Helpful tips on adding a youthful driver to your auto insurance policy?

Adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy has dramatic affect on the premium. But there are things you should know that will help reduce those costs. Each insurance company is different, so be sure to consult your insurance agent for underwriting rules and discounts. The following tips are only general in nature.

  • Good Student Discount – If your son or daughter is a full time student and has a 3.0 current, or cumulative, GPA and is under 25, they my qualify for this discount.
  • Driver Training Discount – If your child has taken driver’s training, copy their certificate and forward it to your insurance company to receive this discount. Children will listen to professionals teach them better than they might listen to their mom and dad. And the added driving knowledge and experience from a training class could possibly save their life.
  • Distant Student Discount – If you have a child going to collage over 100 miles from your home and they are not taking a vehicle, they may qualify for this discount. This way they will be covered driving your vehicle while they are back at home during the school breaks.
  • Student away at collage – If your child is away at collage, as a full time student,  with one of your vehicles, they and their vehicle can remain on your policy even if the collage is out of state.  This isn’t a discount but could save you a lot of money compared to purchase a separate policy for them alone.  This allows them to take advantage of the multi-car discount.
  • No tickets or accidents – Except for the obvious pain that comes with a ticket or accident, all household drivers need to try to keep your records clean especially while there is a youthful driver in the house.
  • Ask for an insurance review – Adding a youthful driver to your policy is an important time to review all your coverages and discounts. You might fine you could drop some coverages you don’t need and save money. You may also want to consider increasing your liability limits or adding an umbrella liability policy with the added risk of a youthful driver. This might add to your insurance costs but losing your house in a lawsuit because you were under insured on your liability limits would be more devastating.
  • Insure through an Independent Insurance Agent– Independent Insurance Agents can quote your auto insurance with several insurance companies to find you the best rate now that you have a youthful driver. Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance agency and we could help find you the insurance company that fits you best. Paying auto insurance for your new youthful driver can sometimes be a shock if you are not prepared. Call Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. to help alleviate the pain of high premiums on your youthful driver.

Should I purchase the insurance offered by rental car companies?

You should always check with your insurance agent and read your insurance company’s policy to make sure your auto insurance coverage would extend to a rental car. Coverage could very from company to company. Even if you have your auto insurance through Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc your insurance coverage could change depending on the insurance company you are insured with, within our agency. In general, most auto insurance companies I have work with will extend coverage from the best insured vehicle on your auto policy, if not excluded for some reason. So if you do not have collision and comprehensive (liability only) on any one of your vehicles currently insured, then you wouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage extend to the vehicle you are renting. In that case, you may want to purchase the coverage offered by the rental car company.

If you have more than one auto insurance company in the household, most policies will exclude coverage for non-owned vehicles. I believe insurance companies put this in their policy to eliminate double coverage or to avoid conflict with the other insurance company in the household as to what insurance company is responsible if there was a loss. Most of the time, it is best to have all your vehicles, in the household, insured with the same insurance company and not split them among two or more insurance companies.

Insurance companies will also exclusion coverage to a large vehicles or trucks rented. If you are renting a moving truck, coverage may NOT extend from your auto policy to that moving truck.  For example, coverage may extend if the vehicle’s GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) is 10,000 LB or less. Within the same insurance company this weight limit may change depending on the type of coverage extended for i.e. collision, comprehensive or liability.

Higher risk auto insurance companies might have limited coverage for this. One insurance company “Viking/Dairyland” will only extend coverage for a rental vehicle if it is needed as temporary transpertation while the main vehicle is in the shop. They will not extend coverage for a rental vehicle rented while on vacation.

Keep in mind your auto policy may only cover a rental car driven in the United States and maybe Canada. If you plan on renting a vehicle in Mexico or other counties, more than likely, your coverage will not extend to those territories.

Many policy holders will make the mistake that this extension of insurance coverage for a rental car is covered under a coverage called “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage. This is not the same coverage. If you have “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage on your declaration page, that coverage pays for the cost of a rental car while an insured vehicle cannot be operated and is being repaired for damage payable under collision or comprehensive coverage.