Be Prepared: Adding Teenage Drivers to Your Auto Policy
As sure as the sun rises in the morning and every day ends with a “y”, sooner or later parents will add their teenage children to the family auto insurance policy. It can be a challenging time, but it doesn’t have to be. Parents may be confident about their teen’s driving skill, but they’re usually not prepared for the “sticker shock” of a premium increase.
This is an important life event, so it’s important that the family understand the risks associated with teen drivers and why premiums usually go up. The fact is teenage drivers are responsible for more auto accidents than any other age group. Let that sink in: teen drivers have more accidents than drivers older than them.
There are ways to save money, and the place to begin is with a comprehensive conversation between parent and teen about driving safety. Here are some teen driving statistics collected by Safeco that might surprise you and your teen driver:
- On average, six teens die, and more than 650 are injured every day in the United States due to motor vehicle crashes
- The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group
- Teen drivers’ fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly three times the rate for drivers age 20 and older.
- Six out of ten teen crashes are caused by driver distraction
- The fatal crash risk increases for each teenage passenger in a teen driver’s car
- One in three teens take their eyes off the road when app notifications appear on their smartphones while driving
- 88% of teens who self-identify as “safe drivers” admit to multi-tasking while driving
Parents’ conversation with teen drivers should include the setting of clear rules regarding their behavior behind the wheel: a no-phone rule, passenger limits (the more friends in the car, the more likely a crash will occur), speed limits and mandatory seat belt use.
- Crash risk among teen drivers is especially high during the first months a teen is licensed to drive
- Teens are more likely than any other age group to speed and tailgate other drivers
A proven way to reduce unsafe teen driving is an approved, quality driver education program. In addition to reducing their crash risk, successful completion of the program can result in an insurance premium discount.
Key to all of this is parent participation. Once you establish safe driving rules with your teen, regularly observe their driving and provide constructive feedback.
As teens gain driving experience, they should, with your encouragement and guidance, become better, safer drivers. By applying these simple tips, the odds may be in your favor. Plus, with a good driving record free of accidents, it’s easier to find cheap car insurance in the future.
If you have any questions about adding a teenager to your auto insurance policy, feel free to call or email me.