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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is your teen ready to drive? Here’s how to save on car insurance

Lower teen auto insurance costs using one or more techniques
Defensive driving courses lower insurance costs
If you have a teenager who is ready to get behind the wheel and hit the road on their own, you’re probably proud of your child growing up. But you’re also probably terrified about their safety on the road and how much it will cost to get car insurance for your new driver.

Studies show that teens are more likely than other drivers to speed or be involved in traffic accidents, but finding affordable and reliable car insurance for your teen driver doesn’t have to be a headache or break your bank account.

By following a few easy steps, you can make sure your young driver has all the protection he or she needs on the road and even save yourself a few buck.

Buy an older (but safe) vehicle

Sure, every kid wants a shiny new sports car or pricey foreign model for their first car, but those cars can be too much for a teen to handle and cost more for insurance. Search online (Kelley Blue Book has lots of listings for affordable older models for sale) or drive around to your local used car lots to find a used, but safe and reliable, older model. Your teen may not look as cool as he or she would like, but you’ll rest easier knowing they’re safe and that you won’t be paying too much for car insurance.

Have your kid hit the books

Most car insurance companies give discounts for students who earn good grades in school. It makes sense why, since students who work hard in school are more likely to be responsible on the road and less likely to speed or drive recklessly. So making sure your teen driver is hitting the books can actually save you some money on car insurance premiums.

Bundle up

If you already have car insurance or other coverage, such as life, homeowner’s or casualty policies, with one carrier, you might save money by buying your teen’s auto coverage from the same company. By bundling all insurance policies, you can qualify for multi-policy discounts.

Waive comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage is for damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a traffic accident. It covers damage from things like theft, vandalism, fires and natural disasters. The thing is, if your teen is driving a cheaper older car (which I recommend, see above), comprehensive coverage may not be needed. In fact, you may be paying more than you should to insure a car that isn’t worth that much money. By waiving comprehensive coverage, but keeping collision to cover damage from an accident, you might save some money.

Image license: Doug McCaughan, CC BY-SA 2.0