There are few experiences more daunting for a parent than teaching their child how to drive and then turning over the keys to their newly licensed driver. However, if both you and your teenager understand the basics about teen driving and auto insurance, everyone will feel more confident.
Insurance Requirements for Teenage Drivers
Parents and guardians should sit down with their car insurance agent to discuss the various coverage options, including costs and potential discounts. During your meeting, discuss when to add your teen to your car insurance policy and the benefits of adding your teenage driver to your policy versus purchasing car insurance for your teenager alone. Some insurance companies will cover a teen driver with a learner's permit if an experienced driver is with them. Check your insurance carrier’s rules.
Be prepared to pay more to insure a teenage driver than an adult. Insurance rates are based on risk statisticsTeenage drivers are involved in a larger number of accidents than their adult counterparts. No state will permit a teenager to drive uninsured and parents or guardians who attempt to circumvent such laws are flirting with disaster. The cost of damages, injuries, and traffic fines will likely outweigh the cost of obtaining proper car insurance for your teen.
Your car insurance agent will be able to tell you what your state's minimum requirements are and will help you determine the plan that works best for your situation. There are a variety of insurance plan options to consider such as deductibles, levels of coverage, and discounts for teen drivers. Factors that will influence the cost of your teen's car insurance and that may trigger discounts are:
- Where you live
- How far your child can drive
- The age and type of car your teen drives
- If the car has a high safety rating
- If your teen driver is a full-time student
- Taking a driver’s education course at school
- Gender - young men tend to have more accidents than young women
Technology has changed the way parents interact with their teenager when they're behind the wheel. A quick Google search reveals dozens of apps that allow adults to get up-to-the-minute information about their teen’s location, the route they took to get there, and their speed. Some devices let you view your child in real time as they are driving. It's also possible to prevent your teenager from using his/her cell phone when they drive. Parental monitoring may encourage teens to adopt safe driving habits which will keep insurance rates low.
Teen Driving Requirements
Every state has different requirements for teen drivers. For example, the age at which teens can begin practicing to drive may be as early as 14 years of age. The required number of hours of driving practice can range from ten to thirty or more, before they're considered ready to take the test for their permanent driver's license.
In addition to on-the-road practice, a driver’s education course might be part of your state’s requirements. Many schools offer driver’s education courses and students learn about the general rules of the road, hazards, making proactive driving decisions, state and interstate highway protocols and more. If your teenager’s school doesn’t have a driver’s education option, there are ample driving schools available.
The process of obtaining a teenager’s driver’s license may take several steps to complete as it does for teenagers in California.
- Teens must be at least 16
- Have held their driver’s permit for at least six months
- Have completed 50 hours of driving practice, 10 of those hours at night, with an adult
Even after the teen driver passes the driving test, they receive an interim license good for 60 days. During the 60-day period, their permanent photo license will be mailed to them.
Preparing your teen driver to hit the open road on his/her own doesn't have to be a stressful time. Your car insurance agent is one partner you can count on to help you navigate the ins and outs of insurance requirements for teenage drivers. Call your insurance agent today to learn more about the steps you need to take.