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CamperMom

Best Insurance Price for New Teen Drivers

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Hello,

We are close to having two new teen drivers in the family.  The insurance soft quote is confusing and is a really big jump from what my husband and I are paying for just the two of us.  What have you all done to minimize car insurance cost for your teen drivers?  What should we know about as far as discounts?  (We live in the U.S.)

Thank you!

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I have a tracker fitted to the car - this is the norm in the UK for teen drivers.  After six months of driving, a large chunk of the insurance premium was repaid.

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CinV,

 We will check on the good student discount.  The insurance did not list that as a discount in our quote.  We'll send a transcript to them.

Laura,

I've not heard of the tracking program in the U.S.  I wonder if we have that here.  I'll ask.

Thank you!

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We were able to afford it because we have a fleet rate through the ranch. We still have more vehicles than drivers, even with 5 kids. Of course, some were out of their teens before the next ones came along. 

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Ours still doubled even with the good student discount and drivers ed course. 

I'm not sure there’s really much way around it. Teens are expensive to insure for a reason. 

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We did not find any discount to bring down the price much.  We ended up making a family rule when our oldest was getting into his teens and we started poking around.  In our house, a kid can get a license when they have a job, or they will wait until age 18.  It means not doing it on their 16th birthday, but the option is there from age 16-18 for them to show responsibility when getting that new privilege.  Our oldest decided to wait.  He decided he wasn't ready for both at 16, but got his permit at 17 and his license later after a lot of practice.

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It's definitely a jump in rates.  Ask about a good student discount (generally B average or better).  Ask if there are other ways to lower the rate.  They may be able to put together a different quote that's less than your current rate, or they may suggest a lower rate for completing an online driver safety program.  Our insurance gave further discounts for completion of an online safety program, which I do think helped my dc a bit with reaction time.  There was a cost to the program, but the discount applied for all insurance periods going forward.

 

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In our state, it's helpful to get their license as soon as possible. 

If you get your license at 16.5 and never get car insurance (because you take the bus, walk, etc. )  The car insurance companies still credit you for "good driving time". Seriously, it's weird.

So, when you finally get car insurance at 25 years old, your insurance will be cheaper than someone who waited to get their license and car insurance till they were 25 years old.  

 

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It is just really expensive. We tag on all the discounts we can (good student, good driver, multi-line). Right now we have a 21yo, 19yo, and 16yo. The 21 yo has a 2015 car with full coverage. The other two teens are on beaters with liability only. Every time we have had a change (adding a driver, changing vehicles, etc.) we have called around and gotten quotes. For our particular set of circumstances the quotes can vary widely so it is worth calling around. We have State Farm while other people say they are the most expensive.

Our current company has an "away at college" status you can use for the kids while they are more than a certain mileage from home without a car. It keeps them continuously insured but at a very low rate because they theoretically are only driving on breaks. We used that until the older two got cars at their colleges. Not all companies offer that option.

I wasn't anxious for my teens to start driving but once they did it seemed important to their independence, job opportunities, and to our family dynamic so we have subsidized their driving expenses. Hopefully we have peaked with the three young drivers. Oldest graduates in May and will take his over then. 

If they have a clean driving record the rates do adjust down a little bit at each birthday it seems. 

Our college guys take care of most of their own expenses but we still carry their insurance and cell phone. Such stupid high bills! If you had told me when my kids were babes how much our cell bill and car insurance was I would have told you that you were nuts and my kids just wouldn't drive or have phones. Super stupid expenses!

The jump is to be expected though. I don't have the policy in front of me but I want to say that my 16 yo with liability only on a beat up 2005 Ford Freestyle is as much or more as myself on a 2016 minivan with full coverage. 

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Amy, That is fascinating about getting the license as early as possible and then just not driving until later.  So it is legal to have a license and not have insurance at all?  I never knew!  This may be a good route for us to take.  In our state they will license kids at 14 1/2.

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Just now, Terabith said:

How does one go about getting good student rates if you homeschool?

We can use a transcript (mom made works) or ACT scores above the 80th percentile.

College kids use screenshots of their transcripts they can get through their student portals. 

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2 minutes ago, CamperMom said:

Amy, That is fascinating about getting the license as early as possible and then just not driving until later.  So it is legal to have a license and not have insurance at all?  I never knew!  This may be a good route for us to take.  In our state they will license kids at 14 1/2.

 I suspect each state is different.

We often share this information with friends for whom the cost of insurance is nearly impossible.  We encourage them to just get their license and then do nothing. 

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In our state they do need to go on the insurance as soon as licensed even if they do not have their own car. However, they will have a lower rate if they get insurance at 21 if they have been continuously licensed and insured without incident since 16. So of course it would be cheaper not to have them on the insurance at all but a 21 yo with a 5 year clean driving record and continuous insurance will be cheaper than a 21 yo brand new driver.  I don't know if some online calculator exists out there to compare the different scenarios. 

Shopping for insurance is so frustrating.

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28 minutes ago, Terabith said:

How does one go about getting good student rates if you homeschool?

It depends on the company or possibly the agent.  Our agent has just asked if the dc have a B or better GPA and has accepted our word with no other proof.

Edited by klmama
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3 hours ago, CamperMom said:

Laura,

I've not heard of the tracking program in the U.S.  I wonder if we have that here.  I'll ask.

Thank you!

It's hardware that is actually put into the car and can't be faked like a phone app.  It doesn't discriminate between whoever is driving the car, it just cares how the car is being driven.  It tracks speed, braking/acceleration, cornering and time of day.

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It is expensive. We did ask about any and all discounts and found that if one of us was a member of a professional organization, that got us a small discount. We also submitted a couple of things to get good student discounts (ACT score, notice of President's Honor list, stuff like that). 
 

However, once a friend told me what their increase was for her boy, I was happier with my smaller increase for girls. 

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Both of our girls were 18 when they got their license. We listed them on drivers on our oldest car. The oldest was in CA, it went up about 600 per year, youngest in VA and it was about the same. We have USAA insurance.

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It looks like we need to check with different insurance companies.  The quote to add just one of our teens came in much higher than $600.  And both of our cars are old!

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Are they boys, @CamperMom? That can make a difference. I don't remember our increase, but it was big. And our first two are girls. In our state, you have to have insurance the same month you are licensed. Our state issues a list, it seems, to insurance companies, of newly licensed people. They called us about our oldest kid when we didn't call them first. And then back charged us to when she had her license.

BIL is in another state & doesn't tell the insurance company until his kids get into an accident.

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Correction to the driver's licensing age where we live:  permits at 14 1/2 and license at 15.

Adding the first teen driver (girl) to our insurance causes the biggest jump in price, then to add the additional teen (boy) it is not nearly so high.

Edited by CamperMom

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We have State Farm. Good student discounts and completing State Farm's Steer Clear program helped. Also, our agent looked at the cost differential  impact of which car he was associated with - substantial difference, and we were able to match him with the lowest cost vehicle. Finally, DS19 didn't get his license until he was 18. The increase wasn't too much for him. DS16 just got his license - big increase.

The 16-17 crowd is considered higher risk. In our city/county, public safety estimates that one-half of all teens get into an accident their first year. From what I know of the DC's friends, that is absolutely true. Narrow winding roads, no shoulders, really stupid traffic engineering at intersections.

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Dss18, got his license at 16. We have never paid more than $50 or $60 more per month for him, even before he got his own car.  He is on his 3rd car ( he just sold and bought others, no accidents) and currently has liability only on his 2006 Toyota Corolla.  $60 per month through State Farm.  

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Shop around! If you qualify for USAA and arent using it .... you should look into it.

Consider not having a car for the teen as a primary driver, occasional driver on your car may be cheaper. Or Buy your teen a beater, so you can insure liability only. If you can't do liability only, consider raising the deductibles. 

Look into: 

Grade discounts. Telematics devices. Drivers ed. /safe driving courses.

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:11 AM, CamperMom said:

Hello,

We are close to having two new teen drivers in the family.  The insurance soft quote is confusing and is a really big jump from what my husband and I are paying for just the two of us.  What have you all done to minimize car insurance cost for your teen drivers?  What should we know about as far as discounts?  (We live in the U.S.)

Thank you!

USAA plus good student discount. 

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We insured our first driver as the primary driver of a 13yo vehicle with liability only. Our insurance agent told us it is cheaper to insure her on that vehicle versus having her insured on our other, newer vehicles. We bought her college car this summer, a 2013 Equinox, and her insurance went from $60/month to $100/month. 

Our second driver will be 16 in 6 months. I expect we will find another teen car for him to drive with liability only insurance. I’m hoping he will be about $100/month. 

I have found immense value in having my 16yo’s drive. They gain experience and independence, and I am semi-retired from my chauffeuring job. I want my kids behind the wheel as much as possible before they leave home, which is similar to my thoughts on giving them other adult exposures while i still have daily molding access. It’s not just the act of driving, but also the reasons they are driving somewhere and all the decisions that go along with each trip.

For instance, my dd wanted to travel to the City for a late-night event with her friends. The event ended at midnight, and it’s a three hour drive home. I told her the trip itself was fine, but they needed to stay overnight so they aren’t driving when tired. if she is out late at her boyfriends’ or the weather conditions are bad, I have her stay at his house so she’s not on the roads. At 16yo I had her drive to the City with me as a passenger to get to a state tournament so she could go back the next day by herself. All those decisions and experiences will (hopefully) help her make wise choices when she’s on her own next year. 

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