When you’re a new driver, car insurance can seem confusing. What type of coverage do you need? Are there any tips for getting good rates? What can you do to stay safe behind the wheel to help keep your car insurance affordable?
Finding the Right Car Insurance Policy
As a new driver, it is imperative to make sure you have enough coverage if you do get into an accident. But, since you’re new to auto insurance, the coverage options can seem confusing. How do you know which ones you really need? A basic full coverage policy includes:
- Liability– This coverage pays for damages or injuries caused to others if you are found at fault for the accident.
- Collision– This coverage applies to damage to your own vehicle.
- Uninsured Motorists –This coverage pays for your damages and injuries if the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance.
- Underinsured Motorists –This coverage pays for your damages and injuries that exceed the other driver’s insurance limits when the other driver is at fault.
- Comprehensive– This coverage protects you if there is damage to your car that was not caused by an accident, such as hail, theft, or vandalism.
- Additional Options – You may also want to consider rental car coverage, medical payments coverage, and other add-ons that your insurance agent will discuss with you.
Discounts for Affordable Car Insurance Premiums
When you first start out, you can expect to have higher car insurance rates compared to experienced drivers. You have not had a chance to prove that you are a conscientious driver, and an insurance company is taking a risk by insuring you. However, many car insurance companies offer discounts that you may be eligible for from the get-go:
Good Student Discount– If you have good grades in either high school or college, you may qualify for a discount on your car insurance.
- Safety Features– The amount you pay for car insurance can be influenced by your car’s safety features. You can help reduce your rates by choosing a car with advanced safety features, such as collision braking systems, back-up cameras, airbags, and anti-theft devices.
- Driver Training Discount – If you complete a qualified driver training course in addition to the basic driver’s education requirements, you may be able to reduce your rates.
Make Safe Driving a Priority
An at-fault car accident may impact your insurance rates, and it can take several years for them to return to the pre-accident rate. This means the number one way for you to limit your car insurance costs, whether a new driver or an experienced one, is to make sure you are not the cause of a car accident. Unfortunately, as a teenage driver, the statistics are not in your favor. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, teen drivers are up to nine times more likely to be involved in a car accident than older, more experienced drivers. If you approach driving as the serious responsibility that it is, you can reduce your risk of causing an accident by:
- Never using your cell phone or any other device while behind the wheel, so you can stay focused on the road at all times.
- Follow all posted traffic laws, such as stop signs and speed limits; they’re there for a reason.
- Take a driver training course that expands on the safe driving strategies you learned in driver’s education (this may also get you an insurance discount).
As a new driver, your newfound mobility, and the insurance coverage that allows you to drive, is likely of the utmost importance. Keep these tips in mind when searching for insurance and when you get behind the wheel.