choose the car model and make carefully. Your teen may want that sports car, but the safer used car may have the lower insurance rates you need. A used, safe car is less likely to be stolen and gets a better crash-test rating, making it a better insurance risk, so a car insurer will offer lower rates on this type of vehicle. Consider placing the vehicle in your name or that of the other parent, even if the teen drives it. Insurance companies tend to see an adult owner as being more responsible, so lower premiums are offered.
Some insurance companies have incentives for students with good grades. Ask any of the insurance companies you are considering whether they make special premiums available for honors students. Let the company know your teen has excellent grades. Many insurers offer good student discounts, as studies show these student drivers are more responsible. This discount can be as much as 10 percent.
Make sure your teen takes a driver’s education course, as insurance premium providers offer better prices to teens who take professional drivers education courses as opposed to your teaching him to drive. In fact, some states require a professionally given drivers education course for teens wanting their license at 16; without it, the teen will be unable to get a license until the age of 18. Some insurance providers can offer up to a 15 percent discount to teen drivers who have taken this type of course.
Jennifer Moore began writing in 2006, specializing in Web content, blogs and forum postings. She is a graduate from the most prestigious university in Mexico, Universidad de Las Americas, with a B.A. in international relations, later obtaining a U.S. teacher's degree and an additional CompTIA A+ certification in computer technology. Moore has written for My Mexico Living, BoomersAbroad and various other websites.