Car insurance is an expensive component of car ownership. Throw in a teen driver and your rates could sky rocket. Keep your cool when purchasing insurance for your teen. Learn what discounts are available, what car to buy, and what coverage to choose to keep your rates as low as possible.Good Student Discount
Start with the discount specifically created for teens. Insurance companies have determined good students are better drivers. Most insurance companies offer a good student discount that can really boost your savings. Encourage good grades averaging above a 3.0 grade point average. Have your teen’s most recent report card ready to go when purchasing car insurance. If a 3.0 isn’t possible at the time you add your teen driver, the discount can always be added on at a later date if the grade point average improves.Occasional Operator
Sharing a car with your teen is a great way to save some cash. Most carriers can then list your teen driver as a secondary or occasional driver. Make sure to mention it to your agent because it is possible for this discount to slip through unnoticed.Choosing the Right Vehicle
If sharing is still not in your teen’s vocabulary or busy schedules just don’t allow for sharing, be smart about picking out a vehicle for your teen. Look for something reliable yet affordable. You don’t want your teen stranded on the side of the road, but at the same time you don’t want to take out a loan on their vehicle either. Depending on your price range, look for a vehicle ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old. Check for air bags and other safety features. Liability insurance on a car with air bags is cheaper verses one without because air bags reduce the potential of serious injury.PLPD Coverage
Selecting the right coverage for your teen driver could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. If you followed the rules above about choosing the right vehicle, you are in a good position to insure the vehicle with personal liability and property damage, PLPD, only. To get PLPD only you cannot have a loan on the vehicle, and you’ll want to be in the position where you can replace the car on your own if something were to happen to it. PLPD is the least amount of insurance you can purchase making it the cheapest. Physical damage is the most expensive coverage for a teen driver. Avoiding physical damage coverage such as comprehensive and collision can save you a lot on car insurance premiums.Resident Student Discount
A licensed teen away at school still needs to be insured. Even when your teen won’t have access to a vehicle insurance is usually still required because they will come home from time to time. An even deeper discount is available through most insurance carriers for students away at school. If your teen is away at school make sure your insurance company knows about it.Insure on Parent’s Policy or on a Separate Policy
Which is cheaper adding a teen onto their parent’s policy or on a separate policy? It is a tricky question to answer. Insurance companies vary so much it’s impossible to say which the best route to go is. Theoretically, adding a young driver to their parent’s policy would be the cheapest way to go. The teen driver would get all the parent’s big discounts such as multi-car and multi-policy.
Some insurance companies have to rate a teen on all the vehicles on the policy, not just the one being driven by the teen. This is the biggest reason it may be cheaper to put a teen on a separate car insurance policy. If a teen is automatically rated on all the vehicles and a couple of the vehicles have full coverage, you will be paying a higher rate. Having a teen on a separate policy ensures the insurance company is only charging for the use of one vehicle. Major discounts can sometimes extend to a teen on their own policy if they live in the same household as another policy holder with the same carrier.
Teen drivers can be very expensive to insure. Think ahead when it comes to insuring your teen. Start working harder on good grades, shop around for the best vehicle, and minimize your coverage. Find out from your insurance agent if an away at school discount is available and also check into having your teen on a separate policy to reduce premiums. A driver’s license is a rite of passage for most teens. Don’t let the high price of insurance get in the way of your teen’s new found freedom.