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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Car Insurance Tips for Young Drivers

By Tom Martens

One of the biggest days in any teen's life is the day they get their driver's license. But with that tiny piece of plastic arrive huge responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is auto insurance. Every newly licensed driver must arrange for adequate auto coverage.

Car insurance for teens is usually very expensive. That's because teens, lacking driving experience, tend to get into many more crashes. They are considered high-risk. That fact should not stop any teen from getting a license, however, because with a little planning teens who drive can almost always find ways to lower their car insurance premiums.

The first step a teen driver should take is to get several quotes from licensed insurance providers. Different providers define risk in different ways, which means some providers might charge higher insurance premiums for teen drivers than other insurance providers. There is also much competition in the insurance business, and if an insurance provider knows you are talking to a competitor, they might be willing to offer you a better rate on your insurance premiums. But you have to ask and be willing to negotiate. The internet makes doing research and shopping for insurance much easier than it was in the past.

If you haven't already, look into taking basic driver education and/or defensive driving. Taking and passing these courses shows insurers that you are serious about driving safely. It allows them to rate your policy as a lower risk, and keeps your insurance costs down, usually about 10%. Talk to an agent about which courses are available to qualify you for a safe driver discounts.

Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer discounts for good students or belonging to a club or organization. Also, see if they will extend to you a discount if your parents belong to an eligible club or organization. Ask the insurance provider what other discounts are available to you. And here is where the internet comes in handy again. Do research to see if there are any discounts that you qualify for and are not aware of.

Another way to get a discount on your auto premiums is bundling. If your parents insure their lives or home, sometimes the insurance company will bundle all your policies and give you a great price break. This discount may apply not just to your policy, but to the home and life policies, too. And see whether the insurance company offers lower premiums to households that have multiple drivers or own multiple cars. This is another good way to lower insurance costs.

You should be fully informed about insurance (and, usually, fully insured) before you take your driving test. You authorized insurance agent can answer any questions you have and make you get all the coverage you need. You will have to take some time to do your research, but the money you will save on your premiums will make the effort worthwhile.

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