Reducing your CT teen car insurance rates can be a challenge. Adding a teenager to your policy will raise the cost, and perhaps substantially. And you may lose a little sleep too! But there are affordable options that will help reduce your premium and keep your auto insurance rate low.
Perhaps the most simple method of lowering the rate is by taking advantage of available discounts. They are, of course, free to the customer and there never is a cost or obligation. Since many of the best options are not common, familiarizing yourself with these discounts in particular can only help your pricing. Although not all companies offer the exact same amount of reduction, it’s always worthwhile to ensure you are receiving any deduction you are entitled to receive.
Good Grades Save Money
The most common example is the “good student” discount which is offered by every top insurer. Discounts will vary, although typically they are in the 10%-25% range. Progressive, State Farm, Nationwide and Geico are just a few of the larger companies that will apply it to their rates. Smaller carriers may require a different type of verification.
Usually an “80″ or “B” average is needed and documentation can be faxed or emailed. However, there are several companies that will allow a reduction for an overall average of “75.” It is a reduced credit, usually below 10%. Grades below “70″ or a “C” level do not qualify for a discount with any carrier doing business in the state.
If your child is in college, the 3.0 GPA may be required. Recent reports conclude that teens that are better in the classroom are also better drivers, so don’t look for this discount to go away. Whether it is a matter of concentration or just driving ability, the statistics clearly show a strong relationship between these two variables. Earning a post-graduate degree will often lead to further savings.
The premium reduction usually applies to the vehicle that the youthful operator is driving. So since that vehicle generates the highest premium, you often see significant savings. If you have more than one teenager in the household, two separate discounts will be applied, resulting in more savings.
“Student Away Discount”
By attending school more than 500 miles away from home, it’s also possible that a “non-rating” will occur. This is one of the largest credits offered by major companies. To qualify, you must not have a vehicle with you at school, and the college (or other institution of learning) must be more than 500 miles from your residence. There are companies that reduce the mileage to 250.
If this occurs, the student is covered when they return home for vacations and semester breaks. Some insurers may require a summer-stay at the college as well. A vehicle can be used at any time (school at home) by the young driver. However, it is assumed that your son or daughter does not own a vehicle and does not have a car or tuck titled to them. It’s best to check with us or a broker to determine correct eligibility.
Practice Makes Perfect And Saves Dollars!
One of the most overlooked, yet most cost-effective ways of saving money is increasing the number of practice hours your teenager gets behind the wheel.
As a parent of two teenagers, I understand there is a natural “hurry-up” mode that your son or daughter may have so they can get on the road as quickly as possible. And if their closest friends are a few months younger, you’ll really feel the pressure!
But there is plenty of data that clearly shows that the more hours of practice time your child has, the less likely a moving violation or at-fault accident will occur. And that’s money in the bank!
Of course, texting and talking on a cell phone while driving must never occur. Otherwise, you may be facing a high risk situation which is discussed on this page. Moving violations or at-fault accidents have a much larger impact on auto premiums of younger persons compared to older drivers. Often, the difference is up to $500 per year. After the second incident, any additional tickets or accidents could result in a cancellation or possible transfer to a “high risk” policy.
Buying Another Vehicle
Depending on which Connecticut car insurance company handles your coverage, you may want to consider purchasing an additional vehicle when you add an extra driver. An older vehicle that costs less than $6,000 would be ideal since you could probably consider just basic liability coverage without collision. Many companies will allow you to designate your new teen driver as the “principal” driver of that vehicle, although they would still be able to drive other household vehicles.
The purpose of buying the extra car is that it’s possible that the increase in your rates might be less than if you did not make the purchase and subsequently added your new driver to an already existing vehicle on the policy. This strategy does not always work since there are multiple scenarios, including the number and value of vehicles and the age of the drivers. And of course, if a quick accident occurs that is your fault, you must pay for the damages. But this idea should always be considered.
The type of cars you own will also play a big role in how much you pay, especially with drivers under age 25 in the household. The combination of high performance sports cars and teenagers will be costly. We can provide a list of the 10-20 vehicles that will be the most “kid-friendly.” And many of them will even be approved by your children! Many are subcompact SUVs, and others are sporty, but safe.
The Ultimate Reduction!
Are you ready for the least popular idea to virtually eliminate the cost of any youthful driver on your policy. Try this: Simply tell your soon-to-be driving son or daughter that you have decided to wait until they are 21 before letting them drive! Until that time, they can study for their driving exam and get rides with friends if they have to go anywhere. I bet that will go over well!
No, I didn’t try that with our driving teenager, but actually, the longer you can have them hold off driving, statistically, the less likely they will have an at-fault accident or moving violation. Holding out until age 19 will also save thousands of dollars in premiums. And they might be a better driver with the extra training.
The youngest drivers (ages 16 and 17) will now have some added protection since there have been some recent legislative changes. Some of the key points (applies to persons with learner permit only) include no allowed passengers except a driving instructor and no use of a cell phone including any hands-free devices. Curfew has also been eliminated, although a “trainer” must be a passenger at all times.
At age 18, some of the restrictions are changed, including a curfew at 11:00 pm and also limiting the use of cell phones and hand-held devices. In other states, when similar laws were enacted, the incidence of teen accidents and injury substantially reduced. It’s expected the same thing will happen in Connecticut. A direct link to view the new law is found here.
Hopefully, these tips and ideas will reduce your car insurance rate when your youthful driver is added to your policy. Connecticut rates can be expensive, so every available discount helps. We review and update any new reductions that become available. Also, any changes or revisions in state or federal laws that impact our state, will be discussed on our website.