UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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So you have a rookie driver and you need car insurance. You want the new driver to stay protected on the road, but you also don’t want to pay too much for coverage. Today, we’re explaining the seven commandments of insuring a rookie driver, including how you can maximize coverage while minimizing costs.
The Rules Thou Must Follow
- Thy Children Shall Attend a Good, DMV-Certified Driving School: Driver education courses will make your teenager a better driver. Plus, it will give your teenager a discount on car insurance. Make sure the driver training course you choose is from a DMV-certified driving school. Check your state DMV’s website for a list of certified driving schools in your area. Otherwise, you could miss out on the discount (and get a worse education experience).
- Thy Children Shall Maintain Good Grades: Whether your rookie driver is in high school or college, good student discounts are available through many insurance companies. If your child has better than, say, an A- average, then he or she may be eligible for big insurance discounts. Make sure your children maintain good grades and they could save a bundle on car insurance.
- Thy Children Shall Complete the Graduated Licensing System: Today, most states have graduated license systems. The license you get at 16 or younger isn’t a full license. It has some restrictions until you accumulate a few more years on the road. Encourage your rookie teen driver to complete the graduated licensing system successfully while abiding by the rules. Some states forbid young drivers from driving after midnight, for example, and most states forbid young drivers from having any alcohol in their system – even if they’re below the 0.05 or 0.08 legal limit for adult drivers. Many states also restrict the number of passengers in the vehicle. A rookie driver may only be allowed to have one non-family passenger in the vehicle at any time, for example.
- Thou Shalt Not Buy Your Children the Newest, Fanciest Car: You might have the money to buy your child a new car. However, it’s not always a good idea. Newer, more valuable cars come with significantly higher insurance costs. Teenage drivers already pay exorbitant amounts for car insurance. Give your child an older, used vehicle. You get an excuse to upgrade the family car. Plus, you and your teenage driver enjoy lower insurance rates. Win win! Of course, teenagers who drive fancier cars – particularly sports cars – are at a significantly higher risk of being involved in a collision.
- Thou Shalt Remember Not All Teenage Drivers Require Insurance Changes: Many parents are surprised to learn that they don’t need to adjust their car insurance for all teenage drivers. Typically, you only need to change your car insurance when your teenage driver gets his or her full license. While your teenage driver has a learner’s permit, you can typically keep the same insurance. However, it may be a good idea to contact your car insurance company to make sure. Rules can vary between companies.
- Thou Shalt Be Prepared to Pay More for Car Insurance: You’re not going to get a good deal when getting car insurance for a rookie driver. Rookie, teenage drivers are some of the highest risk drivers on the road. They’re more likely to get into a collision than drivers of virtually any other age or demographic. For all of these reasons, you’re guaranteed to pay higher prices for car insurance when adding a teenage driver to your policy. Be prepared to pay higher rates no matter how much you shop. Sure, you can use car insurance discounts like raising your deductible, but you’re still going to pay more for car insurance with a rookie driver.
- Thou Shalt Shop Around to Find the Best Car Insurance for your Teen Driver: You’re going to pay higher monthly premiums when insuring a new driver. However, you can still shop around to get the best deals. In fact, adding a new teenage driver to your policy is a great excuse to shop around for car insurance quotes. There may never be a better time to compare car insurance quotes. Take a few minutes to enter your ZIP code online and browse car insurance companies in your area. Some companies cater specifically to older, more experienced drivers, while other companies are more accommodating towards younger, less experienced drivers. Your current car insurance company might double rates when adding a teenage driver, but you may be able to shop around and find a better policy.
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Please read these additional articles for more information regarding insuring a rookie driver.
- DMV.org – First-timer driver’s guide to car insurance
- Insurance.com – Tips for first-time car insurance buyers