buying car insurance for teenagers
a how-to guide for parents
*Sniff* … they grow up so fast. When your child is ready to turn in those toy wheels for a shiny new drivers license, it's time to think about car insurance (you can flip through the photo albums later). We'll explain the pros and cons of adding your child to your policy and give you a better understanding of your options.
Adding a teen driver to your policy
With Esurance, it's easy to add a new driver to your policy. But is it the right move for you?
- Extend your coverage options to your child. Your policy's coverages, limits, and deductibles will apply to your teen. You can customize your teen's car-protecting coverages, like comprehensive and collision, if you're adding a car.
- Qualify for the Multi-Car discount. Esurance customers who insure more than one vehicle on the same policy can qualify for the money-saving Multi-Car discount.
- Share your hard-earned policy perks. Discounts on your policy can help offset the potential cost of adding an inexperienced driver. And your clean driving record can do the same.
- Increased car insurance premium. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teen drivers have 3 times as many car accidents per mile as drivers 20 and older. And adding more risk to your policy (in the form of a newly minted driver) can increase what you pay for your policy.
- Risking your policy perks. If your child causes an accident or gets multiple moving violations, you could see a rate increase and lose policy perks like the Good Driver discount or the Claim-Free discount. You might also have to pay out of pocket for damage your teen causes that exceed your coverage amounts. (For this reason, make sure you have adequate limits when insuring any freshly licensed family members.)
Buying your teen a separate car insurance policy
For most parents, this is option B for a simple reason: the cost of 2 separate policies is usually higher than the price of one plan for the whole family. An individual policy also means your teen can't enjoy any of the perks (like discounts) or coverages you have on your policy.
But in some cases, a separate policy might make sense for your young driver. Say a parent recently was convicted of a DUI or multiple moving violations — a corresponding rate increase could be even higher if a teen driver is added to the parent's policy.
In these cases, it may make sense to give a teen driver a fresh start when it comes to car insurance.
You can shop for separate policies and compare rates side by side with Esurance.
How to save on your teenager’s car insurance
Yes, teens can be risky drivers. But there are some easy ways to help make them less expensive to insure.
Get your child a safe car
Safe cars often mean less risk (which insurers love) and, with Esurance, they can even qualify you for a vehicle safety discount. Check out the IIHS Top Safety Picks if your lucky teen is in the market for a new car.
Look for other discounts
In some states, your teen can qualify for reduced rates by taking a safe driving course. Cracking the books can also mean premium savings — in some states, Esurance offers a Good Student discount to full-time students under 25 who maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. And you could qualify for the Multi-Car discount when you add a second car to your policy.
Discounts may vary. If you're a current Esurance customer and have questions about your discounts, call us at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
Rearrange your policy’s coverages
If your teen's car is old, weathered, and grizzled, you could opt to go without comprehensive and collision coverages. The payouts on these coverages could be less than your deductible (so you'd be left to cover the repair costs), or they might not justify the premiums if the car is totaled.
You can still have comprehensive and collision on other cars or trucks on your policy. Talk to a car insurance agent to determine if this move makes sense. Esurance customers can call us anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
Increase your deductibles
Raising certain coverage deductibles from, say, $500 to $1,000 could cut down on your monthly premium. Keep in mind that you could owe more out of pocket if an accident does occur — but if your teen is especially cautious or rarely takes the car out, this could be a way to keep your premium affordable.
At Esurance, we've got your family’s back
Whether you decide to add your teen to your policy or go with a separate individual policy, we're here to make the transition from learners permit to drivers license as smooth as possible.
Give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) to talk through your options, or check out our FAQs on car insurance for teen drivers for more info.
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