How to Buy Auto Insurance for a New Driver

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Here's what you need to know...
  • First-time drivers can find it challenging to buy auto insurance
  • New drivers face many obstacles when shopping for auto insurance
  • New drivers, especially teenager are considered far greater insurance risks

Buying auto insurance for a new driver can be an arduous and time-consuming process. While most every insurance company will offer policy options for new drivers, the rates they charge will be among the highest allowed by law.

New drivers face many obstacles when shopping for auto insurance. In order to find reasonable coverage at affordable rates, new drivers and their families should take the time to investigate all available local carriers.

It’s always best to comparison shop, asking each auto insurer about available discounts while exploring other ways to save money on car insurance premiums.

You will always find the best car insurance rates for new drivers when you enter your zip code into the FREE tool above!

Why Car Insurance is so Expensive for New Drivers

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The golden rule in the insurance industry is, the higher the risk, the more you will pay for insurance premiums. This maxim is true when purchasing any kind of insurance but is especially relevant to automobile insurance.

New drivers, especially teenagers who are still in high school or college, are considered far greater insurance risks than individuals who are older and have more driving experience.

According to experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, IIHS, drivers at age 16 are six times more likely to get into an accident than drivers are in the 30 to 59 age group.

According to the IIHS, car crashes are the single biggest killer of teenagers in America.

The IIHS website provides links to brochures, videos and other useful information that can help prevent accidents while reducing fatalities and other serious injuries among teenage drivers.

It’s no wonder then that car insurance premiums are so much higher for younger, newer drivers.

While most insurance providers will charge significantly higher premiums for new drivers, the good news is that car insurance is readily available for new drivers and many companies will offer discounts to help ease the financial burden for newer drivers’ first few years on the road.

Factors to Consider when Shopping for Car Insurance for New Drivers

We know that new drivers are at the highest risk for traffic violations, accidents, and other auto mishaps.

We also know that because of these statistical certainties, new drivers are going to pay very high rates for car insurance.

New drivers and their families can save on car insurance by following these three simple rules, plan ahead, comparison shop, and once insurance is obtained, drive safely and carefully!

It’s important to remember that while car insurance can be expensive for new drivers, it is a necessary tool designed to protect drivers, their passengers, their vehicles, and other property.

Plan Ahead

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By being proactive and planning ahead, new licensees can reap big dividends when it comes to shopping for auto insurance. Most states now require some form of driver training or other educational classes for new licensees.

However, there are always additional safety courses and training classes that can lead to auto insurance discounts.

It’s critical that you talk to your children in advance about the perils of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While we know that drug use is illegal and that it is illegal for teens to drink in the United States, still many young people try alcohol or experiment with drugs.

It is imperative that young drivers understand that they must never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if they have been drinking, taking medications, or other drugs.

Not only is a driver under the influence at risk of serious injury or death, the financial costs alone of a single DWI or DUI traffic violation can amount to more than $10,000!

Parents should also discuss the dangers of texting, e-mailing and talking on the phone while driving.

The Automobile Club, AAA, discusses these issues in their recent article about distracted driving.

Studies conducted in the past year clearly demonstrates that drivers who use a cell phone or other handheld electronic device while driving are four times as likely to have an accident.

There are other distractions to avoid as well, such as smoking, eating or playing with the car radio or CD player.

Take a Class

The Automobile Club, AAA, sponsors many such classes for its members. Community colleges, public school districts, and other agencies also provide training for newer as well as older drivers that are more experienced.

Insurance companies know that educated drivers are better drivers and cause fewer accidents.

Speaking of education, most auto insurance companies offer discounts to student drivers who maintain at least a B average in school. Students with good grades get good rates as statistics show that better students tend to be better drivers.

Better students are apt to pay more attention while behind the wheel as well as follow motor vehicle laws and regulations.

Set a Good Example

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Parents of young drivers can also be proactive by setting a good example when they are driving their youngsters from place to place. It’s not enough to teach new drivers proper road etiquette and the correct way to drive.

Older drivers should avoid displaying their own bad habits in front of younger, more impressionable drivers. In all cases, drivers should act responsibly and follow the rules of the road.

Teach new drivers to learn and obey all traffic regulations.

Ignorance of the law is never an acceptable excuse for a traffic infraction. According to automotive expert Edmonds.com, parents should try to make safe driving a family project.

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Add a New Driver to Your Policy

Adding your teen driver to your existing auto insurance policy can have a number of advantages. As a long-term customer, you are likely to be eligible for a number of benefits and discounts that a new driver would not be able to get on their own.

Existing policies offer discounts clean driving records and may even be willing to forgive a minor accident or traffic citation when it comes time for renewal.

Multi-policy discounts are also available to homeowners, renters, and those who purchase life, health, disability or other types of insurance products from the same company.

Buy the Right Car and Ride with your Teen

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New, younger drivers are often encouraged to show off by their peers while driving. Research shows that teen drivers can lack the maturity and judgment to make appropriate decisions in the moment as they are driving.

A sports car or luxury vehicle might represent too big a temptation for a teen driver.

Not only are family minivans and sedans more economical to insure, they are far safer to drive and present far fewer risks on the road.

 Young drivers should be encouraged to take out the family wagon and abandon thoughts of driving a fast, sporty car for their own protection and yours.

Edmonds.com recommends that parents ride with their teenagers. Younger drivers need to build confidence and feel safe behind the wheel of an automobile.

Praise your new driver for following the rules of the road and engaging in safe driving practices.

Parents can also help new drivers adjust their habits in a positive way while learning how to drive responsibly

Understand the Licensing Process

Today, new licensees in every state are required to go through a series of steps before receiving their permanent adult driver’s license. Graduated licenses help ease new drivers into the flow of becoming responsible motorists.

Each state differs as to the restrictions of new licensees, but most begin with learner’s permits that require a licensed adult be present.

The next step is usually a provisional license that limits the hours that a 16 or 17-year-old may drive without adult supervision. Finally, a permanent license is issued at age 18 or 19.

This process is beneficial for both new drivers and the community at large and guarantees that new drivers have met at least the minimum training, practice, and educational requirements for licensure.

Final Thoughts when Buying Auto Insurance for New Drivers

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Buying auto insurance is both a time consuming and complex process.

It’s important to understand what types of insurance are available and what coverage is required in your state.

Unfortunately, many drivers ignore the law and drive without any insurance coverage. According to

According to recent reports by USA Today, one in seven motorists is driving without automobile insurance.

This represents almost 14 percent of American motorists, a number that has steadily increased during the recent economic downturn and recession. While understandable in light of the current economic climate in the U.S. today, these statistics are alarming and very costly!

While most drivers carry uninsured motorist protection, accidents, and damages caused by uninsured drivers totaled to nearly $11 billion in 2007, the last year that statistics are available, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

This association and the Center for Insurance Policy and Research, provide invaluable information for consumers about insurance matters nationally and for each individual state.

The most important consideration when buying auto insurance is the safety and well-being of the driver.

By following motor vehicle regulations and obtaining sufficient auto insurance coverage, motorists are providing for their own protection and the protection of their passengers, pedestrians and other motorists as well.

There is nothing more precious than the life of a 16-year-old driving to school or to a friend’s home. Fulfilling the requirements for obtaining a driver’s license, purchasing adequate auto insurance coverage, and paying strict attention to the rules of the road are a small price to pay for keeping your loved ones from harm’s way.

Whether you’re 16 or 60, click here to find the best auto insurance rates by entering your zip code in the FREE search tool below!

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