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Purchasing Car Insurance for Teenagers

Purchasing Car Insurance for Teenagers

By Jeff Youngs, August 10, 2012
Teenagers are involved in more collisions and get more traffic tickets than any other demographic group of drivers. As a result, insurance rates for teen drivers are typically much higher than average. There are, however, ways that you can reduce the extra costs associated with insuring a teen driver.

  • Don't buy a separate policy for your teen driver. Add your teen driver to your existing policy rather than put him or her on a separate policy, and list your child as an occasional driver rather than as a primary driver. The increase in your family premium likely will be less than what you would pay for your teenager on a separate policy, and you can also benefit from any multi-car discounts that are available.
  • Shop your teen driver's good grades. Many insurance companies offer discounts to teen drivers with good grades, so if your child is getting a 3.0 GPA or better, be sure to inquire about good-student discounts.
  • Enroll your teen driver in driver's training. Not all states require a new driver to complete an official driver's training course. If you live where new drivers simply need to pass your state's driving test to get a license, you might consider enrolling your son or daughter in an official driver's training course, which could help lower insurance premiums.
  • Enroll your teen driver in advanced driver's training. In states where completion of basic driver's training is a prerequisite for licensing, parents may wish to enroll their child in an advanced driving course. This type of credential could provide access to an insurance discount.
  • Put your teen driver in a boring car. Naturally, your teen driver wants something flashy to drive, a brand new car that oozes cool. These, however, are the most expensive kinds of cars to insure for young drivers. A used mainstream-brand family sedan with a 4-cylinder engine, impressive crash-test scores, and low repair costs is a better choice. You'll save money on insurance, and your child will be better protected if a collision does occur.

In addition to taking these steps directly related to the cost of insuring a teenager, there are things that you can do to reduce overall premiums, such as increase your deductible, pay your premium in full when it is due rather than in monthly installments, eliminate unnecessary coverage on older vehicles, and others.

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