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How to reduce teens’ car insurance costs

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How to reduce teens’ car insurance costs

Teen drivers increase the cost of their parents' insurance policies. They can be reduced.

Teen drivers increase the cost of their parents' insurance policies. They can be reduced.

Teen drivers increase the cost of their parents' insurance policies. They can be reduced.

Teen drivers increase the cost of their parents' insurance policies. They can be reduced.

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Teen car insurance can be a burden on parents who are accustomed to paying lower premiums without children on their insurance plans. The cost for young drivers can be very high and can discourage anyone from insuring teen drivers or buying them cars. However, saving on insurance costs is possible.

“My parents won’t let me get my license because insurance costs are so high, and now I can’t drive!” said junior Shaiann Smith.

Younger drivers should study hard in school. Many insurance companies, such as Allstate, offer discounts of up to 20 percent for students who maintain a B average or higher. Other discounts are offered to teens who are on the Dean’s List or Honor Roll and exhibit academic excellence. Making good grades has its rewards.

Teens should enroll in safe-driving courses. Several insurance companies offer discount coupons for drivers who enroll and successfully complete safe-driving courses. Liberty Mutual’s teenSMART course has proven effective as it has been shown to reduce collisions by up to 30 percent. State Farm’s “Steer Clear” course can offer 15 percent off premiums for drivers under 25.

“My parents are planning to pay smaller premiums now that I have completed the safety driving course provided by my insurance,” said junior Jillian Anderson.

Insurance companies should be told when teens go away to college. Most companies offer temporary discounts for students who attend school 100 miles away from home and who are not operating the family car. This temporary discount is helpful as many teens do not need insurance while in school as they do not drive. Away-from-home teen driver discounts are offered at car insurance companies, including Progressive, Amica, Liberty Mutual and Travelers.

Although teens love new cars, they should be encouraged to drive older cars.  Older cars tend to have lower premiums. However, newer cars also come with updated safety features, such as anti-lock braking and auto theft devices.

Some insurance companies also offer technology that can be added for an extra cost to help monitor driving techniques. Allstate, for example, offers the Drivewise program, a small device installed under the car’s dashboard. The device records the speed of the car, how often the brakes are harshly applied, and the hours the car is on the road. The information is sent to the family, and drivers who meet certain benchmarks can receive discounts.

“Continue to pay your insurance premiums timely to avoid any lapse in coverage.  Even a 1-day break (lapse) in coverage will ruin your chance at getting the best rate… maintaining continuous coverage is key,” said Ronie Foronda, an agent from First Insurance, Ltd.

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How to reduce teens’ car insurance costs