Parents of teenagers know kids can be dangerous behind the wheel. But just how much riskier is it to have a teenager driving? Insurance companies nationwide, with a business model build around risk assessments, raise insurance premiums an average of 80 percent when a teen is added to an auto insurance policy carried by a married couple.
These significant increases should have parents worried about the dangers their kids present to themselves and to others, as well as concerned about family insurance costs. There are things parents and teens can do to try to help keep costs and accident rates down, and taking affirmative steps to reduce teen driving dangers is important for new drivers and their parents.
Teenage Drivers are a Risk to Others on the Roads
Insurance companies raise rates for teens because there is a major risk young people will get themselves hurt or will cause accidents that hurt others and lead to costly claim payouts. When a victim is injured by a teenage driver, an experienced car accident lawyer can make a damage claim to cover all losses for medical expenses, wage losses, and property damage. Insurers raise premium rates so they can adjust for the added risk of big payments to crash victims.
The younger the teenager, the greater the chance of an accident and the higher the insurance rates, according to NBC News. While adding a 19-year-old to an insurance policy raises rates approximately 60 percent on average, adding a 16-year-old to a policy raises rates an average of 96 percent. When the teen is a male, his rates are also likely to be much higher than for a female. The average premium increase when insuring a teen boy for the first time is 92 percent compared with the average premium increase of 67 percent when insuring a girl.
The reason for these increases is teens are the demographic group with the highest possible chance of getting into collisions. In 2013, there were almost 3,000 people killed and 400,000 people who got hurt in crashes with teen drivers. In approximately 2/3 of all of these cases, it was not the teen who got hurt or killed but was someone else on the roads. The impact of teen crashes extends far beyond the teen driver, and insurance companies pays for the damage teens do.
There are things that reduce risks for teens (and their insurers). A teen with at least a B average is considered to be a safer driver and can be eligible for as much as a 25 percent good student discount (the discount must be requested from the insurer). If parents install a monitoring system in a vehicle with a teen, this can also reduce insurance rates. Installing such a system is a good idea for parents both to bring down the costs of a policy and to help reduce the risk their child will get hurt or will hurt someone else.