While parents are often excited when their teens can finally drive themselves around, insuring a teenager can also be expensive. Adding even one teenager to an existing policy can increase the premium an average of 78 percent. Premiums tend to be high for teenage drivers because they statistically have more accidents than older drivers with experience. The good news is there are many ways to save on San Diego car insurance coverage for a teen driver.
Sign Up for Driver’s Education
California requires teenagers up to age 17.5 to complete an approved driver’s education course before getting a permit. Even when driver’s education isn’t required, it’s still worthwhile. Driver’s education and driver safety classes are promoted as a way to teach inexperienced drivers the rules of the road. Studies have found that driver safety classes can reduce the risk of a collision, and they can also qualify your teen for a discount of up to 15 percent.
Get Good Grades
Many insurance companies offer sizeable discounts for teens who are enrolled full-time in college, high school, or an academic home-study program and earn good grades. This discount can be worth up to 20 percent, but students must usually achieve a B average or higher for all subjects combined to qualify or test in the top 20 percent on a standardized test.
Choose the Car Carefully
For most teenagers, their first car is usually a gently used sedan. Before buying your teenager’s first car, do your research and check safety and theft ratings, which could affect the teen’s safety as well as your insurance premiums. Ask your agent if a newer or older vehicle will likely have the best premium. Older cars usually have lower insurance premiums, but newer cars have built-in savings in the form of anti-theft devices and better safety ratings that can lower premiums.
Get a Distant Driver Discount During College
When your teen goes off to college, let your insurance company know. Most insurance companies offer a distant driver discount to temporarily remove your teen from your insurance policy when he or she is away at college and has left the car behind. The teen usually needs to be at least 100 miles away from home to qualify for the discount. Once a college student reaches the age of 23-25, depending on the insurance company, he or she will no longer be eligible for a distant student discount.
Consider a Monitoring Device
A growing number of insurance companies offer telematics devices to potentially reduce premiums. These devices track driving habits, including miles driven, speed, hours on the road, and how often brakes are applied hard. Drivers who meet certain benchmarks and demonstrate safe driving can save up to 30 percent. Some insurers specifically target teen drivers with driving monitored by a telematics device. Along with saving money on insurance premiums, these devices can be a good way to monitor your teen’s driving habits.
Whether you need coverage for a teenager or for yourself, there are a variety of ways to save on auto and motorcycle insurance in San Diego. Call Altra Insurance Services today at (800) 719-9972 for a complimentary quote.