Your teenager becoming a licensed driver is a nerve-wracking experience, and one detail that makes it extra stressful is adding them to your car insurance. Adding your teen to your insurance costs money and makes your own policy vulnerable to rate increases if your teen gets into any accidents or accrues speeding tickets. Despite this, adding your teenager to your policy is still much cheaper than getting them their own separate policy, since inexperienced drivers are considered high risks by insurance companies.
Here are five tips for adding your teen to your car insurance with minimal risk and stress:
Apply for a "Good Student" Discount
Put all those good grades your child has been snagging as they prepare to apply for college to additional good use by having them apply for a "good student" discount through your insurance company. The discount available for students with a B or better average varies depending on the company, but averages 10-15% off your bill.
Some insurance companies even offer good student discounts to homeschooled students based on their standardized test scores. In most cases, you will need to fill out an application and send a copy of your child's transcripts or report card.
Buy a Sensible Car
Your teen may have daydreams about driving a fancy sportscar or Bentley, but tell them they can save that for when they're older and paying for their own insurance. A reliable older car with great safety features and a high safety rating will be cheaper to insure than something newer and flashier. This is because the safer a car is the less risky it is for the insurance company to cover it, and the older the car, the cheaper it will typically be to repair or replace.
This is a win-win approach, as you will not only get cheaper insurance, but also peace of mind from knowing that your child is driving a safe car.
Install a Driving Tracking Device
Some insurance companies will now install driving tracking devices inside a vehicle and reward good driving behavior with discounted insurance premiums. This may have the added benefit of making your teen a more conscientious driver, since they will know their driving behaviors (including speeding and sudden stops) are being monitored. In some cases, you may receive a discount just for installing the device in the first place.
Bundle Multiple Policies Together
Most insurance companies provide discounts to customers who have multiple types of policies with the same company. For example, if you have auto insurance for yourself and your teenager, homeowner's insurance, and flood insurance, you can save a decent amount of money each month by switching all of these to one company.
As an added bonus, your bills will be more streamlined and efficient to manage when they're all with the same company. Be sure to contact your insurance agent because the discount for bundled policies is not always automatic and you may need to apply for it.
Sign Them Up for Extra Driving Classes
Many states require teens to take driver's ed and driving lessons in order to apply for their license, but even if it's not required you should still consider it. Attending driving school will not only help your teen learn safer driving habits and become more experienced and savvy as a driver, but it will also make them eligible for discounts with some insurance companies. Additional driving classes, such as those focused on defensive driving, can also help snag discounts.
By following these tips, you can ensure your teen is protected by car insurance while minimizing your own risk and applying discounts where available to help offset the extra cost.