Insuring Your Teen Driver
Your teenager just received their driver’s license! This is likely one of the most exciting and joyful moments in the life of a young person, and one of the most stressful and worrisome moments for parents.
From the student’s perspective, a driver’s license represents some very big things: freedom (the ability to go where you want, when you want); independence (not having to depend on parents or others to get there); responsibility (for ones’ self, for passengers, for a car, for gas, for others on the roadways). The driver’s license is one of the milestones in the transition from youth to adult.
From the parent’s view, the addition of a newly licensed driver in the family is more of a mixed bag. While there is undoubtedly some relief in the ability to share the driving load, there is likely some trepidation as well.
The addition of a new driver in your household also means changes to your insurance policy. Adding a teen to the family insurance policy is cheaper than purchasing a separate policy, but any infractions may result in increased rates on your premiums.
In New York State, you can expect your policy to increase by about 53% when you add a teen driver; this is actually one of the lowest surcharges in the US, and a bargain compared to New Hampshire, where it’s 111%. While these percentages represent state averages, there are other factors that will influence this rate, so it is always best to get a quote specifically through your agent.
Rates will typically drop for each year of experience your new driver accrues without any violations, accidents or claims, lowering to about half the original amount when the driver turns 19. In some cases, good academic grades and successful completion of driver safety courses can also help to bring the rates down. The kind of vehicle your teen driver is using will impact your rate as well: less sporty/less flashy vehicles with high safety ratings are less costly to insure.
As a parent, you have the ability to start conversations about safe driving habits with your teens early in their driving education. These conversations are influential to their future driving success! A National Young Driver Survey found that teens are 50 percent less likely to speed, 71 percent less likely to drive after drinking and 29 percent less likely to use their cell phones while on the road if they have parents who actively talk to them about the dangers associated with these behaviors. (CDC- CDD.GOV/ParentsAreTheKey)
There are also a stream of new auto safety apps for smartphones to help lessen distractions while driving. Most of these will automatically detect the phone’s GPS location and determine if it is moving at speeds above 10mph. If moving, it will hold all phone notifications until the end of the trip.
If you have a teenager that will become a new driver soon, give us a call at Bieritz Insurance (607)547-2951 and we’ll help you navigate your insurance options – no GPS required!