Hiked Up Insurance Rates for Teenage Drivers

Eleanor Pontikes Sophomore year is a widely forgotten year, especially compared to the trials and tribulations of Junior and Senior year. But for some, being a sophomore means that you’re finally old enough to get a driver’s license. Getting a driver’s licenses is no easy task. In the state of Illinois, you are required to complete thirty hours of classroom time to get a driver’s permit, then complete six hours of behind-the-wheel lessons with a certified instructor before completing an additional fifty hours of driving practice with an insured, licensed driver who is 21 years or older. The driving practice must include at least ten hours of driving at night. On top of all this, you must be insured while driving with a permit, and consequently most are insured when driving with a license. Teenagers are considered higher-risk drivers by insurance companies, and, as a result, the rate is usually more expensive than for older, more experienced drivers. This does not go without warrant considering that a 2013 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 3,000 people were killed on account of teen drivers and over 400,000 were injured. Drivers aged between 16-19 years olds account for the highest accident rate. Besides age, insurance companies use other factors to determine insurance rates for teenage drivers. If a teenage student has a grade average above a B, for example, the rate will be as much as 25% lower because of the correlation between higher grades and safe driving. Rates will also be lower for vehicles with high safety ratings, and some insurance companies reward safe driving over a certain time period with lower rates. Partaking in an additional driver’s safety course can lower the insurance rate even more. One of the seemingly more controversial factors insurance companies use to determine policy rates is gender. On average, female teenage drivers will see insurance rates jump 67% compared to the 92% of a male teenage driver, the justification being that the frontal lobe, which is in charge of decision making, is significantly less developed in teenage males than in females. As a result, more males get in car accidents than female drivers do (according to the Center for Disease, almost double the amount of accidents). Upset by these insurance policies? Move to Hawaii! The state does not let companies consult experience, age, or gender when determining rates. Don’t like the heat? Move to one of these fine, five states where insurance companies cannot factor gender into insurance rates: Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania. Although insurance rates can be very high for teenage drivers, it is nice to know that their rates are based off of science and statistics and not just to earn more profit. In an effort to create safer driving conditions for all drivers and passengers, though, many sophomores (and some upperclassmen) at Latin might have to pay more during their first exciting years on the road. Facts and figures are from: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/how-much-does-adding-teen-driver-increase-your-auto-insurance-n375691 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892678/ http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704013604576246612976236624]]>