It’s Graduation Time! The time of year when parents ask the eternal question, “If they are graduating, how come they still seem so young?” Being a parent of a teenager is tough, and having a teen-age driver on your auto insurance policy is even tougher!  Many people don’t realize you can easily increase the cost of your auto insurance by 200% to 300% just by adding a 17 year old boy!

Here are 10 ways to help reduce the cost of insuring teenagers:

1. One Policy:
Insure your son or daughter on your own policy.  It is generally cheaper to add your teenagers to your insurance policy than for them to purchase their own. If they are going to be driving their own car, insure it with your company so that you can get a multi-car discount.

2. Good Grades:
Encourage your teen to get good grades and to take a driver training course.  Most companies will give discounts for getting at least a “B” average in school and for taking recognized driving courses.

3. Leaving Home:
Let your insurer know if your teenager is going away to school.  If your kids are living away at school – at least 100 miles from home – you are entitled to a discount for the time they are not around to drive the car, assuming they left the car at home!

4. Shop Around:
Insurance companies differ dramatically in how they price policies for young drivers, so be sure to check around for the policy right for you. A UA representative can assist you in obtaining the best policy possible for the entire family.

5. Pick a Safe Car:
Pick a safe car for your teenager to drive. The type of car a young person drives can dramatically affect the price of insurance. You and your teenager should choose a car that is easy to drive and would offer protection in the event of a crash. You should avoid small cars and high-performance cars, which might encourage reckless driving and speed traps. It’s also important to note that trucks and SUVs are more prone to rollovers than traditional cars, so keep that in mind when planning a car for your teen.

6. Talk to Your Kids:
Talk to your kids about driving safely. Not only will it keep your son or daughter alive and healthy, it will also save money. As your teenager gets older, insurance rates will drop, providing he or she has a good driving record.

7. Emphasize The Seriousness of Dangers & Distractions:
It’s imperative you talk to your teen about the dangers of texting while driving, and of course driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also be sure to remind them that serious issues such as a lack of sleep, and and other distractions can be dangerous. Sadly, many accidents occur each year due to teenagers on their cell phone, playing the radio (loudly), horsing around with friends in the backseat, etc. These issues can be very serious, especially if they are driving around with friends. Let your teen know the impact a car accident could have on their lives.

8. Be a Good Role Model:
New drivers tend to learn by example, so if you drive recklessly, your teenage driver may copy your habits. Always wear your seat belt, drive sober and undistracted.

9. Licensing Program:
Institute your own version of a graduated drivers licensing program.  A number of states have reduced teen accidents by restricting the amount of time new drivers may be on the road without supervision. If your state doesn’t have such a program, you may institute this same policy with your own teens. Also, take an active role in helping your kids learn to drive. Plan a series of practice drives in a wide variety of situations such as rain or fog, snow, wind, night time driving, etc. Over time, they will face challenges such as driving in heavy traffic, hitting a complicated intersection and other issues.


10. Get Out and Walk!
Unfortunately, today’s younger people don’t walk places anymore. Encourage them to get out and move! Not only will it reduce their carbon footprint, it will save on auto expenses, get them outdoors exercising, and enjoying life this summer. Encourage them to “hoof it” from time to time!

For more information, on teen driving contact the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at www.iihs.org or the Department of Transportation www.dot.gov.

Be safe and have fun this summer!


 

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