Picture it: your teenager/new driver finally got their license. You’re free from being their personal chauffeur, they get more freedom, you trust them, and all is well until a car accident. According to the CDC, teens are ten times more likely to crash, and three times more likely to get into fatal accidents than drivers aged twenty and over per mile driven, and there are multiple factors to it.
Whether they were distracted, driving in the dark, had a need for speed, were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply inexperienced, you might be the one who has to pay for the damage.
Are they properly insured? Do they understand the difference a seatbelt can make? There are so many things that need to be prepared or thought of before you can confidently send your child out into the road.
The Importance of License Restrictions for New Drivers
While some may be an inconvenience or sound pretty unreasonable, the restrictions put on new drivers are there for a reason. Those specific restrictions can vary from state-to-state, but overall, there are to be no minors in the car with a minor-driver for at least the first six months of licensure. With two passengers in the car, a teen driver’s risk of getting into an accident doubles and it quadruples if there are three or more. Plus, in the unfortunate case of an accident, there would be fewer people at risk of being injured in the hands of your child.
Curfews. We all hate them, but when it comes to driving they’re purely for the driver’s safety. In the year 2020 alone, there were about 227,000 teens (13-19) injured and 2,800 (13-19) teens killed in car accidents. Forty-four percent of those fatal accidents happened between 9 PM and 6 AM, and fifty percent happened on weekends, according to the CDC. Curfews are one of those things that are regulated by the states, but the times are roughly around when teens should be at home. In the state of Massachusetts, a minor cannot work past 10 PM. The curfew for minor drivers is 10:30 so that leaves plenty of time for them to return home.
Whether they’re major or minor, every single driver—with experience or a lack thereof–will get into some kind of accident. But if it happens to your teen, can you rest knowing you’re insured? Do you think you’re paying too much for what you’re getting?
According to Money Geek, the companies with the least expensive insurance rates for minors are Geico, Allstate, and State Farm.
If you have a newly licensed sixteen to eighteen-year-old, the best way to go is to add them to your plan. For a sixteen-year-old, it’s cheaper to go through Allstate where you’ll be paying about $3,146 per year. For a seventeen-year-old, it’d be cheapest to go through Geico and pay about $2,823 per year, and for an eighteen-year-old it’s also cheaper to go through Geico and pay $2,526 per year. For anyone under twenty-five and living with their parents, it’s also possible to be put under their parents’ insurance, but if the driver is any older it wouldn’t make much of a difference. The premiums for a nineteen-year-old is cheapest at State Farm ($2,462 per year) and a twenty-year-old would be Allstate ($2,180 per year). Remember, rates depend on city!
New Driver Insurance Discounts
There are so many quick steps you could make that could drastically decrease your insurance costs. Nationally, there are about twenty-two different kinds of insurance discounts. Depending on your insurance company, those deductions can include (but are not limited to):
- Defensive driving courses:
These take off between ten and fifteen percent from your final costs. Defensive driving courses teach you how to avoid accidents in different conditions like road, traffic, and weather. The average cost is around $25 and it only take a few hours out of your day, but even a cheap and simple move can save almost $200 per year.
- Safe Driver:
This deducts around ten percent of the normal costs. To qualify for a ‘safe driver’ discount, these drivers must have all of their passengers buckle up before driving, drive at low speeds, and brake less aggressively. Some companies monitor drivers through programs like Drivewise.
- Good Student:
Good student discounts can take off between five to twenty-five percent from your final costs. If you’re a student, all you need to do to qualify is maintain a B average in school. As long as you provide your insurance company your records or transcripts, you’ll keep your discount.
- Passive Restraint:
“Passive restraint” pretty much means your seatbelts and airbags. As long as your car has these, you could save up to thirty percent on personal injury protection.
- Daytime Running Lights:
While it’s not a massive discount, insurance companies found that having your lights on throughout the day reduces your risk of collision, but not all cars come with it. If you can prove to your insurance company that you have daytime running lights installed in your vehicle, you could save around three percent on your insurance.
Protecting your New Driver
Should your new driver get into an accident, there are many ways in which a lawyer would be useful. Attorneys here, at Raipher P.C., are more than happy to help with all cases regarding car accidents, insurance, and personal injuries and medical bills.
Kellner, Gail. “The Best and Cheapest Car Insurance for New Drivers (2023).” Edited by Mark Fitzpatrick, MoneyGeek.com, 28 Jan. 2023, https://www.moneygeek.com/insurance/auto/best-cheap-car-insurance-new-drivers/#insurance-for-under-21-year-olds.
“Teen Drivers and Passengers: Get the Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html.