December 23, 2014

Insuring Your Teen Driver

Having your son or daughter reach the age where they are ready to drive is certainly a major milestone that is filled with mixed emotions for most families.   While it is wonderfully liberating for both parents and child to be free from the grind of the parental shuttle bus; concerns for safety combined with the logistics and costs of providing them access to a vehicle can but a damper on the occasion.

Here are some key points to make sure this new phase goes well for your family.

Add them to your policy as soon as they are licensed
Including a teen driver on your insurance policy will certainly raise your rates; but not adding them could be even most costly.  If a teen family member gets into a car accident, but is not on your policy there is a good chance you will not be covered.  Most insurance companies will cover your child while they have their learners permit; but it is important to call them as soon as possible once they have their license.

Designate them to a safe car and tailor your insure specifically for that vehicle
If you are going to buy a vehicle specifically for them,  find something “boring”.  They might want something sporty,  but slow and safe is the best choice.   If the car is not that expensive; you may be able to save money by lowering or eliminating “comp” and/ or “collision” , or increasing your deductible.    Keep in mind,  that many of the newer technologies such as ABS brakes,  blind spot monitoring, etc. all contribute to safety and therefore lower rates.  The cost of a newer vehicle may be offset by lower insurance costs, so you may want to check with us before buying a car.

Be a good student
Many insurance companies will offer significant discounts for students with good grades.  This can be a great motivator for kids to keep their grades up and also helps to learn accountability at an early stage of their driving careers.  Also, new drivers should take drivers education and/or defensive driving courses.  Many courses are now available online – visit for an online $5 savings coupon.

Don’t let them turn your car into a commercial vehicle
Another rite of passage for many teens is their first job.  Be sure when they are looking for a new job that they do not inadvertently turn your car into a commercial vehicle.  Any type of work that requires driving, such as a snow plowing, courier,  or pizza delivery person, could nullify your personal policy in the event of an accident.

Use technology to monitor driving behavior
There are many new technologies coming out that can help you to monitor behavior and ensure your teen driver is being safe.  Whether is blocking text messages or monitoring speed and driving behaviors, new technologies are becoming available all the time.  Check with your insurance company to see what they might offer.  These devices may save you money, while also providing you with peace of mind knowing your teen driver is driving safely.

As always if you have any questions, please give us a call at Kaplan Insurance 845-297-3266.

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