Like jumbo shrimp and free gift, cheap auto insurance for a young driver is a bit of an oxymoron. Strictly speaking, there ain’t no such beast. The average cost of car insurance for a teenager may add 100 percent or more to your automobile insurance policy. And that’s if junior maintains a decent driving record. Tack on a moving violation and get ready to take out a second mortgage.
When an insurance company sees the words 17 year-old and car insurance side by side, they’re understandably a little wary. After all, automobile accidents are the leading killer of humans 15 to 20. Younger drivers have more car accidents, too. The crash rate is nearly three times as high for a 16-year-old driver as it is for a 19-year-old driver.
If you’re wondering, “am I required to have auto insurance on a teenager?” the answer is “what, are you crazy?” With the odds saying your kids will probably bang up the family sedan, you’d have to have a death wish not to have the best teen driver coverage you can afford. With all your assets at risk in the event of an accident, even the sky-high rates of car insurance for teenagers looks like a bargain when put in that perspective.
But, before you lock the kid in a closet or ship him off to military academy, there are some steps you can take to contain the car insurance cost for a 17-year-old or 16-year-old.
Insurance companies operate on the assumption that a busy teen is a good teen. Many offer discounts for community involvement, good grades and participation in driver education programs and similar activities, which can result in relatively cheap car insurance for your young driver. Some insurance companies will consider discounting car insurance for teenagers if they’re behind the wheel of a safe car. No matter how uncool the family four-door sedan is, it can have a positive impact on teen driver premiums. So can upgraded safety equipment like automatic seat belts, side-impact air bags and anti-lock brakes.
You can also reduce the average cost of car insurance for a teenager by boosting your deductible. The higher the out-of-pocket risk you’re willing to assume, the lower the premium for your teen driver. Or you can become the world’s most unpopular parent and buy the kid a bus pass. Always shop around for auto insurance quotes.