Handing the keys to your teenager can be a scary time. You want to make sure they’re ready to drive with the hundreds (if not thousands!) of other cars on the road, but you also want to make sure they’re safe. After all, teen drivers are involved in more serious accidents than other populations.1 There’s also the added cost of insuring your teen driver, which can add to your stress if you don’t plan ahead or know what to expect.
From choosing the right car for them to adding your teenager to your existing policy, there’s a lot to consider as your child prepares to get behind the wheel. With over 35 years of industry experience, SelectQuote can help. Here are a few things you should know when it comes to insuring your new driver.
The best time to start the insurance process is even before your teen gets their learner’s permit. If you’re adding them to your policy, you should contact your insurance company this early to make sure your car insurance is updated to cover them. You will need to provide their name, address, date of birth, and the VIN and current mileage of the vehicle they’ll be driving. Securing insurance for your teenager before they start driving is important to make sure they are fully protected once they actually climb into the driver’s seat. Once they get their driver’s license, you will need to provide it to your insurance company.
Add Your Teen to Your Policy
New drivers have higher accident rates, which typically makes them more expensive to insure. The first step is to add your teen driver to your current auto insurance policy rather than purchasing a separate standalone policy in their name. Adding them to an existing policy is cheaper than getting them a policy of their own. While you can expect the addition of a teenage driver to your policy to increase your rates, there are ways to control how high those rates can climb.
Choose the Right Car
The primary goal in choosing the right car for a teen driver is to pick one that is safe. You also want to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible behind the wheel while they’re still learning all the nuances of driving and operating a vehicle. The type of car your teenager drives can also play a role in the cost of your insurance. The main things you’ll want to look at when deciding what car your teen will drive are safety features, size and reliability.
Federal law regulates three main safety features in all vehicle models 2013 and newer:
- Anti-lock brakes
- Stability control
- Traction control
As you shop for a car for your teen or consider which family vehicle they’ll drive the most, make sure the vehicle includes those important features. You’ll also want to be sure the vehicle has airbags (at least 6 airbags is a good rule of thumb), seatbelts and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Other safety features that are nice to have include:
- All-wheel drive
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Rearview video system (also called a backup camera)
The bigger the car, the heavier car. This is a good stat to consider, as heavier vehicles will likely sustain less damage in a crash. However, make sure the car isn’t too big, as this will likely be more difficult for your teenager to drive. Compact or midsize SUVs are a great option for teens as they are heavier than sedans. A midsize SUV is also typically easier to drive than larger vehicles while still offering good visibility for the driver. These cars are also more affordable to insure than luxury cars, sports cars or high-end electric vehicles.
The right car for a teen driver is also reliable. You want to be able to depend on the car starting when it should and operating as expected, without the need for frequent repairs.
Ways You May Be Able To Get a Discount on Your Teen’s Auto Insurance
Defensive Driving Course: Most insurance companies will offer discounts to customers who complete a defensive driving course. Not only can it lower your premiums but will teach your teen good driving practices and skills to help avoid accidents.
Student Discount: The most common student discount is a good student discount, which is when a full-time student keeps their grades above a certain threshold.
Telematics: Usage-based insurance apps, like Nationwide Smartride and Progressive Snapshot, are becoming more popular across top insurance companies and can lend an additional opportunity to receive discounts. These apps are able to track driving behavior and often provide discounts for safe driving practices, further incentivizing good driving.
Bundling is another option to consider as you evaluate your insurance coverage needs. Also known as a multi-policy discount, bundling can often save you money by going through the same carrier for more than one type of insurance.
This could mean not only adding your teen driver to your current auto insurance policy but adding any other vehicles in the family (like a motorcycle or jet ski) or bundling all your cars with your home insurance policy.
At SelectQuote, we make this process easy by shopping bundled policies from dozens of highly-rated insurance carriers in just minutes. We then present you with the insurance quotes that might work best for you and answer any questions you may have. The result? The right bundled insurance policy for you that still works within your budget.
Find the Right Car Insurance Coverage for Your Teenage Driver
Teenage drivers are notoriously expensive to insure, so it’s important to shop around as early as possible. Choosing the right car insurance can be a complex process, but that’s where working with SelectQuote can help. After just a short chat with one our of experienced agents, we can compare hundreds of policies on your behalf in just minutes– what would take you hours and hours of tedious research. Let us help you find the right plan to protect all your assets and make sure your teen driver is safe on the road.