How Adding a New Driver Can Affect Your Car Insurance
Your teenage son or daughter is overjoyed at finally getting a driver’s permit. You have plans to start driving lessons, and you are both eager to get learning. But stop for a moment and consider your car insurance.
Are you certain that your policy covers your child while he or she is behind the wheel? Is it fine as long as you are in the vehicle as well? You may think you have a handle on your coverage, but there can be some surprises in your future if you don’t take the time for clarification. Here are some of the factors at play when adding a beginner driver to your car insurance.
In most cases, your car insurance rate should not change until the new driver actually gets a license. In the meantime, there are several routes you can go in order to get a discounted rate when it finally is time to add the beginner formally to your policy.
Many insurance companies offer a reduced rate for students who get good grades. You can also save money by enrolling your teen in an accredited driver’s education program.
Parents can either add their children to their own policy or set up a separate policy just for the new driver. In most cases, adding a child to an existing policy is the most economical route. But you should still compare prices on the two options to be sure.
It may be a shock to see what your new rate will be when your child is added, but there are some mitigating factors that can help. For example, if you purchase a vehicle for the new driver, chose safe and sensible instead of flashy and fancy. If the car is not very valuable, you may decide to skip the collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
Also, take a close look at the deductibles you have set for each insured vehicle. Adjusting them could save you money. Your local insurance agent will be able to help you make educated decisions for keeping rates at a manageable level.
Of course, nothing raises insurance rates to the stratosphere like tickets and accidents. Make sure your beginning driver understands the relationship between good driving habits and manageable insurance rates. You might even choose an insurance company that offers an on-board device that monitors driving habits and overall vehicle usage.
Not only can you get a discounted rate for good driving, you can also keep an eye on your teen’s decisions behind the wheel. Also, encourage your child to keep up with his or her schoolwork so that a healthy grade-point average can be maintained. If your child does get a speeding ticket or is involved in an accident, enroll him or her in a diversion course if at all possible so that there will be less of a hit to the driving record.
Finally, if your new driver gets multiple tickets or has his or her license revoked, switch the teen to their own policy to avoid dings to your insurance rates.
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