By ALLEN MCQUISTON
Serving Los Alamos since 1963
For most parents, learning to drive as a teenager is both an exciting and nerve-racking time.
It’s not just the stress of having a child on the road that can worry parents. There is reason to be concerned about the increase in auto insurance premiums when they add a teenager to their insurance plan.
While parents may be ready to see their auto insurance costs rise, it can still be shocking how much monthly costs increase when a young driver is added. Here’s what parents need to know.
Auto insurance premiums can increase dramatically when young drivers are added
According to Car and Driver, auto insurance premiums for a 40-year-old driver with full auto insurance coverage increase an average of 152% if a 16-year-old motorist is added to a policy.
These costs vary depending on the gender of the teenage driver. When a young woman is added to a parent’s policy, average premiums increase 129%, while premiums increase an average of 176% for a teenage male.
Either way, parents can expect to spend a lot more of their income on auto insurance once a teenager needs coverage. And that’s not surprising, given that the CDC reports that young people are involved in a substantial number of crashes, and that these crashes are often more severe than with older drivers.
There are many reasons that young drivers are prone to crashes, including lack of driving experience, as well as the possibility of making dangerous decisions, such as not paying attention to the road while chatting with friends. Since insurers know that teenage drivers are more likely to have accidents resulting in insurance claims, they charge significantly more to insure them.
How parents can cope with the cost of adding a teenager to their auto insurance
While it’s inevitable that auto insurance costs will rise with a teenage driver, there are steps parents can take to mitigate risk and lower costs.
First, new drivers can take a driver education course, which can lead to lower premiums. Parents can often ask for good student discounts if their child gets good grades and qualifies. And if parents are buying a car for their teenager, they should compare the insurance prices of different vehicles before buying. Some vehicles have a better safety record and are less expensive to insure. There is rarely a reason to buy a high risk car and add a high risk driver at the same time.
Your insurance agent should be able to advise you on the most economical way to add your new teenage driver to your policy.