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How to Buy Insurance for a Teenager

Getting a driver's license has been a rite of passage for American teenagers for decades. Kids count the days until they get their licenses, and remember the stress and anxiety associated with taking their fateful driving exam. But we don't usually think about the stress and anxiety their parents feel when they insure their younger drivers. While your child is thinking about taking the keys and heading out with friends, you're probably thinking of getting the best policy quotes possible. You're not alone - most families see their premiums double when their children reach driving age. So as you prepare for that fateful day, make sure you're appropriately prepared:

Getting ready

  • Know your obligations: Depending on your state, your insurer and the language of your individual policy, your son or daughter could be automatically added to your policy when he/she reaches legal driving age - whether or not he/she is even licensed. Make sure you're aware of this before the day arrives, otherwise you could be facing serious charges for insuring a non-driver.
  • Make the grade: Depending on your carrier, you might be given a discount if your child enrolls in and completes a certified driver's education class. Some companies will direct you to approved classes, while other municipalities run specific schools for young drivers. Additionally, you could save on your premiums if your teen has exceptionally good grades - in general, boys cost more to insure than girls because they're considered higher-risk.
  • Pay your bills: There are some things you can do to keep your family's policy costs down, and the best one is to pay your bills on time. Insurance rates are tied to your personal credit rating. More than one-third of your credit score is directly related to your payment history - that means that, as a rule of thumb, people who pay their bills are considered low credit risks and, thus, low risks.
  • Get competitive quotes: As you prepare for your child taking the road, you should take time to get competitive quotes from multiple providers. This way, you can make sure your family's rates are appropriate. If you use a service such as ours you can get matched with prospective companies as well as ask them for quotes, all from the comfort of home. In addition, your premium is possibly influenced by your car's current loan value, so try to get the best auto loan rates possible before requesting rate quotes.

Teen driving statistics

Young drivers are expensive to insure for a reason: They're the most dangerous segment of the driving population, cause the most accidents and are involved in the most fatalities. The realities, while difficult to read, are quite sobering. Make sure you talk about the truth about young drivers with your child, and set family rules about driving safety.

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death of teenagers.
  • Nearly 4,000 teenagers died in auto accidents in 2006, which was an increase from 2005.
  • More than 30 percent of those who died in 2006 auto accidents had blood alcohol levels of at least .08.
  • The more young passengers in a car, the more dangerous: Sixty-one percent of teenage passenger deaths in automobile accidents occurred when a peer was driving the car.
One of the most frequently mentioned tips related to consumer auto insurance is to seek out competitive quotes from multiple insurance companies.