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Should You Add Your Teenager To Your Auto Insurance Policy?

If you are a parent of a teenager who is about to climb behind the wheel of a car, insurance is an expensive consideration. Teenagers from 16 to 19 years old are at greater risk of getting in a motor vehicle accident than any other age group.  Their inexperience and maturity level is a harsh reality, especially for teenage boys,

The most common question we are asked is, “Is it better to add your teenager and his or her car to your auto insurance policy or obtain separate insurance?” There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  It’s a matter of what’s most important to you and your family. 

Advantages of adding them to your policy

Adding teenagers to your auto insurance has one unique advantage, which is their premiums will be lower because of a mutli-car discount. Insurance companies provide premium discounts when more than one car is on a policy, because of the reduced administrative cost to issue one policy instead of two.

More insurance companies are now relying on credit scores to price policy premiums. The challenge that teenagers have is no credit history.  Having good credit positively impacts your auto premium.  If your teenager obtains his or her own policy, their nonexistent or poor credit history will result in a higher premium. 

Teenagers insured under your auto policy will enjoy the same limits of coverage you have for your vehicles. Also, if you carry an Umbrella Liability policy your insured teenager will be covered by that policy.  Some umbrella insurance companies are not ecstatic at providing coverage for a teenage driver, so check the Umbrella Company’s willingness first, before adding your teenager.

Disadvantage of adding them to your policy

A disadvantage of having a teenager on your policy is their driving record will impact your insurance premiums. If they get into accidents or incur moving violations, your insurance premiums will increase.

There are some advantages to having teenagers buy their own insurance.

Some parents decide to have their teenager buy their own insurance so the teenagers claim experience will not negatively impact the parents’ insurance premiums and coverage.

A teenager could separately buy lower liability limits to save premium dollars. For example, a teenager of parents with $500,000 of liability limits could separately buy $300,000 limits.  We’re not big fans of policies with low liability limits, especially when the risk of accidents is high.  But it is a risk some are willing to take.

Some parents believe teenager having their own insurance is part of the ever evolving responsibility of becoming an adult. My parents took this approach when I first got my driver’s license.

Look for additional premium discounts

Regardless of your decision about a combined or separate policy, make sure you take advantage of the following additional premium discounts that could be available:

  1. Good Student Discount – full time students with good grades are eligible.
  2. Defensive Driving Class – inquire with your insurance company to see if your teenage son or daughter is eligible.
  3. Car safety features – ask about a discount for an alarm system or other vehicle safety features.

Finally, if you’re not a client of Rue Insurance, consider us as your go-to source for your personal insurance needs.

Scott Harrigan

About Scott Harrigan

Scott started his career in insurance in 1988 and joined Rue Insurance in 2004 as a Marketing Specialist focusing on creating effective risk financing and risk transfer programs for companies and non-profit organizations. In addition to this he is a member of the Rue Insurance educational team that provides ongoing professional development in critical insurance concepts and programs to Rue employees. About Scott | More Posts by Scott