Brace yourselves if you’re shopping for car insurance for a young member of your family. Unless your child is seeking car insurance for the first time at age 25 (yeah, not so likely), it’s going to be expensive. Your young driver’s insurance will probably cost a lot more than it costs to insure yourself.
We’ll take a quick look at why the coverage typically costs so much, then show you several tips for getting the cheapest insurance for your young drivers.
Why It Costs So Much More to Insure Your Young Driver
Insurance company underwriters can’t predict the future and know what will happen to anyone while behind the wheel, so they look at group behavior. They examine statistics and crunch numbers to calculate what individuals might characteristically do as part of a larger demographic group.
Unfortunately, teenage and young adult drivers — as a group — have a tendency to be more reckless, drive faster, pick up more moving violations, and get into more car accidents than more mature drivers. This is especially true of young male drivers, who tend to pay the highest car insurance rates of all.
Even if this doesn’t reflect their behavior, your responsible child will pay those higher premiums at first simply for being part of this representative group.
However, knowledge is power. Knowing what you’re up against means that you can do a more thorough job of shopping for the cheapest car insurance for your young driver by taking advantage of every strategy that can keep those rates down. Here are seven winning tips for doing just that.
1. Bundle Your Policies
You have other insurance policies. For starters, if your family drives more than one automobile, who insures your other rides? Can you get a multiple vehicle insurance discount? And even if your child will drive the family’s one and only vehicle, you likely have other forms of coverage.
If you have life insurance, homeowners coverage, or other policies, start by checking out whether those carriers also offer auto insurance. You can check online. If they do, they’re likely to be highly motivated to sell you two policies rather than one. Or five instead of four.
The point is that it’s easier to sell additional business to an existing customer than to develop new relationships. By bundling your coverage with other plans, you can often earn valuable discounts for your young driver.
2. Think About the Vehicle Your Child Will Drive
Some vehicles cost more to insure than others — sometimes, a lot more. Older cars, for instance, might be likelier to have bad brakes or to break down on a congested highway than newer models.
Some makes and models are costlier to repair, so your insurance rates will also be higher. Still other vehicles have reputations for being driven faster or more recklessly, perhaps because they have larger engines, are considered sports cars, or have faster pickup.
If you’re going to buy your young driver their first ride, start with a checklist of makes, models, and model years that are on your and your child’s wish list for cost, safety, and cool factor. Then discuss that list with your insurance agent. Ask your agent to run rates on all those models to eliminate those that can’t be affordably insured.
3. Shop Deductible Levels – High or Low
While you have your insurance agent’s ear, also ask about the effect of various deductible levels on the cost of your car insurance premiums. . Your deductible is the amount of money you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurer bankrolls the rest of your covered claim. If you have a $500 deductible and your young driver causes $2,000 in damages, you’ll pay your deductible amount, and then your insurer will pay the remaining $1,500.
When you raise your deductible, the result is that your insurer will pay less for a covered claim. For that reason, the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of coverage. Ask your agent to run the numbers and show you rates at various deductible levels. Just remember not to accept such a high deductible that you’d be unable to pay that amount out of pocket.
4. Show Off Those Good Grades
Remember what was said about group behavior? Yes, younger drivers tend to be reckless and likelier to sustain car damage than older drivers. But another group consisting of young folks who get good grades in high school and college are judged by underwriters to be more responsible in life in general.
So, your teenager or young adult may qualify for a good student car insurance discount. Ask your insurance agent to look for an insurer who offers discounts for that behavior. Many insurance carriers do. If there were ever a time for bragging about your kid’s school accomplishments, it’s now.
5. Send Your Kid Back to School
Safe driving school, that is. Some insurance companies offer brief safe driving instructional programs for young drivers or those of any age. Once your child graduates from the program, they’ll be rewarded with discounts on their car insurance policies. A number of these programs are offered online.
This type of program isn’t just a good way to earn cheap auto insurance for young drivers. Your child might also learn some valuable tips for staying safe behind the wheel.
6. Look to the Future
This isn’t a savings tip so much as it’s an admission that certain young driver cost factors can’t be beaten from the get-go. But be patient. Time itself corrects many high rate challenges.
As long as your child drives safely, doesn’t get many tickets, and stays accident-free (or at least free of fault), those rates will go down as your child’s age goes up. By the age of 25, your grown child will earn remarkably lower rates than they’re likely to be charged when they first get their license. Just be patient.
7. Consult an Independent Insurance Agent
Agents who work for a single insurance company can only bring you insurance products from their company. An independent insurance agent, on the other hand, works for multiple major carriers. It’s like shopping at a mall or online instead of just at one store. Your independent agent will shop for the most affordable coverage, taking advantage of the best special offers from an entire portfolio of carriers.
Ask your independent insurance agent to keep shopping until you find the cheapest insurance for your young driver.
Find Affordable Car Insurance for Young Drivers Online Today
At Freeway Insurance, our independent insurance agents are here to help you find the cheapest and best car insurance for young drivers. Call us at (800) 777-5620 or find a fast and free online car insurance quote. You can also find a Freeway office near you.