Do student drivers need auto insurance?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Teen drivers constitute the most at risk group of drivers in the country
  • Student drivers and drivers age 16-25 have more accidents than any other group
  • Student drivers may qualify for reduced rates due to excellent driving records or high academic achievement

Learning to drive is an exciting time for teens. They want to get on the road as fast as possible once they learn to maneuver a car and spread their wings as a driver.

When kids are 14 in most states, they can obtain a learner’s permit which allows them to drive a car with an adult present.

Once they turn 16, they can drive legally without an adult present. This new frontier can be a frightening time for parents, who wonder if their child is responsible enough to be safe on the roadways.

Another concern parents have that is related to this is whether their student driver needs their own insurance for their car. Some parents opt to carry student drivers on their insurance, rather than try to get their child insurance of his or her own.

Make sure you have the right coverage for your student driver. Enter your zip code in our FREE comparison tool to get started!

Legal Requirements for Student Drivers

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The legal requirements for student drivers are the same as for regular drivers. You must be covered with the state minimums on car insurance that is required of everyone else.

You can opt to stay on your parents’ insurance if they agree to this option, or you can have your own insurance.

For student drivers who have a part-time job, they may be able to afford insurance, which can be better for parents because covering a student driver on their car insurance will raise their premiums quite a bit.

Options for Student Drivers

When young people are learning to drive, there are likely to be some close calls. Students who are learning to drive may fail to follow basic traffic regulations, be more easily distracted, or become nervous when learning the ropes.

On average, student drivers are more likely to end up in a fender-bender than others.

Car insurance for student drivers protects them from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses which they likely cannot afford when they are so young.

It also keeps you as the parent from having to foot the bill if something happens.

Statistics on Student Drivers

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Insurance statistics show that drivers under the age of 25, especially males ages 18-24, have the highest accident rates of any driving group, and therefore they are at higher risk for accidents.

Girls are quickly catching up on this statistic in recent years, possibly due to the increase in cell phone use and texting while driving issues.

Girls are also driving more than they used to, thereby increasing the possibility of accidents and collisions.

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Pay-as-you-go Insurance

One option for car insurance for student drivers is pay-as-you-go insurance. This type of insurance is also known as usage-based insurance.

It can be adjusted to fit how much someone drives and is usually based on the number of miles you drive each month.

The best thing about this type of insurance is that you are not tied to a particular premium, and this can fluctuate depending on how many miles are driven each month.

Discounts for Student Drivers

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– Safety Discount

Some insurance plans offer teen safety rewards for safe driving. Students can earn rewards for safe driving and get a discount on their premium.

Parents can sometimes apply this to their insurance plan if they are carrying student drivers, to lower their premiums. Even local law enforcement gets involved in this program to reward teens for safe driving.

– Clean Driving Discount

While the insurance rates for student drivers are high on average, there are also student discounts that you may be eligible for to decrease your premium amounts.

If you have an excellent driving record and have been driving with a driver’s permit for any amount of time, you may qualify for lower premiums.

– Good Grade Discount

Some insurance plans offer student discounts for excellence in academics. Many insurance companies believe that there is a positive correlation between responsibility in academic studies and responsibility on the road.

Good grades translate into savings for your teen. Ask your agent or an online insurance specialist to check to see if this is available with the insurance you are considering.

Some of the criteria that these programs usually require include:

  • A “B” average or better on all coursework
  • Inclusion on the Dean’s list or honor roll
  • Standardized test ranking in the upper twentieth percentile

If you have a student driver who qualifies for this discount, it is certainly worth the effort to look into it; it may pay off big in insurance premium savings.

– Distant Student Discount

One other type of student driver discount that your teen may qualify for is a distant student discount. This discount is sometimes available on your car insurance plan when you have a student who lives several miles away.

Tips for Parents and Teens

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The best thing you can do when you have a student driver on your car insurance is to encourage excellent driving habits so that you will lower the risk of accidents while your child is in this high-risk driving group.

Even more important than insurance rates is the peace of mind you’ll have as a parent knowing that your student driver will be safe along the roadways.

  • Buckle up each and every time you get in the car
  • Watch for other drivers and learn to predict their moves
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from cars that you are following so you will not accidentally bump them
  • Never drive or get in the car with anyone who has been drinking
  • Never text and drive
  • Stay focused on the road at all times and obey all traffic signs and regulations
  • Stay under the speed limit

These are excellent tips that will decrease the likelihood of an accident or moving violation.

For kids in this statistical age group, it is imperative that they maintain a clean and safe driving record, which will keep car insurance premiums low.

Start comparison shopping to see if you can lower your premiums! Enter your zip code in our FREE tool to get started.

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