Teen Drivers

Graduation is just around the corner. And what’s tops on your teen’s wish list? You guessed it – a car! But what a daunting thought.

What should you do? Should you pass down ownership of the family car? Should you shop for a used car? If yes, which ones? Coupes? SUVs? Chances are your teen has his or her heart set on a cool sports car. Who could blame them! But, a first car probably shouldn’t be a fast and sporty car. Let them get a sports car when they’re older!

Get quotes from your ARCW for the car before you purchase it. The age and model of a car affect the price. There are a lot of other factors to consider also. Are you going to add the car to your family policy? Or will you insure it separately? Either way will not be cheap. Talk with your insurance agent who will have suggestions on what the best insurance plan will be. They’ll also fill you in on other ways to reduce the cost, such as:

  • Good Grades – Many insurers offer discounts for students who have had good grades

Driver’s Education Classes – New drivers who have taken a driver’s education class often qualify for discounts.

Teenagers behind the wheel

You’re the parent of a teenage driver…it can be nerve wracking to say the least. The confidence that your teenager has become a confident driver hasn’t happened yet. And if nerves aren’t enough, your auto insurance premium may have taken a hit. In general, insurance for teen drivers is more expensive than for older drivers.

Why higher premiums?

Mainly because they’re inexperienced. The Division of Motor Vehicles states that “teen drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, get traffic tickets, and commit traffic violations…” And insurance for male teenage drivers generally costs more than for their female counterparts. This is most likely because they tend to drive more often and enjoy driving fast in sporty cars.

The Good News

Insurance costs can be high, but there are ways to lower the premiums. It just takes a little planning and some advice from your insurance agent. Insurance companies factor in a number of things when determining the premium. A few of the many factors they look at are gender, age, type of vehicle being used, what the vehicle is used for, and the existing driving record.  The following are some suggestions from the DMV that should result in some savings.

  • Choose a safe vehicle, such as one with 4-cylinders and 4-doors
  • Have your teen complete a driver’s education course
  • Good grades in school can qualify your teen for a “good student” discount
  • Maintaining a clean driving record will help keep the premium down

Choosing a vehicle

The make, model and year of a vehicle is a determining factor affecting the cost of the premium. If your family has multiple vehicles, check to see which is the least expensive to insure. You can go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website (http://www.iihs.org/) to view their list of insurance losses by make and model. The vehicles with the least amount of losses will typically have a lower insurance rate. The site also lists their top safety picks for vehicles up to the year 2015.

A good rule of thumb is that the bigger and faster a car is, the more it will cost to insure!

Insurance Discounts

All parents with teenage drivers in their household should meet with their insurance agent to learn about the various discounts that are available. As mentioned above, good grades are a real “plus”. Some insurers will offer discounts for students that maintain a “B” average. For college age drivers, if the student lives on campus more than 100 miles from home and leaves the car at home, you can get a premium reduction because the car won’t be used regularly.

Safe Driving Technology

Technology is changing by the day with more and more apps being developed for safety. Statistics show that distracted driving is responsible for 9 deaths every day. And, reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. 5 seconds doesn’t sound like much, but it’s long enough for something to happen. Sadly, these distraction-related accidents are completely preventable.

And a great number of those distractions can be tied to the use of cell phones. Here’s where technology has taken a huge leap forward in taking cell phones from being a hazard to being a safety tool. There are apps that monitor acceleration and braking; track location arrival and departure; block phone call and text usage while driving; etc. Go to www.dmv.org/distracted-driving-apps.php  for a list of the DMV’s top four reviewed apps, complete with links to download the apps from the Apple Store and Google Play.

Do tickets affect your commercial auto insurance premiums?

From time to time, everyone makes an accidental traffic violation. However, a recent study from a recent study has shown that some vehicle models are ticketed more frequently than others.  Surely, we can all agree, that the more tickets you get, the higher your premiums will likely be.  And that includes your company drivers.

THE MOST AND LEAST TICKETED VEHICLES

After examining over 323,000 insurance quotes, Insurance.com determined the percentage of drivers who were issued traffic violations for each vehicle model.

Here are the ten vehicle models that received the highest number of traffic tickets:

  1. Lexus ES 300: 33.4%
  2. Nissan 350Z: 32.5%
  3. Dodge Charger: 32.1%
  4. Volkswagen Jetta GL: 31.4%
  5. Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT: 30.8%
  1. Mazda 3S: 30.3%
  2. Volkswagen GTI: 30.3%
  3. Dodge Stratus SXT: 30.2%
  4. Acura 3.0S/CL: 30.1%
  5. Toyota Tacoma: 30.1%

The following are the ten vehicle models that received the lowest number of traffic tickets:

  1. Buick Encore: 3.2%
  2. Lexus IS350: 3.4%
  3. Acura ILX: 5.6%
  4. Cadillac ATS: 6.2%
  5. Chevrolet Express: 7.7%
  1. Cadillac Escalade: 8.1%
  2. GMC Savana: 8.8%
  3. Audi A3 2 Series: 9.2%
  4. BMW 320I: 9.9%
  5. Land Rover Range Rover: 10.9%

Safety First

The exact rules surrounding traffic violations can vary depending on your location, but the most common violations include speeding, running a red light, illegal parking and driving without your headlights on. To stay safe and keep your premiums low, it’s best to double check the laws in your area and ensure that you follow the rules of the road.

Lock Up Your Car Safely

Locking your car is easy, right? Well, it’s more complicated than you might think, especially if you are the target of thieves. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn – especially about your remote.

Consider purchasing a vehicle theft protection alarm for your car. If someone tries to break in, the alarm will sound and may deter the thief. If nothing else, it will alert others around your vehicle that there is a problem and to call the police.

When leaving your car and locking it with the key fob on your key chain, thieves sitting in the parking lot can actually use a device that clones your vehicle’s security code emitted by the fob. Then, they can use that device to easily unlock your vehicle and sail away with your belongings without leaving a mark behind.

To combat this theft danger, ALWAYS LOCK YOUR CAR FROM THE INSIDE WITH THE LOCK ON YOUR CAR DOOR. When pushing the lock button on your door, you are not emitting your vehicle’s security code. In addition to being fully aware of your surroundings, this safety precaution may prevent a break-in.

Make sure your vehicle is properly protected by calling our office today to learn more about all of our insurance solutions for your auto, home and life.

ATV - Riders 16 or younger

Special rules apply to persons under the age of 16. They must wear a helmet whenever they are on an ATV, regardless of whether they are the driver or the passenger or they can face a fine. Also, persons aged under 16 must be supervised by an adult and not left to ride alone.

A law was put into place back in 2008 stating that anyone under the age of 16 must carry a certificate showing that they have completed an approved OHV (off highway vehicle) safety course whenever riding on public lands.

ATVs are a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. And as the sport is becoming more and more popular, there’s a good chance you’ll run into other riders at popular trails. Check your insurance policy and make sure your ATV is covered. It will help protect you and your ATV investment as well as other people and their property in case of an accident.

ATV policies can include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Don’t automatically assume that your automobile insurance will cover your ATV. Talk to your insurance agent to review your current policy and add ATV protection if needed. Stay safe and enjoy your ATV.

At ARCW, our knowledgeable insurance agents are here to get you the right policy for your needs. Unlike some of the national insurance agencies, we know who our customers are and work with them one-on-one to get the right coverage at the best price. Contact us today to get your free quote and see how much you could save.