When to Insure Your Teen Driver
Do you have a soon-to-be teen driver in your household? Maybe they are studying for their permit exam or maybe the just celebrated their 15th birthday...either way, you might be wondering WHEN you need to add them to your insurance policy. Recently, we've had several conversations with parents about teen drivers—specifically when and how they should add them to their policy.
Insurance companies have various rules when it comes to adding teen drivers, and we definitely need to make sure you are properly covered. Many carriers are now requiring that all household members age 15+ are listed on the policy, whether they are included or excluded. Historically we didn't add drivers until they officially had their license, so if this seems different than what you thought was the case in the past---you're correct. We are now adding drivers as soon as they turn 15 to avoid any gaps in coverage.
If this is you, please reach out so we can discuss what you can expect with your insurance when you add a youthful driver to your policy.
In the meantime, here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years from working with parents of new drivers:
Let them drive as much as you can. It’s a bit of a catch-22, but the only way your teen will get better at driving is by driving. Although you’ll be forced to deal with your own nerves, say yes when they ask to drive.
Set crystal clear expectations. Spell out (maybe even in writing!) where your son or daughter is allowed to drive, whether or not they can have passengers (and, if so, how many), and your speed limit expectations. It’s also critical to discuss phone usage while driving. You can find ideas for parent-teen driving agreements at AAA and the CDC if you’d like something more formal.
Expect fender-benders and mishaps. Even though you’ve set expectations and talked through all the scenarios, mistakes are bound to happen. When they do, take a deep breath and respond calmly. The built-in consequences will largely take care of the rest.
Take advantage of apps like Life360. Life360 offers location sharing for your entire family free of charge and for a premium, advanced driving, digital, and location safety features.
Relax and encourage. Driving is a life skill your teen needs to be successful. The more calm and collected you stay, the more their confidence will grow. (And remember, you too, were once a teen driver!).
Buckle up, hang on, and enjoy the ride. And as always, we're here when you need us!