Insuring Your Teen Driver: Dos And Don’ts For Parents

If your teenager is quickly approaching the age of being able to obtain his or her driver's license, you may understandably be feeling a mix of emotions. Part of you is probably excited for your teen, whereas another part of you may be a bit nervous. Regardless of how you feel about your teen learning to drive, one truth remains: you'll need to make sure your teen is properly insured throughout the process.

DO Inform Your Insurance Company When Your Teen Gets a Permit

The good news is that when your teen first obtains his or her learner's permit, you shouldn't have to face higher insurance premiums. In fact, most companies today will automatically extend your coverage to your permitted teen at no additional charge. Still, it will be your responsibility to notify your insurance company when your teen obtains a permit; don't assume that the coverage will automatically kick in, as this is not always the case.

DON'T Forget to Add Your Teen to Your Policy Once Officially Licensed

Once your teen obtains his or her official driver's license, things are a bit different. At this point, your teen will need to be added to your insurance coverage (or have his or her own policy, depending on your specific situation). This will result in an increased insurance premium, especially considering the fact that teens are high-risk drivers. Remember that your teen will need to be insured even if you won't be buying him or her a personal vehicle; they still need to be insured to drive the family car.

DO Inquire About Potential Insurance Discounts for Teen Drivers

Despite high insurance premiums for teen drivers, there are plenty of ways to go about saving on your teen's auto insurance. You just need to ask your agent. For example, many car insurance companies offer a "good student discount," where you can save on your teen's insurance if he or she maintains a certain grade point average in school. You can also shop around with different insurance companies to see which offer the lowest rates and best discounts.

DON'T Assume State Minimum Coverage is Enough

If you've been floating by on state minimum coverage up until this point, now is also a good time to consider upgrading to full-coverage insurance. This way, in the event that your teen gets into an accident, you'll be covered for the necessary repairs to your own vehicle--not just the other driver's car. Contact an insurer, such as Southern Family Insurance, for more information about adding your teen to your insurance policy.