Whether you’re a teenager, young adult, or adult who has just received their driver’s license, finding cost-efficient insurance can be challenging. Insurance companies look at your driving history to help determine the premium that you pay.
However, if you’re a new driver and have no history, they have nothing to compare it to. You can’t drive without insurance, and new drivers have less experience and pose a more significant threat to insurance agencies.
Here are some tips on getting cheaper car insurance for first-time drivers.
Understanding Car Insurance
As mentioned, having car insurance is mandatory for drivers. Getting caught without insurance can land you a hefty fine and possibly even jail time if you get into an accident and someone gets injured.
Car insurance protects your vehicle, yourself, and others in the event of an accident. Injuries and vehicle repairs can be highly expensive, and the costs can be higher if you get sued and need to appear in court.
Further, car insurance companies help to ease the financial strain of an accident. It’s important to keep in mind that the policy you have is going to determine what is covered in an accident.
Why Is New Driver Insurance Expensive?
Unlike experienced drivers, first-time drivers have the most difficult time finding a great plan that is also reflected in the price. Insurance agencies see new drivers as a larger risk; therefore they end up charging more for insurance.
You can compare it to credit to understand more; the lower your credit score, the more interest you are going to pay. Don’t be discouraged because there are still many ways that you can reduce the cost of your car insurance.
Choosing the Right Insurance Company
Because car insurance is typically more expensive for new drivers, it’s essential that you thoroughly investigate what insurance agencies can offer you. Choosing the first company that gives you what you think is a good rate isn’t suggested. There is much more to consider than just the price.
Discount car insurance can sometimes lack the type of insurance that isn’t going to cover you and your vehicle adequately in the case of an accident. There isn’t a point in paying for a premium if you are going to end up paying out-of-pock expenses because you aren’t covered properly. Having insufficient coverage is a waste of money.
When you are looking at insurance companies, ensure that you request a proper breakdown of the policy they are offering you. Have them go through it line-by-line and make sure that you properly understand what is covered. Remember that if the company seems hesitant to disclose everything that the plan covers, it’s a sign that you need to move on to another agency.
Only seeking out big-name agencies isn’t always the best option for you either. In many cases, you end up paying more for the well-known name than the service you’re receiving.
Lesser known and smaller insurance agencies might be what you need to find cost-efficient coverage if you’re a new driver. Always consider looking into those companies because you might get a better deal that is designed for drivers with little experience.
Remember that every insurance company has their own algorithm when calculating and assessing risks and premiums. Shopping around allows you to compare price quotes, and doing the research lets you understand the best policy that you can get for your money.
Best Ways to Find Cheap Insurance for First Time Drivers
There isn’t much of a way around it; insurance is going to be expensive if you’re a new driver. Since not having insurance isn’t an option, you can take advantage of a variety of tips and tricks to help ensure you get the best rate and policy.
- Shopping Around: As mentioned previously, shopping around and thoroughly researching the rates and plans offered by a variety of insurance agencies is one of your best bets. Make sure that you understand the policy and that you aren’t putting your money into something that isn’t going to adequately cover you.
- Parental Plans: If you are a new teenage driver, consider speaking to your parents about you staying on their plan. Your parent’s experience and driving background can earn you a lower rate and potentially save you thousands annually.
- Moderate Vehicles: The more expensive your car is, the more expensive your insurance is going to be. If you are a new driver, you can keep your insurance cost down by investing in a moderately priced vehicle. Once you’ve established an unblemished driving history with the company, you can look into seeing the rate the company can offer you for insuring a pricier vehicle.
- Unnecessary Coverage: If the car you are going to be driving is under $4,000; specific coverage isn’t needed. Plans that include collision and comprehensive coverage are designed for a vehicle that’s financed, leased, or worth more than $4,000. If you are driving a vehicle that isn’t worth much, it’s not worth it to you to pay for premiums that you won’t need. Take a look at the Kelley Blue Book to determine how much your car or truck is worth.
- Multiple Policies: Many new drivers who are young adults or adults have purchased their own home or are renting. One way that you can lower the cost of your car insurance is by adding homeowners or renter’s insurance to your policy. Agencies want you to give them your business, so it’s possible that you can receive a discount by bundling policies together with the same company.
- Driving Courses: Advanced and defensive driving courses are some of the most popular ways of decreasing the amount a new driver pays for insurance. As long as you can present your certificate to the insurance company, they are going to look highly upon your interest in safe driving, additional experience and defense. Taking these courses, though some are pricey, can save you a lot on insurance in the long run.
- Online: It might not seem possible, but you can purchase decent car coverage online. Doing this can result in discounts. However, make sure that you understand car coverage and policies before doing so.
- Additional Drivers: Naming older and more experienced drivers to your provider can result in surprising discounts. The insurance company that you are working with is likely to lower the risk by looking at the history of the named driver and assume the responsibilities of the vehicle are shared. It’s important to designate a driver who is actually sharing the duties with you instead of just naming someone to get a better rate.
- Protect Your Vehicle: If your insurance provider knows that your car is going to be safe and secure, there’s a good chance that you might get offered a discount. Car theft makes up for a large percentage of the amount that insurance agencies dish out. Let them know that your car is safely parked in a garage and also advise them of any tracking devices or dash cams that you have on your vehicle.
- Mileage Reduction: Insurers are going to look at the number of miles you believe you’re going to be driving annually. If you aren’t spending much time on the road, then as a new driver, you’re considered less of a risk. You can get a lower insurance cost by avoiding paying for miles you don’t plan on using, and it can get reduced more by taking part in a car-pool or ride-share program.
- Telematics: Telematics are designed to help monitor the way that new driver’s drive as a way to determine the cost of your premium. Telematics is something that requires state participation, and there may be restrictions for first-time teenage drivers depending on the company.
- Student Discounts: If you are a new teenage driver, try asking your preferred insurance company about a good student discount. Many top agencies provide discounts for students who have a 3.0 and above grade average. You do need to provide proof, and it’s likely that the insurer is going to request documentation every six months.
Is There a Difference in Insurance Cost for Female and Male Drivers?
While this question has been asked a lot, scrutinized, and frowned upon, the simple answer is yes, there is a difference in cost. Reports and history show that males are more likely to get into an accident that costs the insurance company money than females are. Female new drivers are still going to pay a higher premium than a driver with experience, but because of the claims, males are likely to spend more.
New Drivers in a New Country
Insurance and driving rules vary from country to country, but not all hope is lost for experienced drivers who move to a different country. Many insurance agencies take your previous driving history and experience when offering you a rate. That’s one of the reasons that it’s always best to shop around. If you immigrate to a new country, it’s likely that you want to pay the best rate possible instead of being considered as an entirely new driver.
Are There New Driver Benefits for Auto Renewing?
Regardless of if you are a new driver or an experienced driver, auto-renewing your insurance isn’t recommended. When you choose to auto-renew, that means that you are choosing to stick to the plan, rate, and premiums that you have for your insurance.
To add, as a new driver, you develop experience over time, and your price is going to adjust with the more experience and good driving history that you have. It’s best to ensure that you are giving yourself the opportunity to have your driving history reassessed by your insurer.
Safety Tips for New Drivers
No matter the age of a new driver, there are many things that you might not know. There are many tips that you can take into consideration as a new driver so that you become the safest, most experienced driver that you can.
Following along with these tips can also help ensure the safety of you and those you share the road with. Getting cheaper car insurance for first time drivers is important, but so is safety.
- Complete an approved training course that includes both practical and classroom testing.
- Have an experienced driver take you for practice driving in different weather conditions.
- As a first time driver, always provide someone with your route and an idea of what time you are going to be home or reach your destination. If your car breaks down, or if you don’t get home, that person knows what route to follow.
- Ensure that you are familiar with the rules and dangers that come with distracted and drunk driving. You might feel like you already know it all, but it’s imperative that you keep refreshing your understanding, so you are reminded not to drink, chat, or text while driving.
- Understand all the consequences of road rage. It’s possible that being rude and verbally aggressive to other drivers can lead to severe and physical confrontations that you might not be prepared for. It’s also possible that these incidents can cause you to get arrested.
- Make sure that you always have additional money stowed away or an auto club card whenever you are driving alone. If your vehicle runs out of gas or breaks down on the side of the road, you are going to need a tow truck. Additionally, having extra money can get you home safely if you’ve been drinking and need to take a cab home.
- Talk to your insurance provider and experienced drivers to provide you with as much information as you can get regarding car accidents. If you are involved in one, the more information you have, the better the chances of not making the situation worse are.
Cheaper Car Insurance for First Time Drivers: Our Final Thoughts
Getting car insurance as a first-time driver is going to cost you more than if you are an experienced driver. All of the tips provided can help you find ways around having to pay the full amount. Who doesn’t love a discount?
Additionally, make sure that you are providing the correct information to your insurer and not trying to falsify anything to get a cheaper rate. Lying to your insurance company is illegal and isn’t going to help you get the flawless driving history that you need to get rates that you are comfortable with. Spend your time looking around, consulting with different agencies, finding discounts and being safe.