So far, one of the scariest moments in my life... my soon-to-be 16 year old son's impending drivers license. My heart skips a beat every time I think about it. Visions in my head of speeding tickets, late night calls and fender benders. And the guaranteed increase in my insurance.
Being an insurance agent, I've been preparing for this moment for about two years. I knew what was coming! But as the day looms closer and closer and I start quoting the rate increase, I'm beginning to think "He doesn't really need to drive. Does he?" On the bright side, running him to practices and games, to pick up friends and drop him off are coming to an end. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And heck, he can now run all my errands as well, right? Fair is fair. So, there is that.
But that increase in premium. Ouch. Now myself, being the mean parent that I am, I am making my son pay for his insurance and have been telling him so for the past two years. So we sat down recently and had the money discussion. When I told him what his monthly premium would be that he would have to pay, his mouth about hit the floor. Yes, son, that's right.... things DO cost money. You can't just go out back and shake our money tree. So he asked me "What can I do to get that lower?" Good question, son.
Fact is, youthful drivers can be expensive to insure. They are inexperienced and are easily distracted as drivers. Therefore, the risk greatly increases. Males are statistically proven to be a bit more risky because they like to show off. You know - spin the tires, whip some donuts in the parking lot to look cool until they hit that light pole, run a stop sign because they are staring at that cute girl across the road. Not that the girls don't carry their own amount of risk checking their make-up and hair in the mirrors, trying to look cool for the boys. You know how it is- we've all been teenagers. So, what can they do to help decrease your youthful driver rate?
The first thing is obviously PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD! Don't get speeding tickets. Be a cautious driver. No tickets, no accidents. Because you aren't going to want to know what your rates will do if one of those things happen. And a reminder - violations, accidents and tickets can hang on there for up to 5 years depending on the incident. OUCH!
The second thing - good student discount. There is a discount you can get if your child's GPA is a 3.00 or higher. After my son's last report card I realize this isn't an option. So when he asked and I told him about the good student discount he asked why his grades would have an impact on his insurance. He thinks it's a parent ploy to get him to do better in school. If only I had thought of it, though I have thought about how to use it to my advantage!! Honestly, there isn't much any of us can do to get a lower rate on our youthful drivers. Ahhh, the joys of parenthood, right? So this is one of the ways insurance companies can provide a discount. And heck, doesn't hurt to use as a parent ploy, right?
There isn't much more you can do or they can do. If your child is a college student, there might be some discounts for "away at college" if they don't have the vehicle with them depending on what company you have. But for the most part, until you can roll them off onto their own policy - as parents, we're stuck. We are going to have to pay those increases. And even if they are grounded and you take away their driving privilege's (I feel I'll be in this category A LOT), that does NOT change the fact that they are a licensed driver in your home - the rates will still apply. If only they didn't, I'd gleefully ground my son until he was 25.
Bottom line? GET A JOB, SON! Any one need a strong young man to do manual labor?