You may wish that this post was about great insurance deals, maybe even some links to some really cheap insurers. Sorry, I don't know if that exists. It's true that teenagers across the country pay higher insurance premiums than older drivers. While this may not seem fair to those who are just starting out with clean records, it's based on the fact that teens are at higher risk for motor vehicle accidents than any other age group. In fact, according to the CDC:
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
However, teens can beat the system by playing by the rules. Here are some ways to save on insurance premiums:
- Forget the Mustang. Choose a safe vehicle. Insurers are more likely to offer lower rates for modest, safer vehicles.
- It's cheaper to get on your parents' policy than to buy your own. Of course, it's best to shop around and get different quotes from different insurance companies. However, usually it saves money to add a teen to an adult's policy.
- Opt for a higher deductible. This will often lower the monthly premium, but it also means spending more before your policy kicks in if you're in an accident.
- Insurers like to see young drivers complete driver's ed. This means they've had a chance to learn their state's motor vehicle laws and get valuable, standardized on the road training. Bellingham has a couple different driver's education schools to consider.
- Your grades can help you! Good student discounts are offered by many auto insurers. Keep it in the A to B range and save.
- This one should be obvious: keep your driving record clean. This plays a major role in insurance rates, for teens and adults.
- Last but not least, leave your car behind when you head to college. You can still be on a policy as a "sometimes driver" or "resident student" at discounted rates, or wouldn't even need to be on a policy at all if you're not driving. And if you're staying here for school, you probably know that Bellingham has great trails for bikes and pedestrians.
Since I have represented many victims of distracted drivers, it bears mentioning that teens are becoming worse drivers than in years past due to cell phone use. Distracted driving is deadly - and avoidable. Click here for some great tips from a fellow Bellingham teen driver on ways to focus on the road.