It’s tough watching your kids grow up. It happens so fast. Before you know it, your little boy is almost ready to leave the nest and head out in the real world. Then, suddenly, just as you’re still trying to emotionally process all this change, the state approves him to start operating a 2,000-pound machine at 70 mph. It’s frightening!
Sure, the government has assessed his ability to drive and granted him a license. And literally millions upon millions upon millions of teens have driven before and lived to tell the tale. But this is your baby! How will you sleep at night knowing he could get in an accident?
Well, nothing can ever eliminate all risk. But the roads are safer than ever, you’re probably overreacting, and we do at least have mandatory auto insurance to help protect our finances from accidents large and small.
Unfortunately, you will have to work through your worries on your own. But as you move to add your new driver to the insurance plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. And the following three tips will help you get the best price, encourage your teen to drive a bit safer, and maybe even calm your nerves a little bit.
1. Family and Tailored Auto Insurance Plans
Now that you are adding a new member — and a young driver — to you plan, you may want to shop around for something better. Your provider hopefully already offers lower rates for multiple drivers under the same account. If not, definitely find one that does. And there may be other ways to save depending upon your career or other affiliation. USAA, for example offers great auto insurance with low premiums to its customer base of military members and their families. If you look around, you may find something similar is tailored to you and your new driver.
2. Learning Responsibility by Hitting the Books
Many companies offer discounts for young drivers who perform well in school. Kids who hit the books tend to be more responsible in all areas of life, so the provider is happy to encourage this behavior if it means the driver will be more cautious on the road. The specifics vary by company, but getting good grades as a full-time student under 25 is a typical requirement. If your teen or college driver doesn’t qualify today, maybe you can encourage him or her this way. Tell him or her you’ll give him or her half of the savings on the premium drop if he or she starts getting straight A’s next semester. Bribery may not be a pure-of-heart motivator. But whatever works!
3. Safe Driving Pays Off in More Ways than One
Safe-driver discounts are commonly offered by auto insurance providers. These may be obtained by taking an approved driver education program or sometimes by installing devices into your car for a period of time. This method tracks how the driver actually behaves in the real world and then the company can gauge whether the driver might accelerate aggressively, brake suddenly, and exhibit other signs of lower-skilled drivers. And the best part about getting your new driver onto this type of policy discount is that you can save money and teach him or her the importance of safe driving at the same time. It’s a win/win for any parent.
Getting Your New Driver Behind the Wheel
Once your teen is behind the wheel, safety will never seem more important. It’s only normal and responsible to do anything you can do to protect your child. An auto insurance policy on a piece of paper won’t necessarily help in this area, but certain nuances can help encourage the right behavior — and save you some money.
Start by making sure you’re getting family group discount and look for high-quality, affordable policies tailored to you. Look for “smart student” type discounts that will motivate your child to do well in school. And see if you can further teach him or her about road safety by going down the safe-driver discount path.
This alone won’t put all your fears to rest. But you’ll cut your costs and hopefully be putting the safest possible driver out there on the road.