Walters Title

August 5, 2014
Find The Best Auto Insurance For Your Teen


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for U.S. teens. According to a 2010 study by the CDC, over 281,000 teenagers were treated and released from emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes. Parents of teens can do two things to help protect their teenage drivers: make sure they practice safe driving habits and get excellent auto insurance.

If you have a teenager just learning to drive, make sure have the right coverage in place, so you are prepared for the costs associated with accidents, injuries and property damage.

Teen Driving Statistics

Your teenager’s safety behind the wheel is your top priority. We’ve put together some statistics for you to review as you think about what kind of insurance teen drivers need on the road today:
•The per-mile crash rate for teenage drivers is three times higher after 9:00 p.m. than during the day.
•Teens use seat belts less than other groups; statistically, over 50% of teens involved in fatal crashes are not buckled.
•The fatality rate of 16-17 year old drivers is 3.6 times higher when they have passengers.

Statistics like these are considered by insurance companies when they write policies for teen drivers. The fact is, this is a risky age group on the road, and they need special considerations from the parents who guide them and the companies that insure them.

What Makes Teenagers More Prone to Accidents?

Young drivers, particularly those in their teens, have a number of risk factors that impact their safety on the road.
•Poor hazard detection: The ability to detect hazards in the driving environment relies heavily on information-gathering skills. Drivers have to properly identify potential threats to avoid accidents. It takes time for novice drivers to develop this skill.
•Low risk perception: Young novice drivers tend to underestimate the crash risk in hazardous situations and overestimate their ability to avoid accidents.
•Risk taking: Teenagers tend to take more risks while driving due to overconfidence in their driving abilities. Young novice drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, passing dangerously, and failing to yield to pedestrians.
•Lack of skill: Novice teenage drivers have not yet mastered the basic vehicle handling skills and safe-driving knowledge they need to drive safely.
•Alcohol and drug use: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a common cause of serious crashes involving teenage drivers. Teenagers who drink and drive are at much greater risk of serious crashes than are older drivers with equal concentrations of alcohol in their blood.
•Distraction: For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash increases when they transport passengers. The fatality risk of drivers aged 16-17 years is 3 times higher when they are driving with passengers than when they are driving alone. Passengers who are age peers may distract teen drivers and encourage them to take more risks, especially for young males riding with young male drivers.
•Night Driving: Night driving is more difficult, and teens have less experience driving at night than during the day. There is speculation that teens are less aware when they are sleep deprived, adding to the fact that recreational driving and use of alcohol is more likely to occur at night.

Is Auto Insurance for Young Drivers Different?

The insurance for young drivers is set up on a different rating scale than drivers 25 years and older. Young women have two rating categories before they turn 25, while young men have four. All are set by age.

•Females 16-18 years
•Females 19 up to 25 years
•Males 16, 17, 18 years
•Males 19, 20 years
•Males 21-22 years
•Males 23-24 years

While older drivers typically get lower insurance rates, there are other factors involved too. For example, if an insurance company were to look at two 18 year old boys side by side, the one who had his driver’s license the longest would usually get a lower rate. Also, if a male is married or has been living common law for two years or more, the rate is typically lower. This is because insurance actuaries have determined that people who are married or in long-term relationships have improved safety records.

There are other lifestyle factors too. If you have a teenager who will only be using your vehicle occasionally, the rate may be as low as half of what a full time driver would pay. Additionally, you may see a discount if you have a student away at college who does not have a car at school.

Find the Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers

Young drivers need to start on the right foot as soon as they get behind the wheel of the car. You can help by making sure your teen takes a high quality drivers education class and has plenty of experience behind the wheel before being allowed to drive alone or with friends. In fact, many states require new drivers to have an adult in the car.

Be sure to shop around for car insurance quotes for your teen, as rates vary among insurance companies. Ask about all available discounts, and ways to reduce costs. For example, some insurance companies offer discounts and savings for:
•Excellent grades
•A claims-free driving record
•Passing a safe driving course
•Owning multiple vehicles and insuring them through the same company

In addition to asking about discounts, consider the type of vehicle your young motorist will be driving. You will get better insurance rates if your teen driver is getting behind the wheel of a safe family sedan that is highly rated in crash statistics, rather than one with a powerful engine designed for fast acceleration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides data on the safest cars.

While you can expect your premium to increase when you add a teen driver to your policy, there are definitely ways to keep your costs down. That can give you peace of mind and less strain on your finances - a win-win for all.

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