With rising costs in today’s materialistic world, people are trying to save money wherever they can. Vehicle insurance premiums have experienced a noticeable increase in the past decade. This can be frustrating as it is a mandatory expense in all provinces. This is especially hard for the teen population of drivers. Rates for brand-new drivers are understandably higher than those who have years of experience behind the wheel.
The majority of teenagers don’t have the luxury of a full-time paycheck. So the high insurance rates are alarming. Averages show that an insurance policy for brand-new drivers can be upwards of 79%. That’s more than the cost for someone with years of experience.
Thirty five years ago, driving courses were created in Canada. They had the purpose of teaching young drivers the correct and proper way to conduct themselves on the road. Courses come from both franchise and private driving schools, depending on each province. These lessons are generally a mix of classroom and physical instruction. But can these courses actually lower the rates of insurance offered to teen drivers?
Factors that Influence Insurance Rates
There’s multiple factors that can have an effect on insurance premiums for teens:
- Number of years spent with a valid license – an experienced driver would generally have from five to seven years
- An accredited driving course completed versus just passing the road test through The Department of Motor Vehicles
- Year and model of vehicle – i.e. Newer versus older models; sports car versus family sedan
- The amount of kilometers driven in an average day (time spent physically on the roadways)
- Previous insurance claims for collisions, speeding tickets etc. This factor does not necessarily apply to brand new drivers but can factor in when sharing insurance with a family member
Driving courses are available in almost every province of Canada. And they focus on areas from highway driving to parallel parking. With a combination of both classroom instruction with a focus on the rules and regulations of driving designated to each province along with possible scenarios and the correct response. And physical instruction coupled with driving experience accompanied by a driving instructor in the vehicle with the teen driver.
Why Teenagers Have Higher Rates
Generally, insurance companies are not aiming to be discriminatory when they issue higher premiums and even deductibles for teenagers. But base their rates on a combination of road statistics and previous experiences. Studies conducted on roadways and traffic accident reports show a direct correlation between age and driving experience; allowing teenagers to fall into a “high-risk” category when it comes to potential claims and payouts.
Teenagers are easily distracted. Especially when driving around with friends. And if they don’t possess the experience behind the wheel to avoid potential collisions. Tragic statistics prove that vehicular accidents are the leading cause of death for Canadian Teenagers. These statistics lead insurance companies to increase the rates of insurance for multiple reasons. Some of these reasons can be deemed selfish but it is also a wake-up call for most teenagers. A teenager with a high rate for vehicular insurance will become more conscious over the money spent on their policy. And will try to avoid any incident that can increase the rates even higher.
Driving School and Insurance Rates
Completing driving school courses not only show insurance adjusters that the teenage in front of them looking for their first vehicle insurance is an educated driver but also that they are dedicated drivers with a commitment to safety on and off the provincial roadways.
Insurance rates are based on a number of things from provincial norm to an individual’s experience, as mentioned above. The adjuster can make the decision of a discounted insurance and having a driving school record helps sway the cost to the lower side.
Always confirm with the individual insurance company and check against provincial guidelines to determine what discount, if any, is offered through the successful completion of an accredited driving school. Some companies will even offer to credit a new driver with three years of experience when presented with a certification of completion. But these credits have limits. They will be only be considered for the length of time the teenager is inexperienced.
An accredited driving course will offer numerous other benefits. These courses will teach the motor, judgement and senario skills that will lower insurance costs in the longer run; due to a lower number of claims.
Other Ways to Decrease a Teenagers Insurance Rate
- Purchase a smart vehicle model – avoid vehicles that are flashy and could pose a higher risk of theft. Avoid brand new models as the cost of replacement is higher than a used vehicle.
- Raise both comprehensive and collision deductibles – raising deductibles will result in a lower premium cost per year. Just ensure the additional cost will be covered by either your child or yourself.
- Good grade point average (GPA) – insurance companies can sometimes give discounts to new drivers when presented with recent transcripts showing at least a “B” average. Teenage drivers will have to present a new transcript on each renewal to qualify.
- Shop around – some insurance companies cater to brand-new drivers and will offer discounts on coverage. These policies can have certain conditions attached. Such as a clean driving record for a minimum of three months with each incident raising the cost.
- Combine policies – It can be costly if you’re listed on your parent’s insurance policy. But most companies will offer discounts when auto, home, and recreational insurance is combined.
In a world where people work hard for their money, isn’t it always best to research before making decisions? Teenage drivers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to driving experience. Using an accredited driving school will not only reduce young driver’s insurance rates but also provide valuable informative and hands-on experience.
Consult your insurance provider and always shop around to ensure the best deal you can get! If you are unable to complete a full semester of driving school or participate in courses; contact your local DMV to ask about hour-sessions with a driving instructor.