The Internet is rife with articles offering tips and advice on how parents can cut the cost of car insurance for their teenage drivers. But there's one question that few of these articles ever ask: Is cheap car insurance for young drivers really a good idea? Especially if it comes at the cost of lowering coverage?
One of the most often-suggested methods of lowering the cost of auto insurance for teenagers is through the lowering or elimination of certain types of coverage. For example, the minimum liability limit requirements can vary from state to state. The end result of opting to stick with minimum state requirements could cut back on the amount of money you'll be asked to pay to cover your teen driver, but if your teen needs to make a claim, you could end up having to pay even more money.
Before you make any decisions, take a look at some 2009 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The information you find may just be enough to make you rethink wanting to find rock-bottom, cheap insurance for your teen driver.
- Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely to crash their cars than older drivers, according to the CDC.
- Teen drivers were found to be at fault for between 28 and 30 percent of all crash-related injuries.
- Recently licensed teenage drivers are at a far greater risk of being involved in an accident within the first year of taking to the road, the organization says.
What do these stats mean? In short, they act as a helpful reminder that teens face a high risk of accidents on the road.
- Add your teen drivers to your pre-existing auto insurance policy. Insuring a teenage driver separately can cost you a lot more money than it would to add them to a family policy.
- Don't let your teenager drive a hot rod. Your kid may have his or her heart set on driving a sporty, flashy car, but these types of cars are typically a lot more expensive to insure than no-frills sedans and not-so-cool minivans. They may not love the idea of being seen in a "mom and dad" car, but you'll certainly love the lower premiums associated with choosing a more insurance-friendly car.
- Pick a car with lots of safety features. Insurance rates are typically lower for cars with more safety features, such as lap and shoulder harnesses, anti-lock brakes, side- and front-impact airbags and stability control technology not present in older vehicles.
- Enforce good grades. Teenage drivers who maintain at least a B average may be able to take advantage of auto insurance discounts as high as 20 percent. What better way to reward your teenager for getting good grades than by giving them the privilege of driving?
By taking advantage of these suggestions, you can effectively cut down on the cost of insuring your teenage driver without exposing yourself to the high repair costs and medical bills that could come as a result of not having enough insurance.