An insurance broker can help you get the best rate. Brokers can shop around to a variety of insurance underwriters to help find you the right insurance coverage for your needs at a great rate. They will look for all the discounts you qualify for and can help you manage your insurance rates by offering tips on how to use your vehicle and choosing a deductible.
Here are a few ways to make sure you get a great rate for your newly minted teen driver.
1) Assign your teen to an existing car in your household, where there is already a principal driver, besides them. Insurance costs for teens escalate exponentially when they are the principal driver, even if it is on the old family car you’ve been holding onto for them. Felicity Smith, a Sales Team Leader for PC auto insurance advises that “when adding a teen to one of the family vehicles on your insurance policy, they must be assigned to the vehicle that they would be driving most often, not just the one of ‘lesser value’ (unless that is the vehicle that they drive the most frequently). That being said, the teen would still be insured to drive all vehicles on the policy.”
2) Remind your teens that any traffic infraction will usually result in an increase in their car insurance rate, besides the cost of the ticket itself.
3) Adjust the way they drive. If your teen has to get to school or a part time job which is a reasonable distance from home, encourage them to take the car only to the point where they can take public transit, to limit the possibility of an accident or getting a ticket.
4) If your child has been through a certified driver-training program, they will likely be eligible for a lower rate from your auto insurance provider. Make sure to check that the program is recognized by your provider before you pay for the course in order to secure the discount. “With the companies that PC insurance partners with, we start the teen driver who has completed a certified driver’s training course at a 3-star instead of a 1-star. Basically, this rates them as if they have been on a policy for three years rather than just starting out. This can make a very big difference in price,” says Smith.
5) If your teen is moving out of the house, you can see some savings. “When you have a teen that is moving out of the home to attend post-secondary education, they will most likely qualify for a “student away from home” discount depending on the distance from the university or college to their parents’ home.” says Smith. Given this discount, it is better not to remove your child from your policy when they go away to school and as Smith advises, “keeping continuous insurance (no gaps in coverage due to the teen going away to school) will ensure they are rated more favourably on their own insurance policy in the future.”
6) Shop around. Make sure the insurance company you’re dealing with is giving you the best deal for your family, as well as your teen driver.
7) Talk to your teen about the costs, so that they are aware of what it is costing you, or them, for insurance. This is part of their financial literacy training as well. They’ll need to know the impact of insuring themselves when they (hopefully, eventually) move out for good.
8) Practice good driving habits yourself and continue to have dialogues about bad driving behavior that you see, as a reminder of how important safe driving is not only to your physical health, but to your wallet as well.
Smith’s top tips to help get a young driver a good rate and as many discounts as possible:
1. Completing a certified driver’s training course (one of our companies gives an extra discount if the driver’s training course is done through Young Drivers of Canada)
2. Add new driver to parents’ current policy as soon as they receive their full license.
3. Some providers offer a good student discount. If your child is performing well in school, check to see if they may be eligible.
4. Multi-vehicle discount/multi-line discount if parents are insured with the same company
5. Winter tire discount: if there are winter tires on the vehicle from November – April, some companies offer a discount (must have receipt of installation or bill of sale in case insurance company asks for it)
6. Getting license as soon as possible. If a teen gets their G1, then G2 after 8 months (with drivers training) and full G one year after G2, they will be eligible for the graduated licensing discount. (Ontario only
7. The year, make and model of a vehicle will really affect the insurance rates. If your teen is buying their own vehicle, I would advise them to look at the Insurance Board of Canada’s “How Cars Measure Up. This document lists the makes and models of most vehicles and how they are rated by insurance companies. There is a colour coded system to show if they are higher or lower rated (more expensive or not) dependent upon relative claim costs for collision, comprehensive, not at fault, and accident benefit claims for that year, make, and model of vehicle.