What You Should Know About ...
Your Family's Insurance Needs With a Teen Driver
By Tom Wiecek, Certified Insurance Counselor, President
Society of Family Insurance Specialists
Let's start with one question. When you called your insurance company and told your agent that you are going to add your teen driver to your insurance policy, did he or she make any recommendations on adjusting your insurance coverage for this new risk?
If you answer yes, then I hope those recommendations made sense to you. If you answered no, then read this article very carefully.
Before we get into the special insurance needs for your family now that you have a teen driver, I want to share with you a few things that you may find startling.
The likelihood of your teen driver causing an accident is great.
16 year olds are five times more likely to get into an accident the first year of driving than an experienced driver of 10 years and three times more likely than a 19 year old.
Of course there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of your teen driver getting into an accident and your Family Insurance Specialist can help you with this. But the fact is, no matter how much time you spend with your teen and what precautions you take, the chance of an accident is still great.
It takes years of experience to become the safest of drivers. Young drivers just don't have this experience and when you add immaturity and peer pressure, an accident is most likely going to happen. The question now is ... how serious is this accident going to be?
This is when you better hope you have good insurance protection.
The cost of the average teen driver accident is almost 3 times higher than that of an experienced adult with 10 years driving experience. More deaths occur from teen driver accidents than any other age group. The lawsuits from these accidents are more frequent and more expensive than any other age group.
The average wrongful death lawsuit is well over a million dollars and lawsuits from accidents resulting in permanent disabilities are even higher.
Think about this. If your teen driver kills someone in a car accident, do you have enough insurance coverage to pay for the value of someone's life? Do you have enough insurance coverage to pay for the care of someone that is permanently disabled and requires 24 hour care?
If not and your teen driver causes a serious accident, how are you going to pay for the judgment?
Well, here's what you need to think about first.
- What is someone's life worth?
- What assets are you willing to give up if a court rules against you?
- How much of your future earnings are you willing to pay to cover a lawsuit for someone's life?
- How long are you willing to pay for a lawsuit for someone's life?
These are the questions that will come up if your young driver causes a tragic accident. You don't have to answer these questions though. The courts will for you. Of course, your insurance will pay for what your policy limits are. But do you have enough coverage for the worst case situation?
So, how much insurance coverage do you need now that you have a teen driver?
Here is How You Can Get the Right Insurance Protection for Your Family with a Teen Driver
Get a 21 Point Protection Review from a Family Insurance Specialist that understands the special needs of families with teen drivers. Some of the points a good family protection specialist will recommend are:
- Make sure your car insurance limits for bodily injury are the highest your state allows. (Minimum $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident)
- Make sure your Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists limits are high too. (Minimum $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident)
- Get a Personal Liability Umbrella. A million dollar umbrella is probably enough for most families, but if you own an expensive home or have a high paying career, you should strongly consider at least a 2 million dollar umbrella.
You will be surprised that the cost of making these changes won't make much difference in what you pay for your insurance. In fact, a Family Insurance Specialist can find other ways to reduce the total amount you pay for all of your insurance!
Use Special Tools to Help Reduce the Likelihood of a Lawsuit- Your Family Insurance Specialist offers multiple Teen Driver Safety tools that can help you make your teen a safer driver and reduce the likelihood of an accident.
The best way to avoid problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. If you make your teen driver a more responsible driver, the chances of something happening is greatly reduced. Here are some ways your family insurance specialist can help you make your teen a safer driver.
- Get the 16 Step Home Study Driving Course- "The Safe Teen Driver Guide" from your local Family Insurance Specialist. You can get a free copy of this $59 course for FREE. This course gives you a step by step lesson plan and practice exercises that will help you teach your teen the most important skills every teen should master to drive safely.
- Get a Parent/Teen Contract- You can download a FREE copy of this contract by entering this site. Type in your zip code in the box above and go to the Resources section of your local Family Insurance Specialist page.
- Get a GPS Teen Driver Safety Monitoring System- This system will instantly make your teen a safer driver. Your teen will know that if they make a mistake, you will be alerted. It works like this.
A GPS sending unit is installed in your teen's car under the dash or somewhere it can't easily be reached. You log in to a special website and set specific limits such as maximum allowed speed, driving times, and driving range. Anytime any of these limits are broken, you will be alerted by phone, text message or e-mail.
Your Family Insurance Specialist can help you decide on a unit that is right for your teen driver.
Remain vigilant on your teen driver's safety- Your Family Insurance Specialist offers a free monthly e-newsletter that contains the latest tips and strategies for keeping your teen driver safe and how to get the most out of your insurance protection. You can sign up for a free subscription to this newsletter by entering this site and sign up for VIP access.
By becoming a VIP (Vigilant, Informed, Parent) you will have access to several consumer reports and Master Police Officer James Poer's Blog. His 30 years of investigating car accidents, many involving teens, will help you understand the most common mistakes teen drivers make and how you can prevent them.
So, enter your zip code now and protect what is most important to you ... your child and your family's future!
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