How Can Teen Drivers Reduce Their Auto Insurance Cost?
“Recently licensed teenage drivers are 1.5 times more likely to have an accident than their older peers.”
Every parent is a little bit nervous when their teenager first learns to drive. While learning to drive is an important part of life, it is also a scary time for parents. Driving gives teenagers more freedom and autonomy to make their own decisions, but also more opportunity to make the wrong decisions.
Car accidents occur incredibly frequently in the United States and are the most common circumstance giving rise to injury claims. On top of these risks, recently licensed teenage drivers are 1.5 times more likely to have an accident than their older peers.
Risks for Teen Drivers
Insurance companies recognize these inherent risks of driving and that teen drivers tend to engage in riskier behaviors behind the wheel. For example, teen drivers:
- are less likely to use seatbelts in cars, which can make accidents more deadly
- are more likely to be distracted while driving by the music, their friends, or their cell phones
- are also more likely to speed which can increase the likelihood of an accident
- have higher rates of alcohol and substance use, which means that they are at a higher risk of driving under the influence
Even the most responsible and cautious teen driver is still inexperienced and unlikely to always drive in the perfect manner. This is simply because teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous driving behaviors and dangerous situations, while also being less likely to make the correct decision in critical moments. Their inexperience and riskier behavior mean that insurance companies bill higher insurance rates for teens since they are more likely to get into accidents.
Incentives for Teen Drivers
While insurance premiums are the highest for teenagers compared to any other group of drivers, there are several ways for teen drivers to reduce the cost of their auto insurance.
Good Student Discounts
Many insurance companies will offer discounts to young drivers who are enrolled in high school or college and are earning top grades. These discounts often referred to as good student discounts, are widely available from insurance companies and can significantly reduce the cost of insurance, sometimes up to 25%. Additionally, these discounts have the added benefit of encouraging students to excel in school.
Driver’s ed for teens is another way for teenagers to reduce the cost of their auto insurance. Safe driving courses are used as a way to teach teenagers the rules of the road and practice cautious driving. Arizona does not require teenagers to take a formal driver’s education course, but Arizona does require a certain number of hours behind the wheel before obtaining a teen driver’s license. Arizona teen drivers can satisfy these hours through driver’s ed courses while also getting an insurance discount after completing the class. This is a great way to teach responsible driving habits while also lowering costs.
While this next discount does not solely apply to teens, many teenagers may be able to reduce the cost of insurance through low-mileage discounts offered by the insurance companies. These low-mileage discounts allow drivers to receive a discounted rate based on the few miles that they drive. Since many teenagers are not driving long distances, this discount often applies to them. Some insurance companies even allow this discount to be paired with others to drastically reduce costs.
Finally, a very popular modern technology is also helping teen drivers to reduce the cost of auto insurance. Many insurance companies have an option to install a device into the car that monitors teen driving habits. These devices track information based on the specific driving behaviors of the occupant and a discount is applied for its use and for practicing safe driving.
The information tracked by these devices varies, but generally includes the average speed, the number of times the brakes are applied hard or “slammed” and the number of hours a car is driven. This data is helpful to the insurance companies when calculating premiums and attempting to understand driving behaviors and patterns, but also for parents worried about their teenager’s driving habits. This is a great way to reduce insurance costs while also incentivizing safe driving.
“Reducing a teen’s risky driving behavior is the best way to prevent an accident and additional hikes in insurance rates.”
Practice Safe Driving
Ultimately, the best way for teens to reduce the cost of their auto insurance is to practice safe driving. An established pattern of responsible driving will allow insurance companies to reduce the cost of a teen’s insurance premium over time. Furthermore, accidents and insurance claims are likely to make teen insurance rates skyrocket. Reducing a teen’s risky driving behavior is the best way to prevent an accident and additional hikes in insurance rates.
Contact Goodnow McKay
Whether your teenager was injured in a car accident, the teen car accident attorneys at Goodnow McKay can help ensure your legal rights are protected while you seek compensation for your losses. Contact us for a free case review today!