Finally, after months of practice, you’ve earned your driver’s license. Despite your dad’s barking commands about turn signals and your mom’s white knuckle grip on the passenger arm rest, you were able to keep your cool as a student driver and pass your exam with flying colors. Freedom at last!
But one caveat exists: if you aren’t insured, you can’t drive. Technically speaking, anyone with a valid driver’s license can drive. The thing is, it’s state law to carry insurance, and every state (except for New Hampshire) requires their licensed constituents to have car insurance. If you aren’t insured you’re not just risking getting steep fines, but you’re risking financial ruin if you cause an accident.
Car insurance for students can get pretty pricey, and if mom and dad don’t think it’s financially responsible to add you to their existing policy, you can forget about getting behind the wheel unless you get your own plan. The awesome thing about insurance? It doesn’t just cover your losses after an accident, but it provides discounts for its carriers. Here are some insurance tips to get the best and most affordable coverage for you.
Chances are as a high school student your afterschool job only pays minimum wage. With the average annual car insurance cost coming to just over $900 according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, finding an affordable insurance plan is imperative. Like most people, you’ll probably want to just go with the insurance provider your parents have, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you. But the truth is, some insurance agencies provide better, more cost-effective plans for students than others. So before you sign up with mom and dad’s company, compare the numbers and ask questions.
How Insurers Base Policies
Insurance providers base their plans on a number of factors. Let’s take a quick look:
As a 16-year-old, you probably don’t have your own credit card just yet, and you’ll most likely be driving the family car around until you get your own set of wheels. Commuter and family vehicles like the Honda Odyssey LX or the Dodge Grand Caravan are usually the most affordable to insure, according to an article by Forbes so driving dad’s Honda around works in your favor, but your gender and age is another story.
If you’re a male driver, your monthly premium is going to be higher. Statistically speaking, male teenage drivers cause more accidents than female drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013 the fatal crash rate for male drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 was two times higher than that of their female counterparts. Because insurance companies determine their packages based on these annual statistics, your clean driving record won’t read as “clean” until you hit your twenties. But not to worry! Discounts abound in the insurance world.
The Good Student Discount
Why do younger drivers get hit with more expensive premiums? Experience. Younger drivers don’t have as much experience behind the wheel as their elders. And because insurers don’t yet know how responsible their new, young clients are out on the road, their premiums are higher. But if you’re a student who gets good grades in school, your insurance company rewards you with the good student discount. Looking at the statistics again, students who perform well in school are typically more responsible. Responsible drivers run a lower risk of being involved in an accident, and insurance companies like to reward their responsible drivers.
The Driver’s Ed. Discount
High school students who take the time to participate in a driver’s education program can expect a more economically-priced monthly premium. By completing and passing a driver’s ed. program, young motorists are showing their insurance provider that they take driving seriously, and will be conscientious drivers on the road.
Car insurance for students doesn’t have to be costly, and with the use of our online shopping and comparison insurance portal, it won’t be. Get your insurance quote today with CoverHound!