Young Drivers and High Insurance Rates

If you have a teen driver, you may find it difficult to find affordable insurance coverage for them. Teens are more expensive for insurance companies to cover because they present a higher risk. Teens are statistically more likely to get into and cause accidents. These accidents lead to a higher rate of claims that are filed, which costs the insurance companies more money.

Teens are Risky Behind the Wheel

According to the Insurance Information Institute, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. In the year 2017, 1,830 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years of age died in motor vehicle crashes. Of those 1,830 drivers, 24 percent had consumed alcohol and 20 percent were legally intoxicated. Half of those deaths involved drivers who were not wearing their seat belts. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that young drivers account for 14 percent of the population, but account for 29 percent of the nation’s motor vehicle injury costs. The CDC also goes on to state that “Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.”

Teens tend to be a larger risk from an insurance standpoint because they are more likely to make poor decisions while behind the wheel. Teens are more likely to text and drive, and be involved in crashes where distracted driving was a cause of the crash. The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and used data from a national survey that lasted over four years and concluded that even in states where there were laws against cell phone use while driving, a third of teens still used their phones while driving motor vehicles. Another poor decision that teens are more likely to make is not traveling at a safe distance from the car in front of them. Teens are also more likely to underestimate risk, not recognize hazardous situations, and fail to use seat belts.

How To Keep Insurance Costs Low

Teens drivers are more expensive to cover, because they present a higher risk. Insurance companies must mitigate that higher risk with higher rates. So how does a parent ensure that their teen gets the proper coverage at a reasonable rate? One easy way to reduce insurance premiums is to take a behind the wheel course. These kinds of courses provide valuable behind the wheel experience under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Insurance companies also recognize that this experience helps reduce the risk of that driver becoming involved in an auto accident so they are willing to reduce their rates. Some insurance companies offer discounts for good students. Yet another reason to encourage your teen to maintain a high GPA. Another way to ensure that insurance costs remain low is to provide a vehicle that is cheap to ensure. Some cars are expensive to insure, no matter who is driving them, so having your teen drive a reasonable and safe vehicle is a good idea. And finally, make sure that your teen keeps their driving record as spotless as possible. Insurance companies will hike rates sky high if they have reason to believe that your teen presents a higher risk to them. Teen drivers can be seen as higher risk if they receive speeding tickets or are cited for any other traffic violation.

How to Keep Your Teen Safe

Teens are in fact more likely to be involved in auto accidents. Allowing a teen to get behind the wheel is a scary decision for parents to make. Aside from a spike in their insurance costs, parents must consider whether or not it is a good idea to allow their child to operate a vehicle. A teenager’s maturity level must be considered before giving them the keys to any motor vehicle. Here are a few things that parents can do in order to mitigate the risk associated with their teen driving.

1. Limit the amount of passengers allowed in the car while their teen is driving. Passengers tend to introduce distractions that lead to accidents.
2. Require their teens to stop driving after ten o’clock at night. Statistically, teen drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents after ten o’clock.
3. Provide a safe vehicle for their teen to operate. Technology has come a long way in terms of safety over the last few years. While it may be tempting to purchase an older, less expensive vehicle, it may be a better idea to purchase a newer safer one.
4. Show their teen what safe driving looks like. Teens tend to display the driving behavior that their parents display. If parents show their teens how to maintain safe driving distance, remain alert, and limit distractions, their teens are more likely to do the same.

Allowing their teens to get behind the wheel is a huge milestone for parents. With this decisions comes added stress as well as higher insurance rates. While parents will not ever stop worrying about their children, hopefully they can at least reduce the risk of their teen being involved in an accident and reduce the cost associated within providing the appropriate insurance.

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