DeAnn Owens
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Car Insurance Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers

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Your newly licensed teen driver is ready to hit the road, most likely in your car. But before you relinquish your keys and watch your teen drive off into the sunset leaving you to handle your panic attack, make sure you’ve updated your car insurance policy.

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Car insurance is a complicated must-do, and here are a few things you should understand to help protect yourself and your teen.

If your teen holds a learner’s permit and not an official driver’s license, let your car insurance company know. Amy Morin, LCSW, explains on VeryWell Family that at this point, your teen doesn’t need to be added to your car insurance policy.

If you have multiple cars in your garage, ask whether your car insurance company will allow you to assign a car to your teen, suggests Morin. If you can assign your teen to the cheapest car in your name, you’ll save money on your insurance.

Your teen is probably dreaming that a shiny, new car wrapped up in a big red bow will be waiting in the driveway, but a new car will just cost you more to insure. A mechanic-vetted, reliable used car will have a lower price tag. Make sure any vehicle you or your teen buys has advanced safety tech and high safety ratings, as these can also contribute to lower insurance costs, adds Morin.

If it’s possible, she recommends adding your teen to your insurance policy. A separate insurance policy will cost more.

“If you’re trying to teach your child responsibility by requiring him to pay for insurance, then have him reimburse you by the billing date each month,” she explains.

Another way to teach your teen responsibility and keep your premiums lower is to require that they hit the books and earn high grades in school. Some insurance companies will apply discounts based on school performance even through college, says Morin.

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The best way to determine the most cost-effective and best policy for your teen is to do research. Don’t assume your current policy and company will serve you and your teen’s needs best.