Younger DriversYounger Drivers
Insuring a young driver can be expensive. Bryant Asset offers tips for keeping costs down and maintaining your young driver's safety.
How to keep costs as low as possibleHow to keep costs as low as possible
Adding a newly licensed, youthful driver to your auto policy can more than double the cost of your insurance.
The actual impact on your insurance varies according to your state’s regulations. Insurance premiums for new drivers may be based on years of driving experience, the driver’s age or even the driver’s gender. In some states insurance companies are permitted to cancel policies if a young driver suffers a single accident or violation. Instead of questioning whether this is fair, let’s focus on ways to control the “cost” to your budget and your peace of mind, as well as how to increase the effectiveness of your insurance.
Does your child have to drive to school? If so, expect your company to charge a higher premium for the increased amount of driving. Build a long-term relationship with your insurer. Some companies reward longevity by forgiving a driver’s first accident or minor traffic violation. It’s important to seek companies that have a friendlier philosophy toward young operators. Help your son or daughter understand that poor driving habits can result in higher premiums or a cancelled policy. Increase your collision or comprehensive deductibles or, if you have an older, low-valued vehicle, even eliminate this coverage. If your child independently owns a vehicle, he or she should have their own, separate policy. This helps insulate the parents’ liability for accidents incurred by their children’s driving whether it be the effects of accidents or tickets. Because younger drivers generally have less assets they can maintain lower liability limits. If they have education funds set aside in their name, higher limits would be more appropriate. Coverage for young drivers who have full-time access to a vehicle is typically very expensive.
Methods for maintaining the safety of your young driverMethods for maintaining the safety of your young driver
- Have your child complete a Driver Education in school. This generally reduces their insurance by 15% until age 25 and you’ll have a more competent young driver.
- Consider preparing your child with a course in defensive driving as a tool for avoiding accidents. (Another benefit is that your insurance company may give a credit for such classes if they are a principal operator of one of your cars).
- Be a proper model by using seat belts and never using alcohol or drugs when you know you will be driving.
- Provide your child with a well-maintained vehicle, equipped with safety devices such as air bags and anti-lock brakes.
- Avoid vehicles that are prone to being highly damaged in collisions or are vulnerable to rolling over.
- Establish firm control over your son or daughter’s driving privileges - don’t hesitate to curtail or revoke them in response to poor behavior.
- Set your own high driving standards and personally test your young driver’s ability to operate a car. You must be certain that he or she can properly pass vehicles, maintain a correct distance, park, merge and exit, change lanes, make turns, obey speed limits and remain aware of pedestrians. You must be responsible for knowing if your child understands traffic laws and has a healthy respect for the power of the automobile. Don’t let your child become licensed until he or she passes your driving test. Don’t forget to also test your child’s ability to drive under adverse conditions (dark, fog, rain, ice, snow, rush-hour traffic, etc.).
- Have your child read and agree to the terms of a driver safety agreement (an example agreement is provided in the PDF further down this page) before he or she obtains a license.
There are also numerous resources that you many find useful on NYCM Insurance’s website for new teen drivers and even more at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Teen Drivers.
Texting While DrivingTexting While Driving
Some parents may find the following video useful as a tool when discussing the consequences of texting while driving. It was created for a UK police force as a part of a public safety campaign. Parental guidance and viewer discretion is recommended - the video is graphic.