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Essential things to know before your teen driver backs out of the driveway.

I remember the day I turned 16.  I remember going down and taking my drivers test.  I remember holding my brand new, warmly laminated drivers license in my hand.  It was the first time I felt like I could do something an adult could do.  Looking back, I realized I knew nothing about insurance because that was up to my parents.

I have actively been involved with a teen driving school to teach them about insurance and how it works.  I talk to them about how liability works, how to keep their rates down, and what to do if there is an accident.

If you have a child who is getting ready to get their license, here is some information that would be good for you to know.

Your rates are going to go up, that is a fact.  The 15-19 year age group is statistically the most dangerous group of drivers on the road without question.  Taken from the Idaho Transportation Department, you can see that this age group makes up 5.6% of the drivers in the state.  They are also responsible for 14% of the accidents.  They are almost 3 times more likely to cause an accident than the entire 35-44 year old age group.  See page 2 of this link:

I encourage all families who have a youthful driver on the road, to load up on liability coverage.  The highest we can offer you is $500,000 per person, and $500,000 per accident.  This is important because if your son or daughter are in an accident and someone is injured badly, this is the coverage that will be used to pay those medical expenses.  Raising liability limits is VERY affordable.  Talk to your agent about it.


The next thing to consider is an umbrella policy.  Let’s say your son or daughter is texting a friend and they leave their lane and strike someone on a motorcycle and there is a fatality.  That $500,000 probably wont be enough to settle that claim.  The umbrella policy offers at least an extra $1,000,000 worth of insurance for about $25 a month.

What can you do to limit your costs?  Almost all companies offer a Good Student Discount.  This can be HUGE!  It could save you up to 20%.  Statistically, students who carry a 3.0 or higher, file fewer claims and are rewarded for that.

You could also have them drive an older car and carry liability only on it.  This is what my parents did for me and by brother and sister.  We shared an 85 Oldsmobile that was built like a tank and made of good ol American steel.  It was cheep and safe and if there was an accident, it was essentially a disposable car.  I seem to also remember an ’81 Cadillac that was this mint green color.  So ugly!

Also, please prepare them on what to do if there is an accident!! 1. Call the police.  2. Make sure everyone is ok. 3. Exchange insurance information.  4. Take lots of photos.

This should be a very exciting time in their young lives.  With it, comes a level of responsibility that they have never had before.  Make sure you do everything you can to educate them and get them ready, and make sure your insurance is in the right place as they pull out of the driveway for the first time.







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  1. Matt, this is a terrific article, and very timely for our family. I’ll let you know when we need to visit about adding my son to our policy. Soon. Thanks for the awesome tips!