The reasons for these high rates are obvious, at least from the perspective of the insurance company. Driving a car is very much a learned skill, and it takes time, and plenty of practice behind the wheel, to get really good at it. The fact that driving a vehicle has such a steep learning curve that accidents are more common among new drivers, and those higher accident statistics translate into higher insurance premiums for young and inexperienced drivers.
Fortunately, there are some things teenage drivers and their parents can do to get a handle on these skyrocketing insurance rates. Many insurance companies offer discounts for things like no alcohol commitments, safe driving courses and even good grades.
Discounts for Good Grades
While discount auto insurance should not be the only incentive for getting good grades, the truth is that many car insurance companies charge lower premiums to teenage drivers who consistently earn high marks at school. Actuarial studies have shown a relationship between poor school performance and teenage accident rates, and as a result some car insurers provide lower rates to top students.
Parents may want to make this fact known to their sons and daughters, particularly if those young people cover the cost of their own insurance through a part time job. Money is a strong motivation where teenagers are concerned, and the availability of discounts provides yet another incentive to study hard and get good grades.
Taking the No Alcohol Pledge
One of the reasons the accident rate is so high among teenage drivers is that teenagers tend to test their boundaries. One way they test those boundaries is with alcohol, and the combination of inexperienced drivers and alcohol consumption can be deadly.
As a result many schools encourage their students to sign pledges promising to stay away from alcohol until they are legal drinking age. Many insurers reward these commitments with lower insurance premiums, so if your son or daughter has taken the pledge, be sure to let your insurance agent know about it.
Driver Education Courses
Some schools have curtailed or even eliminated their driver education courses, but if your child's school still offers such a course make sure your son or daughter is signed up. Many car insurers provide a discount for drivers who have successfully completed a driver education course, since these courses teach valuable skills new drivers can use to recognize potentially dangerous situations and avoid accidents.
You may be able to take advantage of these discounts even if your child's school does not provide a drivers ed course. Many communities have established their own safe driving courses for teens, and the discounts you receive from your insurance company may be enough to more than pay for cost of the course.
Choose a Safe Car
The kind of car you drive can affect your insurance rates no matter what your age, but the difference can be even more stark when young and inexperienced drivers are on the policy. Choosing a safe car for your teenager is very important for many reasons, not the least of which is car insurance premiums.
Choosing a stodgy but safe Volvo station wagon over a flashy sports car may not win you many points from your offspring, but that decision can save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance policy.