Teenagers beginning to drive! Are you ready?


I can almost hear it in my customer’s voice when Mom or Dad calls us.  With a slight moan and dread in their sound…. I hear: “My teenager can’t wait to start driving.  What do we do and how much will it cost to insure them?”

Many of us are familiar with raising children.  We know from experience and being raised by our own parents that children are expensive: diapers, doctors, degrees – you name it! But the cost of car insurance for a new teenage driver still can be a shocker to your soul and to your budget. 

The big question always is it worth it to spend more premium money for that teen to be insured as a driver in the household to relieve Mom and Dad of some taxi duties? Surely that amount could cover a lot of rideshare trips. RIGHT?

Why does it cost so much to insure teens behind the wheel? Simple: Their statistics on the road are not that great and insurance companies knows it!  Despite the assurances a teen may provide (“I’ve got this, okay?”), the numbers are the numbers. The crash rate per miles driven for 16- to 17-year-olds is about three times the rate for drivers 20 and older, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And, sadly, that variation is true for fatal accidents as well.

The news is not all bad, though. The number of crashes and deaths among teens in car accidents has declined significantly in the past 20 years or so. A big factor in that, insurance experts say, is states’ adoption of graduated licensing laws, which restrict nighttime driving and the number and ages of passengers that can be in the car with young (or new) license holders. Another reason is that fewer teens have been learning to drive—thanks in part to an economic downturn, as well as less interest in driving, period.

Sticker shock. Unfortunately, the trend line for teen crashes has turned around and is now rising again. Exactly what that will mean for your wallet is hard to say. Insurance is regulated differently in each state and subject to local conditions. And your personal situation (your driving record, other coverage you may have, the cars you drive) is a big variable as well.

Even so, brace yourself. Rate analysis from some companies shows that adding a male teen driver to your policy can raise your rate by 160%, or an average of about $2,300. For a female teen, it could be  125%, or about $1,800. If you have a teenager who gets a ticket, or is in an accident, even more so! 

What can you do to mitigate that hit? We offer many solutions here at Benton White Insurance and have been able to save parents hundreds of dollars just by creatively insuring their portfolio of insurance coverages.  We have carriers that will give you discounts for carrying multiple coverages from the same company. 

None of this is easy but it’s a great time to educate that ‘to-be’ driver in your home.  Consider having the teen a part of your shopping/learning process when you make your call to us.  Your teen will learn something about how insurance actually works and how much it costs.

Young drivers can help cut the cost, too, with their academic performance. Our companies offer discounts for good grades, typically defined as earning a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Others will give modest discounts if your teen passes specific driver education programs.

And then there’s the vehicle your teen will drive. As a doting parent, you want your child in the safest one, right? Here’s the catch: Features such as collision warning and automatic braking are fairly recent developments found on pricier cars that are more costly to insure. Unless your funds are unlimited, you’ll need to make a judgment call.

It’s a challenge as parents approach this stage in raising a child!  We’re here to make it easier on you.  We help parents every day by offering the latest in coverage’s at steep discounts to add teens to their policy.  Let us help you!  We’re here and ready to cover your insurance needs.  TEXT or CALL US at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com.  Thanks for your great business and we’re here to earn it!

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