Insurance carriers handle coverage for teens differently. Some require teens be added to your insurance policy at licensing while some base insurance requirement on the age of the teen. You should consult with your insurance agent regarding policy information for your teen.
Most families add teens to their existing auto insurance policies. You could also comparison shop to find the best insurance option for your family.
Saving Money on Car Insurance
Because the risk of a crash is significantly higher for teen drivers, particularly during the first year of driving, your teen’s car insurance rate likely will be higher than your own. Here are a few strategies to help you reduce auto insurance costs both now and once you add your teen driver.
- Raise deductibles to lower premiums. Ask your auto insurance representative how much you could save by increasing your deductible. If you file a claim after raising your deductible, you’ll pay a larger share of the costs.
- Investigate discounts. Many insurers offer discounts for students with a “B” or higher grade average and for teens who complete driver education or defensive driving courses.
- Share vehicles. How you classify your new teen driver—as the main or an occasional driver of one vehicle, for example, will affect auto insurance premiums, so consider sharing vehicles.
- Avoid sports cars and SUVs. Many experts agree that mid-sized sedans are the best choice for teens. Small cars don’t offer as much protection in crashes, sporty cars may encourage speeding or recklessness, and SUVs and pick-up trucks are more difficult to maneuver and more likely to have roll-over crashes. So, for safety as well as lower auto insurance rates, consider a mid-size sedan when it’s time to look for a car.
- Practice, practice, practice. Now is the time to drive with your teen under varied conditions, so there will be fewer surprises (and potential crashes) when you’re not in the vehicle.
- Be involved. Research shows that teens with more involved parents get fewer tickets and engage in less risky driving. Avoiding tickets and crashes will help keep your car insurance rates down. A parent-teen driving agreement can help you set rules and stay involved.
Car Insurance Requirements in California
All California drivers are required to have auto insurance at the minimum levels of $15,000 per person for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage (15/30/5). Insurance companies in California determine rates based on factors such as your driving record, how long you’ve been a licensed driver, how much you drive, where you live and what you drive.
Learn about car insurance available through AAA for teen drivers and the whole family.