Insurance and Finance

Are You Ready to Add Your Teen to Your Auto Insurance Policy?

By Peter Simek 6.30.21

There is no moment in American life that symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood quite like getting a driver’s license.

The moment may also fill parents with questions, concerns, and understandably mixed emotions. After all, the thought of your child suddenly behind the wheel can be scary. On the other hand, having another driver in the house can be incredibly helpful, especially if it means an end to your back-and-forth trips on school days.

What often gets overlooked in the excitement and consternation of receiving one’s first license is teen driver insurance. How can you stay prepared, safe, and covered during this moment of transition? Kevin Skiles, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Abilene, tackles some of the key questions that both parents and new drivers face

Q: When Do You Need to Add a Teen Driver to Your Policy?

A: When your teenager is beginning to learn how to drive, you don’t need to add them to your policy yet. If a driver with a learner’s permit is behind the wheel and an adult is in the car, the adult’s insurance policy will cover any accidents that may occur. But once that first driver’s license is issued, it’s time to add your new driver to your policy.

Q: How Do You Add a Teen Driver to Your Policy?

A: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance’s offices are notified when the state issues a new driver’s license to someone in your household. So, while it’s best to reach out to your Agent as soon as your teen gets their license, don’t be surprised if your Agent calls you first to congratulate you on your new driver and ask how you would like to add them to your policy.

Q: How Do Teen Drivers Affect Premiums?

A: Unfortunately, teen drivers tend to have a big impact on the cost of insurance policy premiums. It’s a big jump because of all the data that 16-, 17-, 18-year-old drivers have a lot of accidents and a lot of claims. Our Agents will work with you to try to figure out the best way to mitigate the impact of these premium jumps.

Q: Are There Ways to Reduce the Premium Impact?

A: We always walk through your options together and try to find you the best fit for your new driver. One approach is to be strategic about which vehicle in your household you list as your teenager’s primary mode of transportation. If you have two vehicles with two different levels of coverage — for example, a newer car that is required by a lienholder to have full coverage and an older car with only liability coverage — it’s best to add your teen driver to the auto that has only liability coverage. In that case, the older car with only liability would be the one that they should drive every day.

Q: How Important Is Safe Driving?

A: There are a few other ways to reduce teen driver insurance premiums. The first is to ensure safe driving. Any accidents or claims are only going to cause your premiums to rise, particularly when there is a teen driver behind the wheel. If your new driver racks up any fender benders during their first few months behind the wheel, it can be a costly proposition.

Q: What About Type of Car?

A: Another consideration is the kind of car your teenager drives. Sure, they may have been dreaming of saddling up behind that souped-up Mustang ever since they started their first engine. But sporty cars can drive up premiums. If you are driving a Camaro compared to a Toyota Corolla, obviously the Camaro is going to be higher.

Q: Are There Discounts Available?

A: Policyholders with multiple cars will receive a discount, as well as policyholders with both homeowners and auto insurance with Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. Another discount many drivers may not be aware of is the academic achievement discount, which might offer your teen driver a new incentive to hit the books. We give them a discount for good grades: We get the report card or the student transcript, we sign off on it, and they get a small discount.

Contact your local Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to see how you can prepare for teen driver insurance premiums.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance