Young drivers the world over have the ability to stir raw emotions in parents and insurance agents although the emotions are complete opposite. Insurance companies are justified in charging higher premium rates while parents and guardians cringe over the risks commonly associated with an inexperienced and young driver.
In Texas, one cannot get a Texas driver’s license without showing proof of insurance. If your insurance has expired and you are caught driving without insurance, you will get a ticket and pay up to $350 in fines for first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, suspension of driver’s license and the vehicle you are driving will be impounded. In Texas, the minimum insurance required is 30/60/25.
Since insurance rates are based on the following criteria, a young driver is clearly at a disadvantage.
- Driving history
- Credit history
Fortunately, there are ways to lower rates for young drivers but before a young driver can even ask for discounts, he or she must know if they can meet the requirements for car insurance. The information you should have readily available before talking to any insurance agent or broker is:
- Your Vehicle Identification Number which you can find on the driver’s side of the dashboard
- The car model and make
- Your Social Security number
- Your daily mileage
You should also have proof of identification like government-issued IDs, school records if you are still in school and want to apply for Good Student discount, certificate of completion of driving school and defensive driving classes, and proof of ownership of the vehicle.
After submission of requirements, the insurance company will assign the application to a person who makes an assessment of the risk for the insurance company. Women generally get more favorable rates than men because the impression is that they are more responsible and do not give in to speed urges or irresponsible behavior while driving.
Students with excellent academic records are also considered to be more responsible and qualify for the good student discount. Discounts can be denied, however, if the car is a sporty vehicle with high maximum speeds. Insurance companies will take the conservative stance because the risk is high and relatively unknown.
Being a part of a national organization like the Boys Scouts or Girl Scouts is an advantage and could influence an assessor in reducing the insurance premium rate. Usually, the big question is answered in the first year that a young driver owns his first car. How he handled the huge responsibility will affect the insurance rate in the following year. Sometimes, parents allow their young driver to use their insured cars and list them as secondary drivers. This is a good way to introduce responsibility especially if the young driver assumes part of the maintenance and insurance cost. A good record as a secondary driver will add brownie points when the young driver decides to buy insurance.
In summary, fulfilling the requirements to buy insurance is easy. Insurance companies want the business. The key is getting to lower the premium if not on the first year then soon after. This is only possible if the young driver can prove he or she is a safe driver.