WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2020
Young drivers—in reality, new drivers of any age—need to realize that they are more of a cost risk to insurance companies. From the insurer’s standpoint, these drivers are more likely to have wrecks as a result of their inexperience. They therefore are more likely to file claims on their policies. As a result, they are more likely to pay higher premiums.
Still, auto insurance premiums can vary from driver to driver. After all, just because two drivers are the same age, that doesn’t mean that one will not be any safer behind the wheel than the other. Therefore, the insurer will dig into the details of the individual to see how likely they are to have a wreck. The first place will look is on your driving record.
If an insurer sees your driving record has a lot of previous infractions, then they know that your behind- the-wheel behavior could wind up costing them. As a result, the cleaner your record, the lower your premium might be. By maintaining safe habits from the day you become licensed, you will be able to maintain stable premiums throughout your years as a driver.
Risks Faced by New Drivers
Driving is risky business. After all, when you drive, you are operating a piece of heavy machinery, at high speeds, in an area filled with other people who are doing the same thing.
Younger drivers, or drivers who recently became licensed, have likely undergone extensive driver’s education training. However, as much practice as you might have had, and as many tests as you might have passed, you still haven’t accumulated years of experience behind the wheel. Drivers encounter unique risk scenarios every day, and it often takes us all years to build up the practical knowledge to know how to truly be the safest driver.
A younger or inexperienced driver does not yet have this breadth of knowledge. They haven’t encountered real-world scenarios that will both test their skills and teach them important lessons of driving safely. As a result, they are more likely to engage in high-risk, dangerous behaviors that could lead them into trouble. Overall, younger drivers are more likely to get tickets, cause accidents, receive DUIs or commit other driving infractions.
The Insurance Ramifications of Being a New Driver
New drivers don’t get a free pass to disobey the law. They still must follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. In fact, they are often under the highest levels of scrutiny of anyone else, not only from the police but also from their auto insurer.
Therefore, a new driver who commits a driving infraction will likely see their auto insurance premiums increase. Since most younger drivers have a higher-than-average premium in the first place, then one who racks up black marks on their driving record are likely to see their costs rise higher and higher. This higher premium might affect them not only in the short-term, but also well into the future.
Driving records are not temporary. They will reflect your behind-the-wheel habits and actions for the rest of your life. Therefore, even if you caused a wreck when you were 16 years old, you might have to pay higher auto insurance premiums for quite a few years. When insurers quote a driver’s premium, they will likely review several years' worth of their record. As a result, those who they see have a lot of infractions will have to pay a much high premium.
Therefore, it is always best to be the safest driver you can be. That way, you will be able to keep your driving record clear, and you’ll never have to worry about your insurer looking back to find numerous indicators that could increase your premiums.
Some of the things you can do to keep your driving record clear and your premiums affordable well into the future are:
Always maintain auto insurance. Forty-nine states require drivers to carry minimum amounts of car insurance, and if you are caught without it, then you will face penalties. An insurer who sees that you have previously driven uninsured will definitely consider you a high-risk driver.
Keep your license and registration up to date. If you drive without the appropriate documentation, then you can face charges that will go on your driving record.
Inquire about taking a defensive driving course. These classes help you brush up on your driving skills and learn how to be a more alert and conscientious driver. Your insurer might offer you a discount once you complete this course.
Your driving record will likely reflect infractions indefinitely. However, most insurers will only review a certain number of years on your record, rather than looking all the way back to the time you became licensed. As a result, if they see a clean span on your record, then your risk rating will likely improve, and you might be able to comparatively save money compared to others. It is never too late to commit to safe driving, and it’s best to do it while you are still young.
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