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Teen driverParents face a confusing mix of emotions at every stage of their child’s development, but none is as powerful as the concoction of fear, pride, excitement and dread they face as their child turns 16. For your child, 16 is a miraculous age that allows them an important insight into what real freedom is as they get their license and start driving. For you, 16 is a magical age because you get to watch as your child starts to evolve into an adult and all the hard work you put into raising them creates a smart, well-adjusted and very inexperienced teenage driver. It is at this point that a little bit of the fear and dread start creeping in.

While insuring your inexperienced, new teen driver on your auto insurance policy is a no-brainer, there are some things you should consider before you do.

All Limits, Coverages and Deductibles are Not Created Equal

When you add your teen driver to your insurance policy, do not just default them to the coverage you have for yourself. Consider who will be paying their deductibles and what that person can afford and think about how much their car is worth. Most teens start out with a used car which may not be worth as much as the car you drive and a lower limit will be appropriate. Additionally, while you might not carry collision coverage on your own car, carrying it on a new teen driver is almost a must-do.

Saving Money on Your Teen Driver

Insurance for teen drivers is expensive but that doesn’t mean you are powerless to reduce the premiums you are charged. Here are a few ways you can drive that premium just a little bit lower:

  • Invest in a defensive driving course for your teen
  • Increase the deductibles you choose (make sure you and your teen can still afford them).
  • Buy a safe used car that is not one of the more expensive to insure.

Another way to save money (and prevent your teen’s premiums from increasing) is to practice the following tips while you are insured:

  • Don’t run every minor fender-bender claim through your insurer. Agree to a cost with the other driver and pay out-of-pocket instead. Make sure there are no injuries and that you are certain of all the damage before you agree because once you come to an agreement you’ll no longer be able to involve insurance if you later find the situation was more serious than you initially thought.
  • Limit the number of passengers your son or daughter is allowed to have. The more passengers there are the more distractions and the higher the likelihood of an accident.
  • Do not allow a cell phone in the vehicle. The dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving may be difficult to impart on a teenager so consider taking them to the local arcade and having them “drive” a video game while chatting and talking.
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