Being a parent is not all bad news. During the early years, there can be good times. But as they age, parents find them an endless source of worry. There are just so many different ways in which they can mess up their lives before they have started. . . And driving is the most likely to kill them. The traffic accident figures from across the US show a driver under the age of 25 is four times more likely to die than an older driver. This comes from the habit of the young to drive faster to get into tomorrow.
When the magic age is approaching, it’s easy to pretend there are no problems. The teens are dreaming of all the freedom that’s going to come from getting behind the wheel. All the parents have to do is find the money to make it all happen. Plan A is to add the children to the parent’s policy. This can work well if the parents drive a family car and have a good driving record. But if the parents drive vehicles expensive to repair and/or have bad driving records, the additional premiums just took off like a rocket. The new total often adds up to 200% of the original premiums which, for most, makes it unaffordable. Plan B is therefore to buy a cheap, secondhand car that only does 30 mph with a following wind and no-one would ever steal. This will cost a lot less to insure because the teenagers are less of a danger to themselves and others. More importantly, it will start the young drivers earning personal discounts rather than hiding behind their parents.
So what should parents do? Firstly, it’s never a good idea to teach driving. Car insurance companies often have a list of instructors or training courses for young drivers to go through. Satisfactory performance produces a premium reduction. Some companies also shave off a few dollars if those honest teens will sign an agreement not to drive with alcohol or drugs in their systems, and going through the first years without a claim or picking up a ticket will see big falls in the premium. Insurers have evidence that responsible students drive more safely so if the grade point average is B or better, this can be worth 5%. Going on to a college or university will produce further savings. So parents should get as many car insurance quotes as possible and bend the ears of sales agents until they list all the different ways in which discounts are earned. It’s all about parents finding out what’s available and signing up for the savings.