For families with teenagers learning to drive, here are some ways to make sure you are getting the auto insurance coverage you need for your teen at the right time and best price.
When should you insure your teenage driver?
When your teen walks in the door with that learner's permit in hand, don't immediately see dollar signs floating out behind them. If your child has their first level of driver's licence (G1 in Ontario, Class 7 in Alberta, and Class 5 Learner's Licence in Quebec), they are required to have a licensed driver in the car with them at all times. Since they are under constant supervision when behind the wheel, insurance companies often consider their risk of accident to be relatively small. As a result, insurers often do not "rate", or charge if you will, for drivers who only have their first level licence. Even so, based on your original agreement with your insurer, you still have a responsibility to notify them there is now a Learner's/G1 licensed driver in the household.
- Related Read: A Guide To Graduated Licensing In Ontario
You'll have to contact your insurer again, as soon as your teen is licensed to drive on their own (for example, when they get their G2 driver's licence in Ontario, Class 5-GDL in Alberta, or Class 5 Probationary in Quebec), to arrange for coverage for your teen and have them listed on your policy.
Factors affecting a teen's insurance rate
In addition to the usual details that factor into an auto insurance rate (like where you live, the type of car you drive, and driving and insurance history) there are a few extra items that can play a part when there's a teen involved.
Driver's Training. One of the things that could affect your rate the most is if your teen has completed an approved driver's training course. If eligible, new drivers can receive significant discounts off their insurance. Eligibility typically requires having passed the course as well as maintaining a clean driving history (no accidents or tickets). Where it's optional-it's not in Quebec-driver's training is a good thing to consider, since your insurance savings are usually greater than the cost of the course.
- Related Read: Are Teens Becoming Better Drivers?
Make sure the driver's training course is legit too. Your provincial ministry of transportation will have a list of government-approved driving schools; choose your teen's driving school from this list.
Gender. As a general rule, if your teen is female the impact on your policy will be less than if your teen is male. This is because, statistically, young female drivers are less of a risk for insurance companies than young male drivers.
Getting the best value for your insurance dollar
Your teen is probably excited about the prospect of being in the driver's seat. Don't let their excitement translate into overpriced auto insurance premiums. Your current insurance company may have given you a great rate when you shopped around last time, but when you add a teen to your auto insurance policy, that company may no longer be the best option for you and your family. Some insurance providers are simply more teen-friendly than others. Compare quotes today at Kanetix.ca to see if you can get a better rate on your car insurance with a new driver now in the house.