News from Dave | Youthful Operator Syndrome
The symptoms are easy to diagnose. If you have kids, you have, will or are currently experiencing youthful operator syndrome. This condition begins when your kids get their license and lasts until about age 25. You call your insurance agent to add them to your insurance policy and your premium increases by $800 or more.
$800 is about the average for an occasional operator (the definition of an occasional operator is when the number of vehicles in the household is less than the drivers in the household and the youthful operator does not have primary use of a vehicle and is not the owner). If this definition does not apply then the youthful operator will be rated as a principle driver and the additional premium will be much greater than the $800 average.
This increase in premium whether rated as an occasional or principle driver is in addition to your current premium. Due to this class of drivers lack of driving experience is the reason for the dramatic increase in premiums charged. There are ways of controlling the increase in premium costs.
If your kids complete a driver training course consisting of 30 hours of classroom education and 6 hours of driving education with an instructor, a driver training discount is available. The driver training program, if offered, in your school district will meet the requirements for this discount. If the classroom portion is the only part of the course available the driving portion can be completed with a driving school.
Most insurance companies offer this type of discount, and normally require a certificate of completion to apply the discount. In addition to the driver training discount, other types of discounting may apply. A good student discount requires the youthful operator maintain a B average or better GPA, the insurance companies offering this type of discount usually require verification of grades.
If your kids attend a school that is 100 miles or more away from home and do not have a vehicle with them an at “school discount” may apply. This is usually referred to as the college student discount, but may apply to children attending private schools.
Last but not least a discount for completing an insurance carrier specific educational program may be available. These programs usually consist of educational material and videos that explain the higher risk exposure inherent to less experienced drivers.
Not all these discounting programs are offered by every auto insurance company. Check with your insurance agent to find what discounting programs are available from your insurer. In addition to the discounting programs that my be offered, you can control the premium by raising your deductibles, removing the comprehensive and collision coverage from the vehicle assigned to the youthful operator,( this option has its down falls ).
If you are purchasing an additional vehicle to be used by your child, try to purchase a plain vanilla type car. Vehicles that are considered luxury, sports or higher valued vehicles generally will costs more to insure. What ever techniques you employ to control your auto insurance premium while you suffer from youthful operator syndrome, remember the most important issue is the safety of your young driver. Take a “ hands on approach” in teaching them the responsibilities and dangers of vehicle operation, time well spent now will pay dividends in the future.
As always, a phone call and discussion with your professional insurance agent will help ease the burden of “Youthful Operator Syndrome”.