Your teenager may be an honor student and exemplary citizen, but as far as the car insurance industry is concerned, your child is a poor risk. They base that dim view on statistics from the CDC that show drivers age 16 to 19 are four times more likely to be in car accidents than older drivers, and they’re at fault in 28 to 30% of all crash-related injuries. So you can expect to see your car insurance premiums skyrocket the day your child gets a driver’s license -- often by as much as 50 percent! Don’t despair. Here are some practical tips to find the cheapest car insurance for teenagers.
- Put your child on your policy. Getting a separate policy just for the kid will cost a lot more.
- Look for good student discounts. Depending on the carrier, your teen’s good grades can be worth 20% or more off the premium.
- Enroll your child in a safe driving course. Different insurance companies have their own programs, but you can also find carriers who’ll give you a discount for teens who take private driver’s ed classes.
- Ask about away-from-home discounts for older teens who are attending college at least 100 miles from home.
- If you’re buying your teen his or her own car, consider an older vehicle, which may have lower premiums than a brand new car. Just be sure to select one that has the latest safety features (air bags, ABS brakes, 3-point restraint systems, etc.), because those also qualify for discounts. So do anti-theft devices.
- Consider participating in a voluntary Usage-Based Insurance program with telematics system that tracks mileage and driver behaviors such as speeding, hard braking, unsafe cornering, etc. Those can net discounts as high as 30 percent.
- If your state offers them, enroll your child in a graduated licensing program that puts incremental limitations on driving privileges, such as requiring a licensed adult to be in the car when the teen is driving, limiting the number of passengers, etc. As the young driver gains experience, the restrictions are lifted.
You can learn more about available discounts and compare car insurance policies and rates for teen drivers here.