Insurance companies assess risks when setting premiums. When parents add a new teen driver to an auto insurance policy, the chances of a collision go up significantly. This, in turn, causes premiums to rise. NBC News reported a new study showed the average increase in premiums when a teen is added to an insurance policy is 80 percent.
Not only does this increase impose a financial burden, but it is also a testament to just how dangerous it is when a teen begins to drive. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows teens are the demographic group at the greatest risk of getting into a car accident in Missouri. Parents need to take steps to protect young drivers, especially when teens get their license for the first time.
How Dangerous are Teen Drivers?
In 2013, almost 3,000 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions involving teen drivers. Another 400,000 people sustained injuries in collisions with teenagers. In almost 2/3 of these accidents, the person who got hurt or killed was not the teen but was instead someone else like another motorist, a passenger in the teen’s car, or a pedestrian. The CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety cautioned the new study shows the impact of teen crashes extends “well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel.”
Insurance companies are aware of the tremendous potential for losses when a teen causes a crash and injures or kills someone. The victim or surviving family members can seek extensive compensation for medical bills and other losses. As a result of the added liability risk, adding a driver aged 16 to 19 causes the insurance rates a married couple pays to rise as much as 80 percent.
Certain teen drivers see higher rates than others. Younger teenagers are likely to result in the highest premiums. Adding a 16-year-old to an insurance policy is, on average, likely to cause premiums to rise by as much as 96 percent. Adding a 19-year-old will result in only an average premium increase of 60 percent.
Teen girls are also viewed as less risky than teen boys, so premium hikes are lower for females than males. On average, adding a female teenage girl to a policy prompts a 67 percent increase in insurance premiums. Adding a teen male to a policy prompts a 92 percent increase.
There are ways to reduce these added costs. Some insurance companies offer discounts of as much as 25 percent if a teenager maintains an average of at least a B in high school or college classes. Teens who are good students tend not to become involved in as many collisions as teens who do not do as well in school.
Some insurers also offer discounts when devices are used to monitor teen behavior, such as device like the Progressive Snapshot System. Parents should consider installing a monitoring system both so they can try to keep the costs of insuring their teen down and so they can make sure their child is not taking unnecessary risk that could cause injury to themselves or other motorists on the road.