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Have a Teen Driver? Learn How to Save Money on their Car Insurance

By Pete Glocker

Copyright 2005 Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp.

Boca Raton, Fl -- Did you know when parents add their teens to their car insurance policies, premiums can jump from 100 percent to 355 percent even if the teen is driving the family minivan?

There are several different ways to get lower premiums for your teenagers. Many insurance companies offer online tutorials that teenagers can take and if passed, companies will offer substantial discounts. For example, State Farm has an online tutorial called "Steer Clear� and if the new driver passes it, State Farm will give up to a 15 percent discount to first time drivers. Many other insurance companies have similar online programs that offer discounts for teens. Esurance, an online car insurance company, gives discounts every six months for clean driving records. Yes, a clean driving record means no speeding tickets.

According to Statefarm.com, here are a few insurance tips for teen divers and their parents.

  • Call around to different companies and compare prices with discounts that will better suit your needs.
  • Be aware that your insurance rates will typically be increased when a new driver is added to the policy. If you are not adding a new vehicle to the plan, it is best to have the teen as a primary driver of one of the family cars.
  • Take advantage of student discounts. In most states, students at accredited high schools, colleges and universities can get discounts if they have a grade point average of a B or higher.
  • Talk to your teen about safe driving habits and how traffic violations can increase their rates.
  • If you are planning to buy a brand new car for your teen, you may want to check which vehicles get the best rates.
  • Most Insurance Companies use three different ways to rate cars in terms of damage, safety and liability.

    1. The Damage and Theft Index (DTI), rates vehicles on the cost of payment for damage and theft.

    2. The Vehicle Safety Discount (VSD), awards discounts up to 40 percent for car models that generate lower payment for injury to occupants in the vehicle.

    3. The Liability Rating Index (LRI), rates vehicles on the amount of damage and injury it causes to the other vehicle and its occupants.

  • Consider getting a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy (PLUP). If you or your teenage driver accidentally injures someone or damages their property, you could be sued. Even though your underlying policies may provide substantial liability limits, it is not uncommon today for juries to award damages that exceed those limits.

There are many different areas insurance companies look into while quoting you a premium for you and your teen. Companies will look at what kind of deductible you want, the kind of car you drive, the areas you drive in, the amount of time you are on the road, your age and sex, your driving record and even your credit history. So if you live in a major metropolitan area with high auto theft rates, chances are your rates will be much higher than a person who lives in the suburbs with low auto theft rates.

Here are other ways to save yourself and your teen some money when buying car insurance.

  • Most companies give an Anti-Theft Device Discount for cars that have car alarms and other forms of security.
  • If you have ever been convicted of a moving violation or have been an in accident, take Driver Improvement Courses to improve your chances of having a lower rate. Many of these courses can be taking on the Internet now.
  • Teens can get discounts if they complete a Drivers Education course through their school or accredited agencies.
  • Vehicles that have airbags, anti-lock brakes, head restraints and day-time head lights can also get you a discount on car insurance.

Everyone knows that car insurance can be really costly, but there are ways to slash the price if you ask about them.

Pete Glocker is employed in the Education and Charitable Services Department at Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp. ("DMCC�), a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization located in Boca Raton, Florida. Pete graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in Multimedia Journalism and is an experienced web producer for Tribune Interactive products Sun-Sentinel.com and SouthFlorida.com. DMCC provides free financial education, personal budget counseling, and debt management plans to consumers across the United States. Pete Glocker can be reached by email at pete@dmcccorp.org.

Categories: Teens, Children,

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