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  • Writer's pictureScott Brekne

Mitigating the premium spike when adding a child to your auto policy

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Congratulations! Your teenager got their license and is ready to hit the road. Whether you have already added your child to your policy or you are about to call your agent, here are four ways to potentially save money on your premium.

Consider Dropping Vehicle Coverage

Your auto insurance policy likely already provides various types of coverage: liability, comprehensive, collision, Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”), medical payments, etc. While some coverages are mandated by the state you live in (i.e., New York State requires minimum liability limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $10,000 property damage), others are optional (i.e., comprehensive and collision coverage).

Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a collision – fire, theft, hail, vandalism, flood, hit an animal (i.e., deer), tree falls, etc. Collision coverage protects your vehicle if it overturns or collides with another vehicle or object (guard rail, building/structure, pothole, tree, etc.). Any payout for either coverage is subject to your deductible.

Consider purchasing an older, yet safe vehicle for your teenager that doesn’t warrant comprehensive or collision coverage. Before doing so however, be sure to discuss this change with your agent as you may inadvertently lose other coverages as well (i.e., rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, glass coverage).

**Please be advised that Brooks Robb & Callahan would never blindly recommend removing any existing coverage from a policy. All coverage decisions should be discussed with a qualified licensed agent prior to execution. We do not recommend state minimum limits of 25,000/50,000/10,000 – we recommend minimum liability limits of 100,000/300,000/100,000 or 300,000 CSL.

Good Student Discount

If your child is a “Good Student” (i.e., "B" average or better for most companies) you may be eligible for a discount. A few items the company will need:

  • Confirmation your child is between 16 and 24 years of age and is a full-time high school or college/university student

  • A copy of the most recent academic grade report showing a "B" average or better (or its equivalent)

Some companies may even let you keep this discount on your policy once your child completes undergraduate work assuming they have successfully graduated and met the discount’s requirements on their final grade report.

Student Away at School Discount

If your child is away at college without a vehicle, you may be eligible for a discount. Most companies will want to confirm the following before giving you this discount:

  • Your child is assigned to the vehicle as an occasional operator (not primary)

  • The school is over 100 road miles from the vehicle’s garage location and not available for regular use

  • Your child is unmarried and age 24 or less

Driver’s Education and Defensive Driving Course

Consider signing your child up for a New York State DMV approved driver training program. Not only will this provide your child with the necessary skills and experience to feel comfortable and remain safe behind the wheel, but it will also likely result in a noticeable premium savings.

According to the NYS DMV, classroom pre-licensing courses are available through high schools, colleges and many driving schools. Your child will learn important topics, such as:

  • Driving within the highway transportation system

  • Driver habits and skills

  • Feelings, attitudes and risk-taking

  • Alcohol, other drugs and driving

If your child is a primary driver on a vehicle, it is in everyone’s best interest for them to complete a defensive driving course. Like a Driver’s Education course, they will gain valuable skills behind the wheel and a discount will be given for three years.

About Brooks Robb & Callahan

Brooks Robb & Callahan is a family owned and operated independent insurance agency protecting personal and commercial clients from property and casualty risks since 1871. Sisters Kristen Ducharme and Lindsey Stortz acquired the business from their longtime family friends in July 2013. Their brother, Scott Brekne, joined the business in 2021. Together they continue to run the business the way it always has been – by family with honesty and integrity. They feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work together every day.

The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverages and policies can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and the terms of the policy. Brooks Robb & Callahan recommends consulting a licensed insurance professional or your insurance carrier to determine the appropriate coverage for your specific personal needs.

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