When a family starts planning for new, teen drivers, sticker shock may be the first response. Because teen drivers are inexperienced drivers, insurance companies charge higher rates for covering teen drivers to hedge against the increased likelihood of paying claims for teen drivers. More and more insurance companies have put greater emphasis on specialized programs for families and teen drivers to help reduce costs and to improve the safety of teen drivers. Farmers insurance is no exception.
Farmers unique teen driver program
Farmers is one of the nation’s leading car insurance companies and it is also one of the innovators in developing specific programs to assist families with teen drivers. Farmers developed its own, unique plan known as the You’re Essential to Safety (Y.E.S.) program for teen driving safety. Farmers Y.E.S. program is a series of products, tools, written materials, online videos, even guides for parents to help lay a foundation of safe driving habits for teen drivers.
There is a Y.E.S. video, an online quiz and an Agreement that can be signed by parents and teen drivers that will outline the rules of safe driving that both parents and teens can agree to adhere to. In addition to providing these tools, Farmers extends a discount on teen and family car insurance premiums for teens and families that complete this process and execute a family Safe Driving Agreement.
Tools for parents
Farmers knows that in most families, the parents are the first and most important teachers. While teaching a teen to drive may be one of the more harrowing jobs a parent takes on, assistance can be found with the Y.E.S. program that may reduce the stress for both parent and teen. Farmers has come up with ten basic “rules” for parents hoping to help instruct a teen driver:
1. Practice what you preach.
Remember, new drivers learn by example, too. Your behavior behind the wheel is probably more influential than the driving techniques you teach.
2. Be proactive.
Long before your new driver actually gets behind the wheel, you can help him or her become aware of safe driving practices.
3. Lay out the ground rules.
When it’s time for your new driver to start driving, set time limits, speed limits, road restrictions and other rules before you start the car.
4. Practice, practice, practice.
In areas that are open and safe, practice starting, accelerating, turning, stopping and backing up. Remember that good driving habits must become a natural reflex — and that only happens after months, even years, on the road.
5. Keep your temper.
Loud voices and big gestures are distracting. If you get angry, over-excited, nervous, calmly instruct your teen to pull off the road.
6. Map your route.
Have your new driver practice advance route planning before you start driving.
7. Discuss emergency procedures.
Talk about a variety of emergency situations and keep important phone numbers in the car.
8. Observe and learn.
Have your new driver point out good and bad driving behaviors displayed by other drivers.
9. Remember to praise.
Positive reinforcement and compliments can help cement good driving behavior.
10. Insist on seat belts.
New drivers have lower belt use than adults. Instill the importance of wearing seat belts at all times, whether as a passenger or driver.
Select Famers discounts
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, families adding a teen driver can easily see the insurance premium they’ve been paying double (and in the case of adding a teen boy, those costs can triple and in some cases quadruple.) It’s one of the reasons why Farmers Y.E.S. program offers some pretty nice discounts on car insurance premiums for families who work with a teen driver to complete the Y.E.S. program. Farmers extends additional discounts that can help a family with teen drivers, including:
Multi-car discounts –
for insuring more than one car with Farmers
Multi-policy discounts –
if the family has more than one type of insurance with Farmers, additional premium discounts can be enjoyed for all lines of insurance
Good student discounts –
in addition to savings and incentives for establishing safe driving habits with a teen driver, Farmers offers a discount to any full-time student driver (under the age of 25) that maintains a “B” average or better.
Alternative fuels discounts –
if your family is environmentally conscious and you drive a hybrid, an electric car or some other alternative-fuels vehicle that qualifies, Farmers will extend an additional premium discount to you and your family of drivers.
Making sure you and your teen driver(s) drive safe cars can be another way to reduce your premium. Cars with the latest safety features (including air bags and anti-lock brakes) make great choices for a first time or teen driver. Newer model vehicles tend to have better and more advanced versions of safety features including:
- Tire-pressure monitoring for better traction
- Dual-stage airbags that respond differently to different accident types
- Adaptive headlights for better nighttime visibility
- Emergency response services and in-car monitoring
Driving a newer car with high safety ratings will put you in a lower base rate pool for your insurance, saving you money over the long haul and putting just one more advantage to work for you to secure the safety of all the drivers in your family.
If you and your family are currently Farmers insurance customers and a teen driver is in your near future, give your agent a call and start putting the tools and resources to work for you that can help ensure your teen driver(s) get off to a great start.
(Note: this article is intended to be informational only and is in no way to be considered a solicitation or a promotional piece. The author has no affiliation with Farmers or any other car insurance provider.)
License: Royalty Free or iStock
source: Image courtesy of Farmers Insurance
Jeffrey Davidson is a writer, consultant and advisor with more than 25 years of experience working in the insurance, marketing and financial planning industries. He currently writes on auto insurance and related topics for Reply!. You can find his accompanying article on more car insurance choices for your family.