Safety is every parent’s top priority when their teen starts driving. Finding the best driving school and getting proper car insurance coverage for your child helps provide peace of mind—but where do you begin? Consider the following as you navigate your teen car insurance options.
Start researching state auto insurance requirements and policies for teens.
On a federal level, there are no mandates that require drivers to purchase car insurance for teens or other drivers. State laws dictate this type of coverage instead. Most states, for example, require that teen drivers have liability insurance since they are more prone to accidents.
Don’t forget to notify your insurer when your teen gets their learner’s permit! A learner’s permit doesn’t always call for insurance, but it’s worth mentioning in advance of your teen getting their license.
Also, consider collision coverage. It covers the cost of repairs even if the car itself is totaled after an accident and needs to be replaced. Think of it as extra insurance in accident scenarios, or for when your teen loses a “battle” with a non-moving object, such as your garage door, mailbox or a tree.
Does my teen need their own policy?
Most teens don’t have to worry about getting their own car insurance policy. Parents typically add teen drivers to their policies because it is almost always the cheaper option. Plus, with limited driving experience, a higher risk of accidents and little to no credit history, teens will have a difficult time acquiring insurance on their own.
Despite this, if your teen wants more financial responsibility, or if adding them to your plan isn’t in the cards, having their own policy isn’t barred from them—especially if they own their own vehicle. Just guide them through the process and help them search for discounts (as shown below).
I’ve added my teen to my policy and my premium increased. How do I lower it?
Here are a few tips on how to save money on teen car insurance.
For teen drivers:
- Get good grades. Many auto insurance companies offer good student discounts that apply when you maintain a certain grade point average (typically a B average).
- Enroll in a driver’s education program. Some states require this, some don’t. But many car insurance providers offer discounts upon completing a driver’s education course. (AAA Driver Education will even throw in a FREE one-year AAA membership!)
- Take an additional driving course. Some insurance companies will dock your premium if you take more safe driving training courses.
- Avoid a flashy ride. The newer and “fancier” the car, the more expensive it is to insure.
- Pay a higher deductible. This will help lower your car insurance rate across the board.
- Ask about multi-vehicle discounts. Adding more vehicles to your policy may earn you some savings.
- Ensure your teen buys or drives a practical vehicle. You’ll want one with a high safety rating and safety features that isn’t a luxury vehicle—these cost more to insure.
- Consider raising your deductible. This should lower your teen’s rates automatically.
- Research whether you can add your teen driver as an “occasional” or “pleasure-use only” driver. Listing your teen as a primary driver will cost you more.
You may find other hidden discounts that aren’t directly teen-related, such as when you:
- Bundle home and auto insurance from the same provider.
- Display customer loyalty over the years and make timely payments.
- Are accident-free for a significant amount of time.
- Opt to pay annual premiums in full.
- And more!
Find your teen car insurance with AAA.
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