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Car Insurance Basics for Teen Drivers

Starting to drive is an exciting and nerve-wracking venture. It’s reasonable that you may have questions, even some you are too embarrassed to ask your insurance agent. Here are some important car insurance basics to know before you hit the road.

Is Car Insurance More Expensive for Teenagers?

On average, teenagers are more expensive to insure than adult drivers. This is because insurance providers consider teenagers more “high-risk.” Teenage drivers have less experience behind the wheel and statistically cause more accidents.

For example, the average cost of car insurance in Texas for a 16-year-old is around $5,548 a year. For the same coverage, a 22-year-old driver in Texas may pay closer to $2,635 a year.

There is nothing you can do about how your age affects your car insurance. You can save by driving defensively, taking driving classes, and asking about discounts, however.

What Age Does the Cost of Car Insurance Go Down?

Car insurance premiums drop by age steadily each year until you are 25, at which point drops in premiums only occur every five years based on your age. Premiums only start to go back up around the age of 65. This is only if you do not have any other factors influencing your rate, however, which is unlikely.

Accidents, traffic violations, tickets and poor credit can all drive your car insurance rates up, no matter what age group you are in. Other factors that can influence how much you pay for car insurance include:

  • Location​

  • Model and value of the vehicle​

  • How much you drive​

Certain vehicles may cost more to insure. Teenagers drivers are generally encouraged to stray away from sports vehicles and expensive cars, as your insurance may be higher on these vehicles. How Does a Car Insurance Deductible Work? A car insurance deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket when you have to file a car insurance claim. Contrary to popular belief, car insurance won’t pay for everything the majority of the time. Say you get in a small fender bender and need $1,500 to fix the front of your car. Your car insurance deductible is $500. This means you will have to pay $500 before receiving compensation for the remaining $1,000. You can choose your deductible when purchasing a car insurance policy. A higher deductible can save you money on monthly premiums, but it also means paying more out of pocket if you have to file a claim on your policy. A lower deductible will mean higher monthly premiums, but less money out of pocket. Speak with your insurance agent and family members to decide how low or high your car insurance deductible should be. Do You Have to File a Claim After an Accident?

Another misconception is that you must file a car insurance claim after an accident. On the contrary, you are not required to file a claim. Although you should always notify your insurance provider of an incident, you do not necessarily have to seek compensation. In fact, it is sometimes cheaper not to file a claim. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you hit a curb, causing damages that amount to $700, it would be more expensive for you to file a claim. In cases where the damages are less than the cost of your deductible, it may be more cost effective to pay for the damages out of pocket instead of filing a claim. Keep in mind that you should not keep accidents from your insurance provider, especially if they involve other people. The insurance provider will generally know if you’ve had an accident and keeping information from your insurer can lead to rejected claims later on and possibly even a cancelled policy. Is Full Coverage Car Insurance Really Required? Most states have minimum liability requirements for drivers to carry in order to operate their vehicles legally. Liability insurance is only a part of full coverage car insurance. Full coverage is the most amount of coverage you can have on your vehicle and is not required by state law. Insurers and lenders, however, may require teenage drivers to carry full coverage on their vehicle. If you or your parents are still paying off your vehicle, you will likely be required to carry full coverage. If you are driving one of your parents’ old, paid off vehicles, however, it will be up to the insurer as to how much coverage you will be encouraged to carry. Full coverage is generally recommended, as liability insurance on its own does not cover damages to your vehicle or medical bills you may face after an accident. Along with liability insurance, it is recommended that you carry comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payments coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if you have any questions about your car insurance or wish to see what discounts you may receive.

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