Unfavorable statistics spike insurance rates for teen drivers; 115 percent increase in Utah

ST. GEORGE – Rising crash tolls and insurance costs serve to remind parents and teenagers that driving is a privilege earned through responsibility, not a right.

Across the nation, more than 5,000 teenage drivers are killed each year in traffic accidents. Statistics from the Utah Department of Health show traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens age 15 to 19 in the state; an average of 40 teens are killed, 330 are hospitalized and 5,400 are injured in traffic accidents each year. In 2009, teen drivers had Utah’s highest total crash rate and highest fatal crash rate per licensed driver.

These unfortunate statistics directly impact vehicle insurance rates, as many insurance companies view drivers under age 25 as high-risk. According to a new nationwide report from Insurance Quotes.com, married couples pay an average of 84 percent more for car insurance after adding a teenage driver to their policy.

The average increase is highest for 16-year-olds (99 percent) and diminishes a bit each year thereafter. A married couple adding a 17-year-old to their policy can expect to pay 90 percent more for their car insurance, while an 18-year-old costs 82 percent more and a 19-year-old costs 65 percent more. Males cause significantly higher increases than females (96 percent versus 72 percent, on average.)

“The general rule of thumb is this: When you add a 16-year-old female,  the cost on that car will be two or as much as two and a half times the premium, and a 16-year-old boy will be three or three and a half times the premium,” said Jaron Hunt, owner/agent at the Hunt-Leavitt Insurance Agency in St. George.

With an average premium increase of 115 percent, the report showed Utah has the second-highest rate jump in the country (behind only Arkansas, at 116 percent.) However, there are ways for parents to avoid sticker shock when their teen starts driving.

“It’s important to remember that these are averages,” InsuranceQuotes.com Senior Insurance Analyst Laura Adams said. “Savvy consumers don’t settle for average. You’re not going to move to a new state just because car insurance is cheaper somewhere else, but there are some easy things that you can do to save money regardless of where you live.

Many insurance companies offer discounts to teenagers who participate in driver’s education courses, have an outstanding academic record, have a job or drive a fairly new car with advanced safety features. Shop around; policies vary greatly by provider and parents should thoroughly research their options to make the best decision.

More tips on how to save on your policy and keep your teen safe on the road can be found here.

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Contributing submission by: Bankrate

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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10 Comments

  • The Truth July 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Another reason for single guys to avoid these local gals with tons of kids hanging on them. Those kids are expensive, and unless you’re a sugar daddy, you probably can’t afford them either. Time for the church to teach people to learn how to afford kids before having them. Is there a government welfare program for car insurance for teens?

  • The Real Truth July 7, 2013 at 4:12 am

    If you look up the actual law (I did it for you) you will see that it says that the CAR needs to have insurance.
    NOT THE DRIVER, So save your self some money and tell your insurance company to suck it.
    Your Welcome,

    Title 41 Chapter 12a Section 301-a

    41-12a-301a; every resident owner of a motor vehicle shall maintain owner’s or operator’s security in effect at any time that the motor vehicle is operated on a highway or on a quasi-public road or parking area within the state;

    http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE41/htm/41_12a030100.htm

    • LALA85 July 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Ooh – good to know. I don’t live in Utah yet, but will in the next 9 months. Though my kid will be 18 by then and I’ll make him pay for his own insurance.

  • tom July 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Another reason to stay away from alot of these local guys who live off unemployment and wont get off thier lazy duffs and act like a real man. Is there any government programs to teach men that their job is to support their family? If a man chooses a woman that has children already then that is a choice HE made which HE needs to not whine about.

    • The Truth July 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Exactly! They should pay for those kids they made, not slough that responsibility and expense onto some other dude dating the ex-wife housing the kids. That equates to $$$$$$$$

  • Dixie Insurance Agency July 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Although the law may state that insuring the vehicle is all that is required that is fine as long as you don’t have children that are driving who are not being rated.

    Depending on the insurance carrier they may not cover your claim if the driver is not listed or they may cover the claim but with limited coverage amounts. Don’t forget that not disclosing all your drivers is also considered insurance fraud and could end up causing you and your insurance agent problems if they knew about it. Not to mention an insurance company can deny a claim due to insurance fraud as well.

    Most important is that if you want to drive you pay based on your risk. Why should a more experienced driver pay more because young drivers are having more accidents, especially when most of these accidents are due to distracted driving.

    Parents should have their children help pay for their part of their insurance costs it helps them to drive better knowing the costs go up with tickets and accidents and may help prevent a senseless accident.

  • Bob July 9, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Hey Dixie,

    Insurance covers my car and anyone I let use my car. My teeanage driver does not own my car, but is occasionally allowed to use it. How is that insurance fraud?
    If my neighbor’s teeanager borrowed my car and got in an accident it’s the same situation.
    My policy does not require that I am the only one allowed to drive the vehicle.

  • Dixie Insurance Agency July 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

    It depends on the contract that you have. Some carriers will cover anyone regardless others have restrictions. For example, AAA will cover your neighbor however they specifically exclude household relatives that are not listed on your policy. Farmers will cover other drivers but threally e “limited permissive use” which means even if you have 100k in liability if someone who is not listed drives your car they drop coverage to the minimum required by law in your state.

    It become.is fraud when you sign an application that states that all household residents are listed on the app. Almost all carriers will require all drivers to be listed and if they have their own insurance then they won’t be rated. Some will actually exclude unrated drivers.

    Utah really isn’t that expensive for young drivers. If you want to see expensive do some quotes online for AZ, WA, OR and many other states. Considering that UT rates are only a fraction of what it costs in other states a two car policy for $400 per six months increasing to $800 per six months is a pretty good deal.

    Nothing is for free if you don’t pay your fair share based on your risk then the rates go up for everyone to compensate.

    Sure some carriers will cover your child whether added or not but they will add them once there is an accident and they find out about them. You are taking a big risk though by not adding them because most don’t know the fine print in their contracts.

    Most of all what are we teaching our children, that it is OK to commit fraud or to steal?

    • LALA85 July 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      You’re not lying about it being expensive in AZ. I pay more than double here than I did in Utah. My son won’t be getting a license until he has a job and can help pay for his insurance.

  • Dixie Insurance Agency July 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

    LALA85 feel free to give us a call to see if we can help you get a better rate. We write in AZ as well as CA, NV, WA, and OR and we have several competitive carriers in each state. You can cluck on my name above for our website.

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