The cards seem stacked against young drivers when it comes to Texas car insurance. Inexperience behind the wheel can lead to accidents, which means teen insurance premiums are astronomically high. Although costs will inevitably increase when adding a teen driver to the family Texas auto policy, there are a few basic ways to keep your child’s insurance from breaking the bank:
1. The reasons. Fact is, teen drivers are statistically more likely than adults to get in an accident. They lack experience, take more risks and are more likely to succumb to distractions like talkative friends in the back seat and adjusting the station on the radio. Their lack of driving experience can be mitigated to some degree by our next piece of info.
2. Driver’s education. Being an educated driver is not only easy and smart, it’s economical. Nearly all schools offer a driver’s education course, and the certificate gained can lead to lower auto insurance rates. In fact, some states require people to complete a certain number of hours in driver’s education before they can even apply for a learner’s permit. Find out the rules in your state by calling the Department of Motor Vehicles, or find the info at DMV.org – which, by the way, offers private driver’s education courses in every state.
3. Driver’s education online. If your child missed driver’s ed in high school and doesn’t want to go through a private course, he can get that certificate on line (check if your particular state allows for that, of course – not all do). DriversEd.com allows a person to study for a learner’s permit and driver’s license online, at his own pace, whenever and wherever he desires.
4. Shop around. Every insurance company rates teenage drivers, but they each do it differently. You might get a discount just because of the number of policies your family has with that company.
5. Keep a clean record. Once your teen starts driving, your future premiums are based on how spotless his or her driving record remains. It doesn’t take much – even one minor ticket – for a teenager’s rates to rise dramatically. The more serious offenses will cost you accordingly. After several accidents, a teenager may become uninsurable to many companies. The worst offense, a DUI, can even raise an adult’s premiums by thousands of dollars for at least three years.
6. Earn Brownie points. Insurance companies like to insure good citizens, because behavior in life reflects behavior behind the wheel. They actually care about school performance, and some offer discounts for higher grade-point averages. There are even breaks for students enrolled in college or community college. A teen can join a civic or community organization, spend a summer as a candy striper or volunteer at a nursing home or senior center to demonstrate what a model citizen he or she is.
7. Drive the right kind of car. Every teen dreams of getting a sporty convertible, and then pulling up to school amid stares of awe and envy. Well, if you want affordable car insurance, revise that dream. Insurance companies charge more if your child drives a sports car, high-performance car or SUV. Make sure that the car is equipped with all of the latest safety equipment. Even better, get a car like a Volvo, with a reputation for safety.
Even if your teen won’t be driving anytime soon, encourage them to get a driver’s license at age 16. They will be gaining a “no accident” history which will lower their rates in the future. And although a clean driving record can improve teen rates, shopping around can help as well. Multiple policy discounts such as a Texas Home Insurance Policy will also save you money.