How much is car insurance for a teenage driver? The short answer: a lot. There are several reasons why and some things you can do to lessen the drain on your bank account if you have a teen in the house.
Insurance companies determine car insurance premiums for all of us by assessing various factors. Age is just one of them. In the case of a young driver, the insurance company reasons that a lack of experience equates to a greater risk of an accident happening, which drives up costs. Don’t believe it? Consider this stat from AAA: In 2006 (latest data available) crashes involving drivers 15 to 17 cost more than $34 billion nationwide in medical treatment, property damage and other costs. An inexperienced driver is more likely to take risks that a more experienced driver would avoid, more likely to underestimate dangerous driving conditions and more likely to panic and over-react. Lack of experience also means your teenager can’t demonstrate a record of safe driving that can net discounts and cheaper car insurance for older drivers.
Car insurance companies also take the teen driver’s sex into account. Teenage girls are statistically better risks than young males, who account for about 30% of the cost of injuries caused by cars each year.
The kind of car your insuring is another big factor in the cost of premiums for any driver. Generally, the smaller the engine, the cheaper the car insurance. If you’re planning to buy a car for your teen driver, look for one with the highest safety rating. The IIHS conducts comprehensive safety tests on just about every car on the road and publishes the results at its www.iihs.org. ConsumerReports.org is another good place to review safety ratings. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid anything that an insurer will consider an invitation to speed, a vehicle that’s loaded with expensive accessories or vehicles that are popular targets for thieves.
In addition to selecting a sensible vehicle for your teen driver, look into Graduated Drivers License (GDL) programs now available in many states, where they’ve been cited as the reason for a 20% reduction in
fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers. GDL programs promote safe driving habits with incremental driving responsibilities and privileges.
Some insurance companies give discounts to teen drivers for things like good grades and membership in organizations like Students Against Drunk Driving. Other insurance companies are offering premium discounts for installing a GPS system that lets you track where your teen drives. While the cost of installation is high, the resulting savings over time can zero that out. When shopping for car insurace for a teenager, be sure to ask about all available discounts.
Finally, do comparison shop competitive teen car insurance quotes online. It’s easy and costs nothing to get multiple quotes using an online service like einsurance.