Driving Adventures With My Teenager

Driving Adventures With My Teenager
By Amy Haldorson
The day is finally here. I always knew it would come, but no one really prepared me for the most frightening, hair-raising, terrifying event in my life. That’s right people, you guessed it….my teen is now a driver. I had always imagined my little girl and I going for her first driving lesson. We would be laughing together, I’d help her with her first parallel park, she’d maybe even look over at me at some point and say, you know mom, I love us spending time together. My fantasy was soon crushed when we did in fact get my daughter behind the wheel for the first time. I watched as she adjusted her seat, mirrors, fixed her hair, and turned off my 90s hip hop, the usual. I tried giving her a little instruction as she backed up and was met with “omg mom, can you be more annoying". She’s right, this is her time to shift into adulthood. I sat back and smiled, she's got this, why am I worrying? Crunch! Yep, that just happened. She hit her father’s vehicle just backing out of the driveway. I very calmly told her to turn off the car and I walked back to my house. This concludes the driving lesson for today. We will try again tomorrow. Not all new driver situations are this scary. Some kids actually make it out of the driveway. Once your student has finally gotten their license, its time to think about insurance. Many people ask us, do I have to even let my insurance know if my teen only drives my vehicle, or will my insurance go up if my teen is listed on my policy. To answer these questions, if your child is licensed, yes, they need to be rated as a driver on your insurance plan and it will go up! Individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are considered the most risky drivers to insure. Fun fact: the most expensive state to add a teen driver is Rhode Island. They have an average premium increase of 137%. North Dakota ranks 4th least expensive with an average increase of 61%! There are some ways, however, to offset the cost. Insurance companies offer a good student discount (B average or 3.0 GPA), which a lot of people don’t realize. We recently had a customer who added her teenage son. When, she did, the premium increased by $450/year. Thankfully when speaking to her, we were able to get her son’s grades into the company and they received a good student discount, which gave them a discount of $150/year, which every little bit helps! Also, something to consider when getting your child a their first vehicle, is the type of vehicle will affect the insurance. Different cars rate differently with insurance. A newer car will obviously make for a higher premium because of the vehicle symbol being higher and whether or not full coverage or liability only is needed. My parents did the smart thing with me even though at the time, I was sure my life was over. My first vehicle was an old ‘85 Buick. An older, less fancy car rates much lower, so I can appreciate them trying to save money. So, when they say, Oh Mom, c’mon that car is not good enough, just give us a call and we will run the numbers for you to show them the cost differences. And, remember—your kids are always watching what you do—drive with that in mind!