Let’s Hit the Road: Insuring Young Drivers

The days are long, but the years are short, friends.

As a parent, it feels like sixteen years go by in a heartbeat. One day you have a newborn in your arms, they start school a month later, and the next thing you know, they’re signing up for driving school and talking about their first car.

From a teen’s perspective, a license promises freedom. A chance to drive yourself to practice. To get a job and make some money. To take that money and go meet up with your friends at Starbucks. It’s the first great rite of passage.

That new driver’s license comes with entirely different concerns if you’re the parent. Will your little sweetheart be safe driving alone? Will they follow the rules? Will they know what to do if the car won’t start or if they get a flat tire? So. Many. Questions.

Fortunately, here at P/L/R Insurance, we have answers for you.

First, some tips for steering young drivers in the right direction:

  • Help them understand that their first car isn’t going to be a red Corvette.
    • Safe, basic 4-door cars generate the lowest premiums for young drivers
  • If Junior decides to customize his sedan, be sure and let us know.
    • Tell us about any customizations so we can write them into the policy and insure the true value of the customized vehicle
  • Encourage academic achievement to earn a good student discount for B’s or better!
  • Make sure they know how to use the “extras” on the policy:
    • Towing insurance – teach them how to call for help if they need a tow
    • Roadside assistance – so they don’t end up changing a tire on the side of the interstate, in the dark, while it’s raining
    • GAP insurance – if their car is totaled and they owe more than the car is worth, GAP insurance will cover the difference so you can get a replacement without paying the balance on a vehicle you no longer have
    • Rental Car Reimbursement – so you won’t have to pay for a rental car while yours is in the shop after a collision or comprehensive claim.

Now, some money-saving tips for parents as your kids race toward independence:

  • Save 15-20% when you combine your home and auto coverage with the same carrier.
  • Add your young driver to the car they’ll actually be driving most often to ensure that insurance coverage can be applied in case of an accident.
  • The insurance on a vehicle needs to be issued to the person who owns the car:
    • If you want to add your new driver to your existing coverage, the car should be titled in your name
    • If you want the insurance to be issued to your young driver, the vehicle should be titled to them (and perhaps co-titled to you)
    • Ask an expert (that’s us!), since messing up this part of the process could imperil the coverage that can be applied in case of an accident
  • Liability limits are an essential part of auto insurance coverage, so be sure yours are sufficient for the real world (those limits are higher than those required by law)
    • The minimum limits in Illinois are 25/50/20. That means you’re covered for:
      • $25,000 if you injure someone in an “at fault” accident
      • $50,000 for all the people injured in an at-fault accident
      • $20,000 for property damage in an at-fault accident
    • At P/L/R, we write policies that will protect you in the real world, with coverage no less than 100/300/100:
      • If you’re at fault in an accident involving a family driving a new luxury car and everyone in the car has to go to the emergency room, the minimum limits required by law will not cover the expenses they’ll incur. You could have judgments against you for years.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage, have a young driver in the house, or are experiencing a significant life event, contact us today at info@plrinsurance.com and experience insurance the way it’s supposed to be.

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