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Parents can help protect teen drivers behind the wheel and manage insurance costs

5/16/2016 10:47:08 AM

For Immediate Release:

As teens hit the road this summer to travel to jobs and social activities, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman urges parents to help their teens drive responsibly – both for their own safety and to keep auto insurance costs down. 

Traffic crashes are the second leading cause of death among Minnesota teens, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

“Talk with your teen drivers about the importance of safe driving habits and make sure they understand the risks and responsibilities of driving,” said Rothman. “Adding a teen driver to your policy can be expensive, so it is worth checking your insurance coverage for potential discounts and consider revising deductibles. Shop around for the best policy for your family needs.”

The Minnesota Department of Commerce website has facts on /commerce/consumers/your-vehicle/auto-insurance/teen-driving.jspthe risks of teen driving and offers the following guidance for families with teen drivers:

Setting expectations

The additional costs of insuring a teen driver are unavoidable. Working with your teen to respect the privilege of driving is a factor you can control.

Lay some ground rules for safe driving before your teen ever gets in the driver’s seat. Set up driving rules, including:

• Hours during which the teen can and cannot drive.

• Number of friends allowed in the car at one time.

• Number of miles the teen is allowed to drive per day or week.

You may also want to consider setting up a driving contract with your teen, listing the teen’s duties and responsibilities when driving and caring for the vehicle.

Consider your options

It pays to comparison shop before buying insurance. Different companies can offer noticeably different premiums. 

Some discounts include:  

  • Two or more cars on a policy
  • Participation in driver education courses
  • Good student driver under age 25
  • Airbags or other safety equipment
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Auto/home insurance on same policy or with same company

If cost is a factor then consider coverage options and you may reduce your auto insurance costs by raising the deductibles on physical damage (collision and comprehensive) coverages. Review your current deductibles and consider whether you can afford to absorb a larger portion of the costs in case of an accident.

Also, consider lowering or eliminating physical damage coverages on older vehicles — unless required by a lienholder such as a bank.

Regularly review and update your policy

Regularly review your policy to make sure the basis for your premium (how much you pay for insurance) is as accurate as possible. Your premium can change when adding or removing a vehicle from your policy and when your teen graduates from high school or reaches age 18.

Commerce is here to help

If you have a question or concern about insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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