Car Insurance for Your Teen Driver

Many of us, including myself, are embarking on the new adventures of a teen driver.  This is an exciting time for your teen but also very worrisome for parents.  Many questions pop in your head like, How much will our insurance increase? When should I add them to our policy?  Should they be on their own insurance? Can I get some discounts to help the premium? These are all legitimate questions as you guide your teen into practice their driving, let Twin Creek guide you on the insurance related matters.  Here are a few FAQ’s for consideration to keep your auto insurance rates in check.
When should I add my teen driver to my policy?
New drivers do not need to be added to your auto insurance policy while operating under a learner’s permit.  While your child is practicing their driving skills under your supervision, they may do this under your own insurance policy.  Upon earning a license, however, they must be added as a driver on your auto insurance policy or obtain their own insurance.  In the state of Texas, basic liability coverage must meet the state’s financial responsibility requirement of 30/60/25.  We do recommend higher limits then the state requirement due to high car prices and the high cost of medical care.       The minimum amounts might not be enough to pay all of the other driver’s costs if you’re at fault in an accident. Other drivers could also sue you to collect the difference.
How would adding my teen driver to my policy affect my rates?
Adding any driver to your auto policy will likely increase the rates.  Adding teenagers, in particular, can generally increase the rates by as much as double for a particular vehicle, as they are among the most inexperienced drivers.  Statistically speaking, teens crash at a much higher rate than older drivers – the risk is four times as much which is the reason for the increased hike in rates with young drivers.  These rates will normally level out at the age of 25.
Can my child have their own insurance policy?  
Having your teen on their own insurance starting out is possible but 99% of the time it is rarely cheaper.  Most likely they will have a higher premium compared to adding a teen to a parent or guardian’s policy.  When you add kids to their own policy, they cannot take advantage of discounts on your policy like multi-policy, multi-car, and persistency.  Also, if the vehicle is titled and registered to you, then you must also be on the policy with your teen.  We strongly suggest to keep all household members on one policy.  The benefits outweigh the negatives.
Does driving a safer vehicle help get more affordable car insurance?
The type of car you drive matters at any age.  Typically, you will get the best insurance rates with enhanced safety features, crash protection and larger body.  Generally, the cheapest vehicles to insure are those with the fewest claims associated with that particular vehicle.  If you are in the market for a new or used car, it’s worthwhile to compare insurance costs for the different makes and models.  We, at Twin Creek Insurance, can help you with quoting a particular vehicle over another.
Are there some discounts for my teen driver?
While a young driver will increase your rates, there are a number of ways to help reduce the costs.
  • Almost all companies will honor a “Good Student” discount.  If your high school teenage driver maintains at least a B average in their school, he/she can qualify for this discount.  Only proof required would be the latest transcript showing the B average.
  • Teens completing driver’s education courses also receive a discount for completing their courses.
  • Keeping a clean driving record free of accidents and violations will also help insurance rates.
When your teen is ready to get their license, please reach out to me for personalized advice and an auto insurance quote. As an independent agent, I work to take care of your needs and risks.  With multiple carriers it pays to allow us to do the shopping for you.
This article is made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not to be used as a substitute for insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional.