May 16, 2016 in Insurance

Mom wonders if her teenager will automatically be added to her auto insurance

Dear Insurance Adviser,

Is my teen going to be added to my auto insurance policy automatically when he turns 16, even if he doesn’t have his driver’s license yet?

— Diane

Dear Diane,

No, teenagers are not automatically added to your car insurance when they turn 16. A child would be added only when you call and let your agent know that your kid now has a driver’s license.

Here is some good news: You don’t have to add your son while he is learning how to drive on a permit. In addition to whatever minimum number of hours of driver’s education training is required by your state, it’s a good idea to have a parental requirement of 30 additional hours behind the wheel with a responsible adult, under different types of driving conditions. (In my prior life, I was a driver’s ed teacher. Can you tell?)

Your car insurance rates will increase quite a bit when your teenage son gets licensed. If he is an occasional driver, your rates on the car he drives will double! If he is a principal operator of one of your cars, your rates will triple!

But there are some things you can do to control the costs:

Once he starts driving, how he chooses to drive will have a huge impact on both of your future rates. A pair of speeding tickets will raise your rates at least 25% for 3 years. A couple of at-fault accidents will lead to your insurance being canceled, forcing you to go with a higher risk company where your rates will be at least 50% higher.

I hope this helps.

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