Car Insurance for Young People
If you have ever attempted to shop for car insurance, you know first hand that it can be a very daunting experience, especially today with the internet. Try looking for the right insurance for you on the internet by making a simple inquiry and you will soon get bombarded from several different companies, both those that you will most likely be somewhat familiar with and those that you have never even heard of. Well you solved your auto insurance problem, found a provider and are happy that the ordeal is over with -- but things have just changed. You now have a teenage driver in your midst. You calmly contact your auto insurance agent and discuss adding your teen to your policy. You then get the new policy quote and try not to pass out from the shock. You politely tell your agent that you will get back to them.
After a few moments to recover, you begin to contemplate what other steps you can take and start calling around to different insurance companies. Don't be surprised to find that rates can go from bad to really bad. First off, insurance companies will be very reluctant to insure a teenager under the age of 18 unless they are on your policy, so if you do not already have a policy with a particular insurance company, you will get flat out rejected unless you are willing to switch over. After exhausting your list of potential insurance companies that do not seem to be able to solve your new problem, you call your agent back to discuss why the premium has increased so much.
First off we need to look at teen driving statistics. Of all those who are killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States, 14% were caused by teen drivers. Even more shocking is that 53% of auto accident deaths that occur during the weekends are caused by teen drivers. Just a little more than one-third of those vehicle fatalities was due to teen speeding. A 16 year old teenager is three times more likely to die in a car accident than any other age group. In addition, more than any other age group, teens are involved in single vehicle crashes and, with cellphones and text messaging so popular today, that number continues to increase at a staggering pace. Teens also do not have the experience that a seasoned driver has so they are more likely to miscalculate how to respond in various conditions such as weather conditions, heavy traffic conditions, nighttime driving, etc. And finally, too many teens see independent driving as a means of freedom and they just want to fly, i.e., drive as fast as they can. They want to impress their friends and will take drastic risks with their driving abilities and become almost completely distracted from watching the roadway. All of these factors are taken into consideration by insurance companies. Therefore, when you say "teen" they see "high accident risk" and insurance companies are not in the business to lose money so you will have to pay for them to be willing to take on that "high" risk teen.
As it now appears, there is no way of getting around seeing your premium go up. There is, however, still hope that you can get relatively cheap car insurance for young people. Insurance companies will take into account several factors besides the age of the teen when figuring your new premium. For example, a teen with a grade average of at least a B or higher will often be given as much as a 10%-15% discount. Another way to decrease the premium is to have the teen drive an older, less sporty vehicle. Your teen may not be too happy with this solution but statistics show that the more sporty a car, the more likely the teen will get into a car accident because the car alone inspires the teen to drive faster. An older family type vehicle, such as a mini-van, actual helps a teen maintain the speed limit and, if they do get into an accident, they are less likely to get injured. Limiting your teen's driving time can also reduce insurance costs. The less time your teen drives, the less likely for that teen to be involved in an accident. Finally, taking additional driving training skills courses will also help to reduce premium costs.
Having discussions with your teen about their responsibilities in entering the driving world is very critical and can help you and your teen have a positive and safe experience over the next few years. Create a contract with your teen that outlines their responsibilities and the consequences if they do not adhere to those responsibilities. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and as long as your teen understands this, they will come to appreciate this privilege. This is also a great time and opportunity to get your teen involved in the driving responsibility by passing some of your new premium cost onto your teen. Have them help pay for a portion of the added insurance cost, as well as its upkeep in repairs and gas. When the vehicle starts hitting their wallet, they will think twice before taking any unnecessary risks. We would probably all like to not pass on any of the expenses to our teen but statistic again show that those teens who have to financially contribute to their vehicles are far less likely to be in an accident than those who see their vehicle as a toy and they have no responsibility for that fast toy.
So, there you have it. You've gone through another round of finding the right auto insurance and you and your teen have survived the round. Sit back and relax. You have two more years before the next teen arrives . . . .
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