For Mom and Dad
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one-third of deaths for 16 to 20-year olds are due to motor-vehicle accidents. That’s more than 5,000 teens a year. Faced with those statistics, it’s important to view teen driving as a privilege, not a right.
Lay the Ground Rules
Insuring a teen driver will result in additional costs for you, no matter which insurance policy you choose. However, how well your teen respects the privilege of driving is a factor you can control. Lay down some ground rules for safe driving before your teen ever gets in the driver’s seat. In addition to driving restrictions associated with your teen’s driving permit or license, consider establishing your own additional rules, including:
- Hours during which the teen can and cannot drive
- Number of friends allowed in the car at one time
- Number of miles teen is allowed to drive per day or week
- Consequences for moving violations or at-fault accidents
You may also want to consider setting up a driving contract with your teen. The contract should clearly list the teen’s duties and responsibilities when driving and caring for the vehicle and should be signed by both of you.
Should Your Teen Driver Have His/Her Own Vehicle?
Depending on your family’s situation, there could be pros and cons to purchasing a vehicle for your teen. In addition to considering your family’s lifestyle and needs, make sure you discuss insurance options and costs with your insurance agent before you make a decision.
Give Complete, Correct Information
When you call for an insurance quote or fill out an application, give complete and correct information, such as make, model and year of the car your teen will be driving. Because your premium quote will be based on this information, it is very important that your information be as accurate and complete as possible.
It pays to shop around before buying insurance. Different companies can offer noticeably different premiums. For shopping tips, read the North Carolina Department of Insurance Guide to Shopping for Insurance.
Consider Revising Coverage, Deductibles
You may reduce your auto insurance costs by raising the deductibles on physical damage (collision and comprehensive) coverage. Be sure to review your current deductibles to determine whether you can afford to absorb a larger portion of your loss. Also, consider whether you want or need physical damage coverage on older vehicles (which would cost less to repair or replace) — unless a lienholder, such as a bank, requires it.
Regularly Review and Update your Policy
Regularly review your policy to make sure the basis for your premium is as accurate as possible. Here are some things that can affect your premium:
- Adding or removing a vehicle from your policy
- Change in address or length of commute
- Teen graduates from high school or reaches 18