For most parents, teen children learning to drive is both an exciting milestone and a nerve-wracking time.
It’s not just the stress of having a child on the road that may worry parents. There’s reason for concern about just how much auto insurance premiums will rise when they add a teen to their insurance plan.
While parents may be prepared for their car insurance costs to rise, it may still prove shocking just how much monthly costs increase when a young driver is added. Here’s what parents need to know.
Auto insurance premiums can go way up when young drivers are added
According to Car and Driver, auto insurance premiums for a 40-year-old driver with full auto insurance coverage go up an average of a whopping 152% if a 16-year-old motorist is added to a policy.
These costs do vary, depending on the gender of the teen driver. When a young woman is added to a parent’s policy, average premiums go up by 129%, while premiums increase by an average of 176% for a male teen.
Regardless, parents can expect to devote much more of their income to auto insurance once a teen needs coverage. And this isn’t surprising, given that the CDC reports young people are involved in a substantial number of accidents, and those collisions are often more serious than with older drivers.
There are a lot of reasons young drivers are prone to collisions, including a lack of driving experience, as well as the potential for dangerous decisions, such as not paying attention to the road while talking with friends. Since insurers know teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents that lead to insurance claims, they charge substantially more to insure them.
How parents can cope with the cost of adding a teen to their auto insurance
Although it’s inevitable that auto insurance costs rise with a teen driver, there are steps that parents can take to mitigate risk — and lower costs.
First, new drivers can complete a driver’s education course, which can result in lower premiums. Parents can often apply for good student discounts if their child gets good grades and qualifies. And if parents are purchasing a car for their teen, they should compare the prices of insuring different vehicles before buying. Some vehicles have a better safety record and are cheaper to insure. There’s seldom a reason to buy a high-risk car and add a high-risk driver at the same time.
Your insurance agent should be able to advise you on the most economical way to add your new teen driver to your policy.