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News Now

Consumer
Young Driver Equals Higher Insurance Premium
NEW YORK (8/6/13)--To many parents, it's a relief when their kids get drivers' licenses. They can cart themselves around, help transport siblings, and even pick up a few things from the grocery store. But the convenience of having an extra driver in the house comes at a cost; it's a given that insurance premiums will increase (CBS News July 22).
 
Young drivers pay more for auto insurance than any other demographic for good reason. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds that crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds are four times higher than those of older drivers. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 
While households in Hawaii see only an average 18% annual increase in insurance premiums, households in Arkansas experience an average 116% increase. Adding a young driver to a family auto policy will increase the annual premium by an average of 84%--or about $2,000, according to a new study by insurancequotes.com.
 
Regardless of where you live, follow these strategies to lower insurance costs for young drivers:
  • Look for young driver discounts. Students ages 16 to 24, in high school and college, can qualify for "good student" discounts if they have at least a B average. Some insurers provide an additional discount to teens who take a defensive driving course or for those whose vehicles have full front seat airbags or restraints.
  • Buy older, safer vehicles. Premiums for collision and comprehensive coverage generally will be lower for older, less-expensive, safe cars. While most likely not your teen's first choice, larger to midsize sedans can be the best for safety and also are less costly to insure.
  • Delay letting teens get their licenses. This may be a tough one for many families but, by having your child wait even one extra year to get her license, premiums will go down. Wait an additional two or three years and the savings are substantial.
  • Change coverage. Ask your agent about policy changes, such as raising your deductible, which can reduce the cost of insurance. Though this can lower your rate, you'll pay more out of pocket if your teen gets in an accident; you can partially self-insure by designating a credit union savings account to cover your potential deductible. Depending on the age of the vehicle, removing collision and comprehensive coverage can lower insurance costs as well. Check with your agent for guidance--insurance regulations vary from state to state.
For the best price auto loan for your young driver, visit the professionals at your credit union. And for more information about auto insurance, read "Save on Auto Insurance: Drive Safely, Drive Less" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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