Over the years, your child has reached several milestones. You remember the first time they walked, the first time they said a complete sentence, and their first major family holiday. These milestones are bound to make any parent feel a little sentimental, but learning how to drive is another milestone that deserves extra attention.
For many teen drivers, getting out on the road with their parents is scary. Parents also want to make sure their teen is protected all the time, even if it means tackling the higher cost involved with car insurance. But does a permit driver need insurance? We can answer that and more.
There’s no getting around the fact that since car insurance is risk-based, rates for teen drivers are going to be much higher compared to more seasoned drivers. This is when accidents tend to be at their highest levels.
Many parents worry about their teen drivers on the road, and that’s perfectly normal. Here’s what you need to know when it’s time to insure your teen driver, including how to take some of the sting out of those monthly insurance premiums.
Take Advantage of Your Teen’s Good Grades
One of the classic hallmarks of insurance is the industry’s focus on lowering risk as much as possible. Since your teen driver doesn’t have a driving record, the insurance company can’t just go back a few years to see how well your young driver handled the road. However, they do have a record they can reference: their grades.
Good grades are a sign that the student has all of the characteristics insurance companies look for in good drivers: discipline, patience, focus, and talent. Being able to control a vehicle safely for the good of yourself and others on the road is very important. The same applies to good grades, which signify that the student takes school seriously.
In the insurance company’s eyes, the better your teen driver does in school, the more likely it is they will do well on the road. Some teen drivers have bad driving habits that can hurt their driving performance, so it’s best to observe and help correct them so they can keep their driving discounts and avoid accidents at the same time.
The insurance company will need to see a copy of your student’s grades, but most schools have electronic records of grades now to make this process much easier compared to the past.
Search Multiple Carriers
A common mistake today’s busy parents make is settling on their existing insurance company automatically. Sure, adding your teen driver to your existing car insurance policy is easy, but is it giving you the best rate? Don’t be surprised if it isn’t. Drivers often have to compare insurance companies before they get a good rate.
You can use online car insurance quote search engines to find the best rates for teen drivers who don’t own the car they drive, or you can work with an insurance agent who can do the research aspect for you. Since they are well versed in car insurance policies, it isn’t a bad idea to let a professional take care of things.
Selecting the right policy should include picking an affordable monthly premium. Since an insurance policy is only good if the policy is active, an insurance policy you can afford to pay regularly is definitely important.
Why a Permit Driver Still Should Have Car Insurance
Does a permit driver need to have insurance? Well, it depends. If your teen driver has their permit and they simply go out with you to an empty parking lot to practice driving, they don’t technically need car insurance.
However, the ideal goal here is to make sure your teen can drive in a wide variety of traffic conditions. Training late at night and expecting them to be able to conquer the road just doesn’t make sense.
Since they will be out in the middle of everything with other drivers on the road, they will need car insurance. Not only does this protect your teen from damages caused by other drivers, but it also protects you against damages your teen driver could potentially cause as well. Sometimes accidents just happen even with the best preparation possible.
Increase the Deductible on Your Policy
One of the more unusual ways to lower your monthly premium after adding a teen driver is to adjust the deductible on your policy. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium. The deductible is the amount you are responsible for in an accident.
It seems counterproductive to agree to pay more money if an accident occurs, especially if you have a teen driver. However, if you already have a strong savings account that can handle it, raising your deductible slightly can become negligible in terms of increasing your stress during an actual accident.
You have savings to use to take care of the increased deductible. If an accident doesn’t occur, then that money still rests in savings.
It’s optional, of course, but it can help you lower costs in the long run.
The Road Ahead for You and Your Teen Driver
If your teen driver is like most, they’re already ready to hit the open road. After all, being able to drive their own car is a sign of independence, even if they still want to have help from their parents.
To get started, you want to take the time to look through the quotes you gained from researching car insurance. A classic mistake is to only look at the price without getting the bigger picture. That doesn’t really let you see what features are included in the price tag.
Sometimes an insurance policy has a great low monthly rate, but it doesn’t have as much coverage as a plan that costs just a little more each month.
Your teen driver is bound to be a driving success after some time, patience, and practice. With the right car insurance, they’ll be all set to practice, get some driving time under their belt, and truly watch their milestone set the tone for the rest of their independent lives.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. His passions include best practices for insurance, car ownership, and other ways people can drive with peace of mind.