Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance for Teens



If you’ve ever had to buy car insurance for teens, you know coverage can be brutally expensive.

That’s why it’s especially important for parents of teen drivers to compare prices from multiple insurance companies and look for discounts. Our research uncovered rates for families with a teen driver that ranged from about $1,200 per year to more than $20,000.

Car insurance for teens and their families

To give you a rough idea of how much it’ll cost to insure your teen driver, we looked at rates in the eight most populous states for a family with and without a teenager behind the wheel of two popular models. Here’s how much it cost to add a teen to an insurance policy:

ANNUAL INSURANCE PRICE INCREASE TO ADD A TEEN DRIVER

 

State 2015 Toyota Camry 2015 Ford Escape
California $1,208 $1,328
Florida $1,859 $2,267
Georgia $1,631 $1,904
Illinois $1,375 $1,665
New York $1,839 $2,038
Ohio $1,591 $1,923
Pennsylvania $1,644 $1,916
Texas $1,710 $1,901

 

How to score cheap car insurance for teens

If that sounds like a lot of money, a wide variety of discount are available that can help soften the financial blow of adding a teen driver to your policy. Amounts vary by state and company, but “up to” 10%, 15% or 25% off is a pretty common refrain.

Here are some ways to save money:

  • Add the teen to the parents’ policy rather than putting them on their own policy. NerdWallet’s research has shown it’s much less expensive to add a teen to a policy with parents.
  • Get good grades. Families with students with a B or better average in school are frequently eligible for car insurance discounts.
  • Take driver’s training. Young drivers who took a driver’s education course were less likely to get a traffic ticket, less likely to have an accident and less likely to be in an accident resulting in injury or death than those who didn’t, according to a 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study.
  • Leave the car at home. Some insurers offer a discount if the student is attending school at least 100 miles away from home and doesn’t take a car. (Students are still covered when they drive while at home on breaks.)
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Advanced Defensive Driving: Take it to the Next Level



According to the National Safety Council, a preventable accident “is one in which the driver failed to do everything that reasonably could have been done to avoid the crash.” Experts agree that driving defensively is your best bet at making sure a crash, collision, or accident doesn’t happen to you. We’ve already discussed the basic concepts behind defensive driving, which include scanning and visualizing everything, having an escape route, and not becoming distracted. Now let’s consider some more advanced, preventive measures a responsible driver can take to avoid a potentially life-threatening crash.

Maintain Your Car

Regular maintenance on your car significantly helps its road performance, especially in potentially hazardous driving situations. You can’t drive a car defensively if its tires are in need of air, windows, rearview mirror, and signal lights are dirty, and brake pads are worn to shreds. Here are a few steps you should take to keep your car running safely and efficiently:

  • Check Your Tires Make sure your tire pressure is where it should be. The recommended pressure for your car’s tires will be in your owner’s manual or in the driver’s side door jamb. When it comes to purchasing new tires, take into account the weather in your part of the country. Four snow tires total is the safest way to go if you anticipate driving in snow and ice.
  • Align Your Tires If while driving your car seems to drift to one side or the steering wheel vibrates, you may need to have the tires aligned. Alignment actually refers to a car’s suspension, which can move out of alignment over time due to normal driving, a minor accident, or bumping against a curb. Check your owner’s manual to see how often your car’s manufacturer recommends aligning your car’s tires. Alignment helps to ensure better handling, which is crucial for good defensive driving, as well as better gas mileage.
  • Clean Your Car A dirty windshield or rearview mirror will prevent you from scanning and visualizing the road for potential dangers. And grimy signal lights or head lights will prevent other drivers from seeing you in bad weather or at night, which pretty much negates any effort you make to be a good defensive driver.
  • Change Your Brake Pads If when braking, you hear squeaking or grinding, your brake pads may be worn out and in need of replacement. Knowing how and when to brake, especially in inclement weather, is a crucial skill for defensive driving. If you have an antilock brake system and need to stop in on an icy road, stomp on the pedal and when you feel the system’s pulses or hear it working, ease up a bit on the pedal until it’s only pulsing about once a second. If you don’t have ABS, you should push the brake hard and when the wheels stop turning, lift your foot so the wheels turn and rapidly press the brake again.

Other Advanced Defensive Driving Tips

  • Yield, Move, Get Out Of The Way Driving defensively, for the most part, involves avoiding overly aggressive drivers. It may be frustrating to just step aside in order to give a bad driver room to do whatever they want, but it is the safest thing to do, not only for yourself but for everyone else on the road. When you encounter a speeding driver pressuring you to go faster, move into another lane, even if it means going slower. As a defensive driver, accept the fact that you may have to sacrifice your right of way in order to avoid a speeding ticket or collision.
  • Plan a Route To avoid a time-consuming and potentially dangerous drive, plan out your route out in advance based on current weather, traffic, and road conditions. Local websites, radio, and even iPhone apps can provide you with the information you need before you hit the road and find yourself navigating road construction or an end-of-the-week traffic jam.
  • Take a Course There’s nothing wrong with taking a driving course to brush up your skills, even if you’ve been driving for years. The AARP even offers a very inexpensive driver safety course in both classroom and online environments. Check with your agent to see if completing a driving course will give you discount on your car insurance or on roadside assistance plans.
 

 

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Extended Car Warranty, How To Choose The Right Plan…




There are many extended car warranty programs to choose from but it can be a bit tricky to find a “reputable” plan to suit your needs. The best way to choose a reliable extended car warranty program is to find a company that makes the following criteria…

1. Make sure the company is in business for 10 years or more. This assures you that they are not only in the business of selling coverage but also successfully paying claims.
2. You want to choose a company that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and perhaps more importantly, is accredited by the BBB which holds them to a much higher standard of excellent business practices and customer service.
3. You want the warranty program to be directly underwritten by a US-based insurance carrier holding at least an A rating with an industry rating service such as AM Best or Standard & Poors. This will assure you that if any part of the claims administration process fails the underwriter will directly pick up all claims if needed.

There are also many different levels of coverage available for your vehicle. These levels are Power train, Major Component Plus, High-Tech Component, Component Type Bumper-To-Bumper, or Exclusionary Bumper-To-Bumper coverage. Depending on the age and mileage of the vehicle all or most of these levels could be available. It is important to look through the different levels of coverage for any companies you are considering side-by-side to make sure that you are purchasing the best coverage available for your needs. Do not rely on plan names such as Platinum, Elite, or Gold as they do not always correctly define the level of coverage you are purchasing. Some less than reputable companies will take a very basic plan and label it with a very fancy name. You want to look at the actual list of what is covered to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for.

All in all, an extended car warranty is an excellent investment and can save you thousands of dollars over the term of the coverage. To begin researching the different types of coverage you can visit Auto Advantage and see what the choices are. It is a great idea to fill out the quote request form and let them send you the specifics including coverage details and pricing.

 

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Beware! Auto Warranty Buyers.



For me, not a day goes by that I do not receive some type of unsolicited telemarketing phone call or piece of mail trying to sell me something.

Unfortunately many of the companies that do direct marketing have a terrible reputation and are generally very poorly rated with the Better Business Bureau. The reason for this is most higher-quality companies do not participate in direct marketing as they generally get enough business through traditional marketing methods. And no business is this more true than in the auto warranty business. There isn’t a single company we have found that direct markets warranty plans that actually has an insurance company underwriting their business. This is the gold standard for determining whether a warranty company is reputable and upstanding. These unscrupulous marketing companies are simply sham companies set up to scam you out of your money. Unfortunately this also goes for auto warranty companies that advertise on the radio or cable television. No “reputable” auto warranty company does any type of television or radio ad.

Purchasing an auto warranty is actually one of the best financial decisions the vehicle owner can make. The way to protect yourself and make sure that you purchase an auto warranty from a company that will be there to pay claims when the need arises is to make sure that you follow certain criteria. Some of the things to make sure of are…
• Be certain that the auto warranty company is in business for 10 years or more to assure that they are successfully paying claims, not just selling warranties.
• Check to make sure that the company is not only A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau but also an accredited BBB company.
• And perhaps most importantly, you want to make sure that the warranty company is backed and insured by a United States-based insurance carrier that has at least an A rating with AM Best. This means that even if the warranty company itself goes out of business your claims will still get paid directly by an underwriter.

The bottom line is you need to do more than just get a quote and assume the plan is a quality auto warranty program. You should always do your research to make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. An excellent place to start is one of the most reputable companies in the industry, Auto Advantage Inc. who have been offering automotive warranties and roadside assistance since 1979.

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Excluding People From Auto Insurance

As one’s household grows, so too, does their auto insurance policy. While this is a pretty standard and expected occurrence, it’s important for people with an increasing number of licensed drivers under one roof to realize they have options. Should any of their family members threaten their driving reputation and quotes, policyholders have the option to remove and exclude them from their insurance plans, making auto coverage someone else’s problem and responsibility.

REQUESTING AN EXCLUSION

If you’re a policyholder interested in excluding one or more individuals from your policy, then you need to contact your insurance company and/or agent. Your request will have to be in writing and might also come with additional forms and paperwork, depending on who your insurance company is. It’s also important to note that requesting an exclusion may cause your rates to increase a bit, but some view this cost as a much more affordable expense than the potential damages they might be held accountable for when the dangerous driver(s) in question get in a serious accident or have repeated traffic offenses.

Whom Should I Exclude?

Now that you know how to request an exclusion, it’s important to understand WHO to exclude. You should exclude anyone you see as high-risk, unreliable and irresponsible. Individuals who show no regard for rules and regulations and could care less what happens to your name and record in the process are other obvious options. To help make the choice easier for you, below is a list of three individuals you definitely don’t want on your policy.

Mittens, the Family Cat

While a fluffy, cute member of the family, Mittens also has a wild side with which you are all too familiar. She is open about her late-night romps with her neighborhood friends, often coming home as the sun rises. She’s practically nocturnal! Those crazy hours coupled with her sassy attitude are a recipe for disaster for you and your record, so nip this problem in the bud while you still can — before Mittens brings you down with her.

Your Six-year-old Who’s Going on Sixteen

Six-year-old Ben is your pride and joy. He’s cute and sweet, but let’s be honest — the boy is growing up too fast. Rather than run the risk of him growing up, stealing your car and running away, it’s probably best to exclude him from your policy to keep that from happening. You might not be able to stop him from physically growing, but you will darn sure try to stop him from leaving you!

The Neighbor Next Door Who Thinks He’s ALWAYS Welcome

Sure you let him borrow a cup a sugar once, but does that really warrant unannounced pop-ins or the dreaded ‘surprise I was waiting for you to get home from work’ visit? The answer is obviously no, but that doesn’t stop your too-close-for-comfort neighbor from doing just that and more. A sweet, eager individual with no concept of social norms, this neighbor is here so often you’re worried he thinks he’s actually a part of the family. While you technically shouldn’t have to cover him on your insurance, the lines that surround your whole relationship — and evidently your property— have been blurred. So, just to be on the safe side, you better exclude him. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll get really comfortable and decide to take your car for a spin and get locked up for grand theft auto — maybe then at least you’ll get to cook in peace again!

Reality Check

Obviously, these examples of potential exclusions are extreme and ridiculous, but that’s just the point. Auto insurance exclusions are a serious issue that should be treated as such. They shouldn’t be added to policies willy-nilly and on a whim, but rather after serious thought and consideration has been given to the situation. It can be a pricey and potentially lengthy process that should only be implemented after you have determined there is no other feasible option.

You should only opt to exclude drivers with repeated violations such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding or any other behavior that shows a disregard for the law. It’s also important to note that exclusions can also apply to non-related roommates. Depending on your policy and location, it might be a smart idea to exclude any irresponsible roommates you might have, should they try to drive your vehicle without permission and thus endanger your reputation and record.

We do hope you’re never presented with having to exclude a family member from your auto policy. Keep in mind, it’s only advisable when the said-driver is extremely toxic. Most of the time, excluding a single driver will only lead to higher rates for everyone involved.

You’ll know they are a real risk if they cause you to be subjected to higher rates, or worse, put you in danger of losing your coverage altogether — those are costly expenses worth the fees that come along with an exclusion.

If you are seriously considering opting for an exclusion, talk with your insurer to explore all of your options and alternatives. They should help point you in the right direction for your future.

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New Car Warranties Can Provide 4 Types Of Coverage

It is wise to buy an auto warranty when investing in a new car. New car warranties can provide four kinds of coverage for your car:

1. The first kind of coverage that you can receive is basic coverage, or a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This kind of warranty provides coverage for the parts of the car from the front bumper to the back bumper.

2. Another kind of coverage that you can receive is a power train warranty. This provides coverage for the parts that make the car run. Such parts include the engine, the driveshaft, the drive axels, and the transmission.

3. In addition, your auto warranty can cover corrosion and rust. This will cover the rust-through problems that you may encounter later on.

4. A final kind of coverage that you can receive is roadside assistance. This is a service that may be given to you when your basic warranty is active. It offers professional assistance when you find yourself stranded on the side of the road due to a vehicle breakdown. It offers many beneficial services such as lockout assistance, refueling assistance, flat tire assistance, and towing.

If you wish to become even more familiar with the details of the coverage that come with your auto warranty, look at your warranty booklet or owner’s manual. If you still do not believe that you are receiving enough coverage and that you want more, it is smart to purchase an extended auto warranty for your car that will suit all of your needs.

 

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