Teen Drivers Face Higher Insurance Rates

Tips to keep insurance rates down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    High school and college graduates are hitting the car lots this time of year, usually with their parents not far behind. 

    This is their car shopping season, but the real sticker shock doesn't always come from the car dealer but from the insurance agent.

    The Rules to the Teen-Driver Insurance Game

    [DGO] The Rules to the Teen-Driver Insurance Game
    The rates will naturally be higher, but how high they go is up to you. (Published Thursday, Jun 9, 2011)

    Jeanelyn Yang, 26, says those insurance prices can go up in a hurry.

    "One little bumper (accident), I think my friend's rates doubled," said Yang.

    But there are ways to cut down on those costs. 

    A lot depends on what kind of car your son or daughter is driving. But who decides? 

    Mark Simmons with Carmax says that's easy to answer,

    "The parents," said Simmons, "because they are writing that check and really have the final say."

    But what kind of cars should parents buy for their children?

    "You want to get a sedan, a very sedate sedan," said Pete Moraga with the California Insurance Information Network, "Hopefully a four-door because those have a better safety record."

    Instead of Fast and Furious, Moraga says young drivers should be thinking Slow and Safe.

    One of the keys to higher rates is the cost of fixing your car.  A less expensive car leads to lower rates.  You also want to use your family policy and choose which car is linked to your young driver.

    "You want to add them to your policy," Moraga said. "But you also want to restrict them to the lowest-cost car."

    Traditionally, boys have paid more than girls for car insurances, but times are changing, and today's girls rates are also climbing.

    Moraga says girls are getting close to the boys when it comes to risky behavior when it comes to driving at excessive speeds."

    Yang says she understand why prices are high, but she would like to see some changes.

    "I think if you start driving, as long as you are good about it, it should be lower," she said. "But when you do get in an accident, I see a reason to increase it, but it is very high."

    Insurate rates are typically at their highest for ages 18 to 24, but those rates should begin lowering at age 25.