Teens dream of the day and parents dread it. For teens it’s a chance to finally go places without having mom or dad awkwardly drop you off and pick you up. For parents though, it’s handing over a two ton machine that can fly down a highway at 80 miles per hour. Not quite as dreaded, yet still very painful for parents, is the reality that their insurance premiums are about to skyrocket.
What Will Happen to my Insurance Premiums?
It should come as no surprise that teens aren’t exactly the safest drivers on the road. Combine their inexperience with their not always superb decision making and top it off with the occasional distracted driving and it’s no surprise that teens get in accidents at a higher rate than any other age group. Unfortunately for parents, insurance companies are well aware of the high-risk cocktail that teen drivers create. Because insurance premiums directly reflect the risk of the customer, along with the amount your deductible is, you can imagine what kind of cost is associated with teen drivers.
If you can’t imagine it, here are some raw numbers: in most states with most insurance policies, adding a teen will cause your insurance premiums to spike anywhere from 150-200%. That’s right, by adding a teen to your policy, your rates may more than double. The numbers are even worse should you your teen be a male as insurance companies view male drivers as higher-risk until their late 20s.
As a Parent of a Teen Driver in Florida, What Should I Do?
First things first, get your teen on your insurance once they get their learner’s permit. A learner’s permit is technically just a restricted driver’s license and all individuals operating a motor vehicle in Florida must have car insurance. Second, call your insurance company, which you’ll be doing anyway to get your teen on the plan. While talking with them, see if they have any discounts for the period while your teen has their learner’s permit since some companies won’t charge the full price yet if they know an adult has to accompany the teen until they get their actual license.
Next, once your teen gets their full license, or possibly before, work with both your teen and the insurance company to see what kind of discounts you can take advantage of. Most insurance companies have discounts for good drivers (not getting tickets or in accidents), good students (maintaining a certain GPA in school), and for taking certain driver education courses. While these discounts may only be a few percent each, over the course of a year they can add up to some serious savings, especially if you take advantage of more than one.
Most important of all though, take the time to be sure that your teen is ready to drive. Lots of practice in all kinds of conditions is the best way to protect your teen when they start driving without you in the car. Also, although very difficult to police, it is incredibly important to teach your teen just how dangerous distracted driving is. While it may seem like innocent behavior, the National Safety Council has said that distracted driving causes 1 in 4 car accidents in the US and that texting is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
If you or a loved one is unfortunately involved in an auto accident, make sure that you get the help you deserve by contacting an experienced accident attorney like the ones at Meldon Law. The attorneys at Meldon Law have been serving the Gainesville and Ocala area for decades to give their clients that help they need. Contact us today at 800-373-8000 or MeldonLaw.com.
Jeffrey Meldon has written a book “Buying Florida Auto Insurance.” Be sure to read it before you get new insurance! You can download it for free at MeldonLaw.com or call us at 800-373-8000 and we will send you a free copy!
808 East Fort King Street Suite A
Ocala, FL 34471