It might be hard to believe, but your teen is almost of driving age! Soon they will want to get behind the wheel. You may be thinking they need to change to a lower gear (no pun intended) so you can figure out how to add them to your car insurance policy. The goal: safely and responsibly get your teen out there driving.
Unfortunately, your insurance premium might go up when you add your teen to your policy. It can be more expensive to insure a driver who doesn’t have any experience.
The good news? At BrokerLink it’s our job to give you the best advice available. And we know a thing or two about how to insure teens.
How to Insure a Teen Driver
Your teen is probably itching to get out on the open road as soon as possible. Here are some things you’ll need to think about first:
- Typically, your policy will automatically cover your teen at no cost while driving with a learner’s permit. Check with your insurance broker to be sure.
- Once your teen is licensed to drive alone, you need to contact your insurance company. Let them know that your child needs coverage, and have the teen added to your policy. Your broker will go over all your options and let you know how much it will cost to insure your teen.
- Ask your insurance broker to compare rates from different companies. Rates for teens vary from company to company, so consider different options.
- Include your teen in the insurance process. This will help them understand what is involved and the responsibility associated with getting insurance.
When to Add a Teen Driver to Your Auto Insurance Policy & the Benefits
Once your teen has their license, the requests for a car of their own might start coming in. In fact, you might have got those requests before they even turned 16! If your teen has a part-time job, they might even be saving up to buy a car themselves! But before you make that big purchase, consider adding your teen as a secondary driver to your current car insurance plan. That way they will start building a driving and insurance history. This can help your teen get lower rates in the future when they get their own vehicle.
What is a secondary driver?
A secondary driver is someone who uses your vehicle occasionally but doesn’t use it the most. They will have the same policy coverage as the primary driver. If your teen is driving to school everyday, this is not considered occasional. In that case, your teen should be listed as a primary driver. Make sure you fully understand the difference between primary and secondary drivers and be honest with your insurance broker about how often your teen is using your vehicle. A claim can be denied if there is evidence that proves otherwise.
Saving Money on Teen Car Insurance Rates in Canada
While adding your teen to your insurance policy will most likely cause your rates to increase, there are few ways to save:
Enrol your teen in driving school
In some provinces in Canada, completing a government-approved driving education course can help you save money on your insurance. It can also provide you with the skills needed to get your full license. Check out your province’s Ministry of Transportation website to find out what courses are available for you teen.
Encourage your teen to practice good driving habits
Teen drivers have a higher collision rate. Statistically, young drivers do not consider driving 10 km/h to 20 km/h above the speed limit to be dangerous. Teach your teen about the common causes of accidents such as distracted driving, driving impaired, speeding and impulsiveness. Kids can pick up driving habits from watching their parents! Always set a good example by showing courtesy to who you share the road with and obeying the rules of the road.
Buying a Vehicle for your teen
Once your teen has some driving experience under their belt, you might want to think about buying them a vehicle. If so, here are a few things to consider:
- Look for a car with built-in safety features. Some features like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices can get you a lower insurance rate. And of course, more safety features will keep your teen safe on the road.
- Consider a used vehicle. Your teen has their whole life to buy their dream car! Starting with a cheaper used vehicle will help offset the costs of higher insurance premiums.
- Talk to an insurance broker. Insurance brokers have years of experience finding insurance for families and their new drivers. Consulting with a broker means you’ll be able to get expert advice and make a choice that makes sense for you and your family.
Contact BrokerLink to find insurance for your teen driver
Driving is a big responsibility. As a parent, you should make sure your teen understands all the risks and responsibilities associated with driving. Include your teen in the insurance process so they understand what is covered and what they should do if they are involved in an accident.
There are lots of ways to get in touch with a BrokerLink insurance advisor:
While it can be stressful, learning to drive is an exciting and fun time! Good luck to you and your teen on their driving journey!