Almost all parents of teenagers get anxious about their kids becoming drivers; that in itself is stressful enough. Thinking about the increased cost of car insurance just adds to the stress. Thankfully, there are some easy ways parents in New Jersey can reduce the high cost of insuring a teen driver.
The first step a parent of a new teen driver should take is to comparison shop. There are lots of insurance companies out there and each one is different. Do your research and see which companies offer the lowest rates for teen drivers. If you have little time to do it yourself, work with an insurance agency that will do the comparisons for you.
Raise Your Deductibles
Raising the comprehensive and collision deductibles is another good way to reduce insurance costs for teenagers. Consider raising each to $1,000. This helps to lower the premium and also prevents the car owner from filing small claims that can result in increased rates. If a teenager will be driving an older car, consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage altogether.
Check with your insurance company about discounts they offer teen drivers. Insurance companies generally give discounts for teenagers who are good students. Generally, if a high school or college-aged teenager can maintain a “B” average or better, their car insurance rates will be lower. Another way to get a discount on insurance rates for teenagers is by taking a driver safety course. These courses can be taken either online or in person. Courses are usually offered through a municipality’s local DMV or through the insurance companies. Other outlets can also be found by doing an online search. Teens who drive a minimal amount also qualify for a low-mileage discount. Generally this is a good option for teens who drive a short distance to school or a part-time job and not much farther.
Do Not Go Solo
Parents who are trying to save money on car insurance for their teenagers should consider putting them on the family’s insurance policy. This is a much more cost-effective way to insure a teen driver who is just starting out driving. Getting a policy under just the teen’s name will significantly raise the premiums.
Choose Cars Wisely
As with adults, teens’ insurance rates are based partly on the cars they drive. Choose mid-aged safe cars for teen drivers. Although it may not look cool, a four-door sedan is a good choice for a teenager to drive; the insurance rates for a sedan are much more reasonable than those for a sports car. When thinking of cars for a teenager to drive, consider safety features as well. Most insurance companies will give discounts for safety feature such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), anti-theft devices, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning,and collision preparation systems.
Use Modern Technology
Many insurance companies are now offering the use of modern technology to their customers. Installing a small monitoring device in your teenager’s car can help save on insurance costs. The device monitors the driving and then creates a report based on it. Devices can monitor distance driven, speed, time on the road, and how often the brakes are applied hard. Some insurance companies offer discounts of up to 30% for having a device installed in a car.
Anyone who has ever been in a car accident can attest to the fact that even a small fender bender can result in higher insurance rates. Since driving is a new experience for teenagers, accidents are more likely for them. Stress to teenagers the importance of being extra careful when they are behind the wheel as avoiding even small accidents can keep insurance rates lower. Good driving skills will also keep your teen and his or her companion safe on the road.
Responsible drivers, by their nature, have lower insurance rates. Make sure teenagers are responsible drivers. Let them know the importance of safe driving. Establish rules and adhere to them. Make sure there are consequences for breaking driving rules. This action will also help reinforce the fact that there are consequences for breaking rules of the road as well. Encourage teenagers to do well in school, too, as good students tend to be responsible drivers. Also, if teenagers keep up their grades, it helps them qualify for a “good student” discount.
Be a Good Example
Kids watch and mimic their parents, even teenagers. When your children are little, you are cautious about the way you behave. Now when you are driving in a car with your kids, be sure to follow all the rules of the road. Be a safe and careful driver and your children will do the same. Lead by example and the results will show in your lower premium costs.
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