Guiding families with teen drivers

Chances are, you have a significant number of customers who either have a teen driver in their household or will have one soon. Those families are going to have questions about protecting their teens and also will be looking for ways to keep their auto insurance costs under control. It’s a fact: As a group, teenagers cost more to insure than adults. That’s due, of course, to the fact that teen drivers are the riskiest age group to insure. The risk of motor vehicle accidents is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. They are nearly three times more likely to crash than older drivers.

As a result, adding a teen driver to a family’s auto policy can significantly raise the cost of both auto insurance and umbrella insurance coverage. That’s why it’s such a great time to suggest an insurance review and to cover these areas with your clients:

Adding a teen driver to an auto insurance policy. Requirements for adding a teen driver to a family’s auto insurance policy vary among states and insurance companies. Let your customers know when they need to add their teen driver to their household policy.

Buying a vehicle. Parents probably aren’t going to score any points with their teenagers by making them drive an older family SUV or sedan with solid safety features instead of a sportier set of wheels. But it could save them money. Offer to provide auto insurance quotes for families shopping around for a vehicle for their teenagers. Most people don’t realize that auto insurance costs can vary widely among different types of vehicles depending on a wide range of factors.

Maintaining a good driving record. Make sure families understand the effect that speeding tickets and at-fault accidents can have on the cost of insurance for their teen drivers. Make sure they know any state laws regarding seatbelt use and banning cell phone use and texting while driving — and that they follow them. Take the time to explain to them how auto insurance works and why it’s so important to drive safely and follow traffic rules.

Participating in driver’s education. A driver’s education course is a great way to go — even for parents who have spent time teaching their teenagers how to drive. They’ll get more experience behind the wheel from someone who is used to teaching teenagers and they’ll gain more information in the classroom about staying safe while driving. Driving laws and best practices change over time, and a driver’s education course can help make sure a teenager is up to date on what they need to know when they get behind the wheel. Also, consider a defensive driving course beyond the typical driver’s education course taken in school. These types of courses can be a great help in teaching a teenager to drive defensively.