Good Grades Give Teenage Drivers Auto Insurance Cutbacks

If you are the parent of a teenage driver, then you’ll probably be interested to know that the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company recently conducted a small study on the amount that Americans tend to spend to insure their teen drivers. That figure was well above an already high $800 per year. If your income is close to that of the average family in the United States, then $800 annually isn’t something you can just afford to throw away, especially in these troubled economic times. The study also showed that approximately 66% of parents experienced worry and stress over making automobile insurance payments for their teenager drivers, something that most American adults definitely don’t need any more of in their lives. Another finding was that 41% of parents are completely responsible for the policies of their teen drivers and made spending cuts in other areas to compensate.

The truth is that you shouldn’t have to spend your days worrying about how to make ends meet and whether or not you’re going to be able to pay your teen’s insurance costs, especially not when there are surefire things you can do to make these worries a thing of the past. First and foremost, you will want to be sure that you add your teen driver to the policy that you already hold, instead of taking out a separate policy for the teen. Doing so can be a big mistake and can keep your teen from benefitting from the discounts and/or special rates you may already be receiving. Even if you’ve already opened a separate policy for your teen, it’s worth the hassle of calling your provider and changing your coverage options to avoid paying unnecessary extra costs for a car insurance premium.

You’ll also want to urge your teen to do well in school and, of course, to stay in school. Most states will not allow drivers who drop out of high school to keep their licenses, so remind your teen of this if applicable and explain to him or her that driving is a privilege and a reward, not a right. A big benefit to getting good grades is that your teen can qualify for a “good student discount,” which can help you to save quite a bit on auto insurance. The stipulations vary from provider to provider and from state to state, but typically, drivers between the ages of 16 to 25 who are enrolled full time at a high school, college, or university, and who maintain at least a B grade point average can receive discounts on their policies.

Getting your young driver some formal education can also help to lower that hefty insurance premium. Young drivers who enroll in approved driver education courses and/or defensive driving classes can often receive additional discounts on their car insurance rates. Likewise, the longer they go without being involved in an accident or a ticketable offense, the more their insurance rates will decrease, making such courses a real investment in the future. Not only will it lower your insurance rates significantly, but it can also help to keep your teen driver and the others on the road so much safer.

As a final word of advice, make sure that your teen driver is fully knowledgeable about the rules and restrictions of his or her license. Many states will impose restrictions about the hours during which the driver can operate the motor vehicle and/or about how many passengers he or she may carry and of what age. These restrictions typically occur for a set amount of time during the provisional or restricted period of the license. If your teen driver violates these rules, he or she can face a loss of driving privilege and, of course, even higher insurance rates. It’s up to you, as a parent, to enforce these rules and to avoid the consequences of not following them. Any disobedience, unsafe driving, or irresponsible behavior should always result in a loss, even if it’s only temporary, of driving privileges. When it comes down to it, driving is an earned responsibility, and you should not spend your money on teens who aren’t ready to take it seriously.

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