My Teen Just Got A Learner’s Permit: Do I Need to Add Them to My Auto Policy?
The best day of your teen’s life is the scariest day of your life. They just got their learner’s permit to drive. They have every reason to be happy. In a word: Freedom. You have every reason to be scared. In a word: Statistics.
It’s Worse Than You Think
The combination of inexperience and a still-developing frontal lobe is quite literally deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), six teens die in car crashes each day. Hundreds more are injured. Teenagers between the ages of 16-19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash compared to all other age groups. Auto insurance costs more for boys for several reasons. According to a Kansas City University Study, boys drive drunk nearly twice as often as girls (21% vs. 12%), speed more often (38% vs. 25%), and drive more recklessly (17% vs. 14%). That’s why adding your teenaged son to your policy could cost up to $6,186 more each year. Adding your daughter to your policy is typically less – but no bargain. You can still expect to pay thousands more annually.
They’re Going to Find Out Anyway
There’s a reason your insurance company wanted to know your children’s names and ages when you signed up for auto insurance. Even if you don’t contact them when your teen gets their learner’s permit, they will know. It is best to contact your insurance agent in advance to discuss your options. In most cases it is cheaper to add your newly-minted driver to your own auto insurance policy. Unless you drive a very expensive sports car. In that case, it may cost less to have a separate policy for your teen. For most households, adding them to your policy is usually the best option.
A Multitude of Discounts
There are several ways to reduce the hit to your annual auto insurance premium. Shop around. Your current insurance company may have been a deal for the adult drivers, but not for the addition of a teen driver. Most insurance companies offer substantial discounts for bundling homeowners and auto policies. Savings vary by state. Other types of insurance may also qualify for a bundle discount. Such as a personal liability umbrella policy. Teenage drivers put you at an increased risk of being sued. (They are your responsibility, after all.) Not a bad time to add some extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio.
Your teen can help. Insurance companies offer discounts to good students and those who take a certified safe driving course. The kind of car your teen drives makes a huge difference. Shop for cars and insurance at the same time. Let them buy that Corvette when they’re on their own and footing the insurance bill.
Some companies offer telematics devices that allow an insurance company to track your driving behavior and potentially offer huge discounts. If you’re a safe driver, you can prove it – and be rewarded with an additional discount.
Today’s cars are loaded with safety features. Several auto manufacturers offer technology designed to help parents. General Motors (GM) has a teen safety system in some of its models. It tracks how kids drive and even mutes the radio if passengers in the front aren’t wearing their seatbelts. The many features include allowing parents to see how fast their teen is driving – and how far. Ford’s MyKey system allows parents to set a max speed limit. The Mercedes-Benz mbrace telematics system enables parents to limit the geographic driving area. They can also see real-time where their teen is driving.
Be A Role Model
Don’t tell your teenager how to drive. Show them. It’s hard to tell your teen to not speed or run red lights if you do. Parents sometimes forget that their kids are learning how to drive long before they get behind the wheel of a car. They are your passengers observing your driving habits for years.
Don’t wait until your teen is jumping around the house waiving their leaner’s permit in the air. Find out now the best way to get them covered – and keep them safe. And remember, bundling your homeowners and auto policies can save you up to 30%. You’ll still be scared, but you might save enough to go on a meditation retreat.
At your service,
At Your Service