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May 30, 2023
Remember those little kids you carted around in the back seat to preschool, soccer practice and piano lessons? They’re teenagers now — and about to be sitting in the driver’s seat running errands and chauffeuring you around instead!
Getting behind the wheel and onto the open road can be an exhilarating experience for young motorists — and a rattling reality for parents. Currently, more than a third of teenagers ages 16-19 in the U.S. have jumped on the automotive bandwagon and obtained a valid driver’s license. But before your teen can join these ranks, they’ll need to get a learner’s permit — and insurance.
Here are a few important things to consider when securing coverage for your new driver.
Know your state’s requirements. Most states require permit drivers to have car insurance, so be sure to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to determine the necessary coverage. Then, reach out to your insurer to see how they handle permit driver policies. Failing to properly list a new driver with your insurer may result in paying out of pocket for damage after an accident.
Consider supplemental coverage. You may want to look into obtaining additional liability coverage beyond the minimum required for protection in the event of a fender bender. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenage drivers are the most likely age group to be involved in accidents in the U.S. Comprehensive and collision coverage can pay for vehicle repair or replacements, regardless of who’s at fault. And an umbrella policy can provide additional protection beyond the limits of your auto policy.
Compare coverage options. According to ValuePenguin, the average six-month premium for a new driver added to their parents’ policy can be as low as $1,293. While this might sound like a lot, it’s not when compared to $5,944 — which is the average a new driver at this age would pay for his or her own policy.
Seek out discounts. The cost of insurance for permit drivers can be high, but there are still ways to save. Maintaining high school and college grades above a 3.0 and/or taking a driver education course, for example, may qualify the driver for a lower rate. Many insurers also offer a telematics discount, which involves the use of a tracking device that shares data with the insurance carrier to verify the driver’s safe activity on the road.
Remember that special rules apply. Humorist Erma Bombeck once said, “Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.” While Bombeck’s advice may not be realistic, there are both legal and insurance restrictions for permit drivers that can put parents’ minds (more) at ease. For example, some insurers may limit the number of passengers allowed in the car while a permitted driver is behind the wheel. And legally, many states require a licensed driver over the age of 21 to be present in the car at all times.
Stay safe and keep a clean record. The importance of practicing safe driving habits and keeping a clean driving record can’t be overstated, especially for new drivers. Traffic violations or accidents can lead to higher insurance rates or even a policy cancellation — and of course, safety risks. According to the CDC, approximately 2,800 teenagers lost their lives as a result of auto accidents in the U.S. in 2020, and an additional 227,000 suffered accident-related injuries.
Greater Parental Peace of Mind
We Insure can help you find coverage that best protects your permit driver and meets your budget needs. We’ll compare rates from your current insurer with those from a wide array of top providers in your area to find a competitive rate and seek out any discounts your new permit driver may qualify for. Contact us today for a free quote. As for waiting up at night until you hear them pull back into the garage — we can’t banish those late-night jitters, but we can steer you toward a policy that provides greater peace of mind for both you and your new driver.
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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.