Insuring the Teenage Driver

Whether we like it or not, automobile accidents remain the leading cause of death among Americans ages 15 to 19 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reasons for this are twofold: inexperience behind the wheel and immaturity. Because of this tragic statistic, when it comes time to insure the newly-licensed teenage driver, parents must brace themselves for a significant jump in automobile insurance premiums. According to a report conducted for the website in San Francisco, CA, adding a teenage driver to a married couple’s automobile insurance policy can boost premiums by a whopping 79 percent.

The caveat to this is that teenage driver rates vary by gender. Insuring a 16 year old son can raise the insurance bill by a staggering 92 percent, while adding the same teenage daughter will result in a 67 percent increase.

What about the driver with the learner’s permit only?
Since a child with a learner’s permit only is generally a casual driver and also under the supervision of his parents and cannot legally drive alone, he is not required to carry his own insurance or be added to his parent’s policy.

Should I purchase a separate policy for my teenager or add him to my family policy?
It is most expensive to purchase a separate policy for a teenage driver and less expensive to add him or her to the family policy. The downside of keeping him on the family policy is that an accident or ticket can affect the parent’s insurance premium and/or potentially expose the parent to lawsuits resulting from damage beyond the policy limits. Either way, a perent is responsible until the child turns 18.

When do rates begin to fall for my teenage driver?
Fortunately, if your teenager remains claims-free, his rates will drop as the years move on. According to data, a teen driver’s premium surcharge will eventually fall to an average of 58 percent once he or she turns 19.

How can I reduce the cost of insurance for my teenage driver?
There are several ways you can mitigate the cost of your teenager’s automobile insurance:

  • Shop around for less expensive coverage. You will be amazed at the variety of premiums charged by companies.
  • Be sure you are receiving all available adult driver credits.
  • Raise the deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • If your teenager (under age 25) qualifies for a good student discount (B average or better), present that certificate to your agent.
  • Enroll your teenager in a qualified driver safety course.
  • Consider an electronic monitor that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics.
  • Is your teenager away at school? It may be less expensive to insure him at that location, especially if he resides more than 100 miles from your home and only occasionally uses your vehicle.

Call the experts in automobile insurance at Gracey-Backer, Inc. for a competitive quote. We are happy to advise you about ways to insure your teenage driver. Because we represent a “stable” of “A” rated insurance companies, we have the flexibility and knowledge to design a custom policy to fit your needs.

David C. Backer
David C. Backer

David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at (561) 404-5745, or at

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