Where did the time go? Just a short while ago you were changing your child’s diapers. You blink and now they have their driver’s license.
It’s a relief that you no longer have to drive them everywhere, but now you worry about their safety.
Well, we’re here to help.
What we’re talking about
This newsletter will dive into useful insurance information and general tips for young drivers.
To start off, let’s address a popular question on this topic. Do I need to add my child to my auto policy if he/she has a learner’s permit? The answer is no.
However, it is a good idea to contact your agent to make them aware of the situation. Once your child passes their driver’s test, then you should definitely contact your agent and add them to your policy.
Adding them to the policy
The information you will need includes their name, date of birth, driver’s license #, and if they will have their own vehicle.
So your child passed their test and you’ve added them to your policy. Now, what advice can you give them? Drive safely is the obvious answer. To be more specific, drive defensively. Put down the cell phone and slow down. Tell them to drive like their insurance agent is in the passenger seat.
It is very important for young drivers to keep their driving record clean. A teen driver getting a ticket will most likely cause a large increase in premiums.
However, if a young driver does receive a speeding ticket, it is important to be transparent with your agent.
They can help you minimize the effect if you notify them right away, as opposed to them finding out at the same time your insurance carrier does.
If the ticket is worth going to court to get reduced, your agent can advise you to do that among other things. It’s always a great idea to have open discussions with your agent!
Insurance companies offer a few discounts that can alleviate some of the increase in premium brought on when adding a young driver. The main discount offered is the Good Student Discount.
Different carriers have unique criteria in order to qualify for this discount, however, the general rule of thumb is a 3.0 GPA or higher.
What if you are adding your child during the summer when school is out? Insurance companies will accept the most recent report card received. So if they have a 3.0 GPA from last semester, they qualify.
Another discount offered for young drivers is the Away at School Discount*. Several carriers offer this discount which requires the child/young adult to be away at college without a car. Often another requirement for this discount is being away at school over a certain number of miles from home.
Lastly, some insurance companies offer their own Safe Teen Driving Program/Class*. Teens participate in an online class and must pass in order to receive a discount on their policy.
How your teen driver is listed on your policy can make a difference with your rates. If your child has their own vehicle on your policy, they are listed as a principal driver. If they do not have their own vehicle, they are listed as an occasional driver.
A teen as a principal driver is more expensive than an occasional, obviously because they would be driving more and as a result, are more of a risk. This is just a little food for thought if you are considering buying your child a car for their 16th birthday.
How we help
As always, if you need additional information on any insurance question you have, your agent is available to you.
If you are wondering what will happen to your rates when your child gets their license, it is a great idea to discuss this with your agent. They can give you an answer unique to your situation and your insurance company, while often offering advice to reduce possible rate increases.
If you know of someone who could benefit from the services of a CRG agent, forward this to them!
*Not all carriers offer these discounts. For more info contact your agent.