IIHS further suggests that immaturity leads to various risky habits for examples ignorance towards speed limit and the inability to recognize or respond to hazards. It is therefore not uncommon for auto insurers to charge high premium rate for young drivers. To help lower insurance cost, IIHS recommends parents to only let their teenagers drive safe-vehicles with at least these 4 basic principles:
· Low horse power: vehicles with high-power engines are serious temptations for teenagers to test the limits of their cars.
· Bigger vehicles are safer: small cars are bad, because they offer little protection for drivers in the event of crash. Small SUVs are still in the institute’s recommendation list.
· Electronic Stability Control (ESC): this safety feature helps apply automatic brakes in times when the vehicle suffers from loss of traction.
· Best safety score: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests every new vehicle and gives score for safety. Teenagers should drive vehicles with at least 4-stars score (5-stars score is best).
Those principles apply anytime parents buy or choose vehicles for their teens. Although the principles seem restrictive, there are still several dozens of vehicles that meet the guidelines. The good thing is that most low horse power vehicles tend to be the less expensive options in the market. The right vehicle reduces the risk of accidents and improves the chance to get affordable auto insurance quote. However, parents and teenagers must work together to keep the record clean. Here are some suggestions to prevent premium surcharge.
1. Help teenagers understand the traffic laws: by far, the most effective way to keep auto insurance premium affordable is to maintain zero traffic violation record. Teenagers may not aware of what some signs and regulations mean, so parents must be able to help their teens understand.
2. Lead by examples: in ideal circumstances, parents teach their children how to drive. Parents play crucial roles in teenagers’ behaviors behind the wheel. If they fail to set good examples, their teenage children will think that it is fine to break traffic laws and show inappropriate attitude on the road every now and then. Action speaks louder than words.
3. Multiple drivers in one policy: before teenagers are ready to drive their own cars, it is best to list them under their parent’s insurance policy. Some companies offer discounts for multiple drivers. This is cheaper and safer option. An independent policy for teenager is also possible, but the total premium rate can be much higher.
4. Good grades: most insurance companies offer discounts for teenage drivers (who are still in college or school) if they get good grades. Academic achievement is good in all cases, but the discount encourages teenagers to study harder.
5. No sport cars: teenagers love sport cars and crave for the high-speed excitement. Apart from the fact that sport cars are expensive to insure, these performance vehicles are quite dangerous for amateur drivers as well. Even if parents can afford to purchase a sporty car for their teenage son or daughter, they need to be safety conscious. Remember that safety always comes first.
6. Driver education courses: completion of driver education courses at reputable institution opens the door for discount. Not all courses/institutions give instant eligibility, so please consult an insurance agent to find out the available options.
7. Drive with them: teenage drivers develop either good or bad behaviors on the road over time. Sometimes it is a good idea to drive with teenagers and see if they are still as obedient-to-traffic-law as when they first started.
8. No drugs and alcohol: as hard as it may seem, parents need to talk with their teenagers on the subject of alcohol and drugs. Have a personal conversation and discuss the matters without the intention to accuse or suspect if they consume such substances. Respect their opinions and explain the safety and health risks from the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
An independent auto insurance policy for teenage driver may hard to come by. If it is indeed necessary to get one, Non-standard auto insurance market welcomes any high-risk driver regardless of the previous traffic violations, involvement in accidents in the past, or credit score.