Most parents realize adding a teenaged driver to their California auto insurance policy will cause their premiums to increase, but they’re shocked when they discover just how much more expensive it really is. Fortunately, you have many options to reduce the impact and save money.
Contact Your Agent
In California, most insurance companies will cover a teen once they get their learner’s permit, but don’t assume anything. Talk to your agent to ensure they’re covered under your policy before they get behind the wheel.
Once they get their driver’s license, you must ask your agent to add them to your policy or buy a separate policy. However, buying a separate policy is usually far more expensive.
Because they’re inexperienced, teens are much more likely to have accidents and incur violations, so premiums could easily double. Rely on the expertise and access that an independent insurance agent provides to obtain multiple quotes to find the best possible coverage at the most reasonable rate.
In California, a teenager must take driver’s education at 15 1/2 years old to get a learner’s permit and by age 17 1/2 to get a provisional license. Some insurers offer discounts for teens that complete these driver safety classes. Driving safely gradually decreases premiums too.
Spend Time With Teenage Driver
Getting a piece of plastic and taking a driver’s education class doesn’t ensure your child is a good driver. If you want to keep them safe, spend time with them as they learn and coach them kindly.
California law requires a licensed driver over 25 accompany the teenager for the first year if they have passengers under 20-years of age in the vehicle and when they drive between 11 pm and 5 am.
Share Your Vehicles
Typically, extending coverage for a teenage driver to a vehicle you already own costs less than insuring another. If you own several vehicles, your teenager will either become the primary or secondary driver on the vehicle. It costs less if they’re a secondary driver.
However, when you own three vehicles and only two of you drive now your agent will assign one to your teenager as the primary driver. Assigning the least expensive vehicle to insure to your teenager can help keep costs down.
If your teenager needs their own vehicle, you may qualify for a multi-vehicle discount, but the vehicle you choose impacts your insurance greatly. Generally, older makes and models with good safety ratings cost less to insure since they’re safer and less expensive to repair.
However, some insurance companies offer discounts for new vehicles if they have advanced safety features. You may also qualify for a discount if you buy a fuel-efficient car. Talk to your agent before you buy to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
Consider Usage-Based Coverage
Fitting a vehicle with a telematics device can help offset your higher insurance costs. Telematics provide useful data to insurance companies such as miles driven and driver habits. Parents can use the data to teach teenagers better driving behavior, and insurance companies often offer a healthy discount too.
Good Student Discount
If your teenager maintains a “B” or better average, you may qualify for a discount with some insurers. According to the DMV, statistics show good students are lower risk. Some companies may continue this discount for some time after your teenager finishes school too.
Using an independent insurance agent is the best way to ensure you’re properly covered. We work for you, know the ins and outs of the California insurance landscape, and have access to many insurance products. Car insurance for your teenager doesn’t need to be prohibitively expensive. Rely on an insurance agency like yours to find you the right coverage at the best possible price.