Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on lowering the cost of teen car insurance. If there is a teenager in your household, no doubt they want a car. And no doubt, insurance companies are terrified to insure this unproven, young, and presumably impulsive driver. Fortunately, there are things you and your teen can do together to make sure those insurance payments stay affordable. If you missed part one, go check it out!
Join us again today as we pick up where we left off.
4) List the Teen as an Occasional Operator
One step that many parents don’t even realize is an option is the ability to only partially add your teen to the policy. In most households, your teen will not be driving even one car 100% of the time. They are much more likely to borrow it from time to time or take special driving practice trips with you in the passenger’s seat to help. This means that you can add the teen as an ‘Occasional Operator’ which, in insurer terms, translates to someone who will only be driving sometimes and therefore does not need to pay for full-time insurance.
5) Or Get Them a Used Non-Sporty Car
On the other hand, many families and teens prioritize getting the teen their own car, either because they earned it with good behavior, saved up their allowance, or because the parents need access to their cars at all times. If you do decide to buy your teen a car or assign them one of the family cars for personal use, make sure it’s boring.
Insurance companies have found through statistics that teens with flashy, sporty, or cool-looking cars are more likely to race and get into crashes. It is, therefore, more affordable to have your teen drive a plain-colored sedan or pickup rather than anything fancy.
6) Consider PLPD Coverage on an Old Family Car
Another interesting way to pay less for your teen’s auto insurance requires a car that already own completely. This allows you got forego the loan insurance requirements and instead prioritize exactly what your teen needs. Minimal car insurance is known as PLPD or Personal Liability and Property Damage. What this means is that your teen’s insurance will be ready to cover any injuries or damage they may accidentally cause by hitting a curb or getting into a fender-bender. This also protects them from being targeted by scam artists looking to gouge a rich family by targeting young drivers who won’t know how to spot the scam.
7) Track Teen Driving with an OBD Telematics Device
Modern technology can also offer a way to reduce the cost of car insurance, not just for your teen but everyone in the house if you all drive safely. OBD devices, GPS trackers, and other tech gadgets that can be plugged into your car will allow auto insurance companies to monitor driving habits like hard braking, acceleration, turning speed, and going to places they should or should not go. If your teen is a careful driver, an OBD device will show this and their insurance will lower the cost accordingly.
8) Don't Take the Car to College
Over time, every teen eventually grows into a young adult but the stretch between leaving home and buying their own car insurance can still be pretty pricey. If your child is about to head off to a college that is more than 100 miles from home, there is one quick and easy way to bring down the cost of having them on your car insurance. Don’t send the car. This goes along the same lines as listing them as an occasional operator, as the insurance companies acknowledge that a college student who lives on campus and doesn’t drive the car more often than the occasional weekend or holiday home has a significantly lower chance of getting into a wreck.
9) Keep Their Driving Record Clean
Want your teen to lower their own insurance costs? You can do this about the same way you can help a young adult build their first positive credit score - by getting started and keeping the record clean. The longer your teen has been driving without incident, the less their insurance should cost. Make sure you’re working with an insurer that takes good driving record into account for drivers under the age of 21, as not all insurance providers will allow you to get this otherwise universal discount.
10) Choose Your Insurance Provider Carefully
Finally, the best way to avoid getting taken to the cleaners on teen driver insurance is to work with the right insurer. Not every insurance company is willing to offer all of the deals and opportunities we’ve listed while others specialize in family packages with great offers for responsible teen drivers. The ideal time to start looking for quotes is when your teen is 14 or 15, just before they start driving. This way, you have plenty of time to compare policy options and can get the family insurance set up into the best possible configuration to add the teen when they’re ready to drive.
Whether you’re planning ahead for your growing children or already have a teen in the house whose insurance costs way too much, these methods should help you significantly reduce the cost of your teen’s car insurance.