Car Insurance for Teenagers in PA

If you are the parent of a soon-to-be teen driver, your teenager is probably very excited to embark on a new chapter of independence as a licensed driver. But are you ready for it? If you’re like most families, your teen is practically willing the six-month practice drive time requirement to pass as quickly as possible while you’re nervously willing the time to slow down. As you wait for the day to come, there are a few important things to consider when you start thinking about the right car insurance for teenagers: your current policy coverages, what your teen needs to do to maintain compliance with state motor vehicle law, and the cost increase you can expect when adding a teen driver to your policy.

Is Your Current Car Insurance Coverage Adequate?

First, you will probably want to take a look at your current auto insurance policy with fresh eyes. When you think about the fact that your teen driver does not have the experience behind the wheel that you do, you may want to consider adding coverage that you might not currently have, since teenagers will likely need different car insurance protection. For example, you may only have the minimum coverage that is required by the state. Adding extra security and peace of mind with comprehensive and collision insurance may be worth considering. Most auto insurance policies contain an “omnibus clause” which covers your teenager when they’re driving your car with their learner’s permit. However, you’ll need to add them to your own policy when they obtain their license.

What is the Compliance Process for Teen Drivers in Pennsylvania?

As a Pennsylvania resident, your teen driver will need to abide by certain guidelines in order to stay compliant with state motor vehicle law. According to the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT), your teen driver will need to have a physician complete form DL-180 (Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application) to confirm that the driver has no health issues that may adversely affect driving ability, visit a motor vehicle agency to provide documentation to verify identity and residency , and successfully pass a vision test and a knowledge test in order to obtain a learners permit. The learners permit will remain valid for one year with extensions being granted for those who may need additional driving practice. A six-month period of supervised driving with a learner’s permit must be completed before your teenager is able to take the road test for a junior driver’s license. During the six month practice driving period, your teen will not be permitted to operate a vehicle before 5 am, or after 11 pm, and your teen must be accompanied by either yourself or an adult who is at least 21 years of age and possesses a Pennsylvania driver’s license with at least 3 years of driving experience. There are also restrictions on passengers allowed when someone is driving on a permit.

What Kind of Cost Increase Should You Expect?

Car insurance for teens is not cheap, and you probably already knew that. However, you need to have a good idea of what kind of increase to expect. Simply knowing that your rates will increase by adding your teen driver to your policy and hoping that you’ll be able to cover the cost is not the best plan. According to Lending Tree, the national average cost for an annual car insurance policy which includes a parent and a teenager is $3,852. Although that may seem high, the national average for a car insurance policy for a teenager alone costs $7,689 annually! If you do the math, the difference between adding your teen to your policy versus leaving them to get their own policy could be $3,837, which is half the average cost. It’s no wonder that almost every parent adds their teen driver to their current policy. Adjust your budget now (or find your teenager a good summer job) in order to prepare for this inevitable new expense.

Be on the Safe Side: Set Some Ground Rules

It isn’t easy being a parent. While your teen driver may not always agree with your position, it is imperative that you set some safety ground rules. Initiate a conversation with your teen about safe driving and why it’s important to have a mutual agreement on boundaries when they drive. Here is a list of some commonly suggested rules that you may want to discuss when your teenage driver takes to the road independently:

Who they’re with- Consider limiting the number of passengers and frequency of driving groups of friends while your teen driver is still getting used to driving.
What they’ll be driving- Agree on the vehicle that your teen is permitted to drive.
When they’re permitted to drive- Statistically speaking, Friday and Saturday evenings present the most risk. Hours are limited by the probationary license – no driving between 11 pm and 5 am.
Where they can drive- Agree on a driving radius or discuss avoiding some more challenging routes until their comfort level and experience increases.

Your teen may push back a little on some of your “road rules” but you don’t want to have any regrets. Remind your teen to always wear their seat belt, limit the number of passengers they have while driving, and abide by a curfew. Also, discuss activities that can be dangerous distractions, such as talking and texting on their phone, eating and drinking while driving and taking their eyes off the road to manage music and media. Keep in mind that the example you set can go a long way, too.

Final Thoughts on Auto Insurance for Teenagers

Your teenager will most likely view getting their driver’s license as a rite of passage toward increased independence. Although it’s hard to believe your child is old enough to take the wheel, it’s important to remember that driving is a privilege that requires a mature, methodical approach to safety from both you and your teen. If you have questions about car insurance for your teen, and you’re seeking an insurance carrier with flexible coverage, competitive rates and a dedicated service team, consider Plymouth Rock Assurance.

You can read more about the importance of having insurance and about insurance for new drivers. Find out what to do if your car insurance goes up and actions that raise the cost of it.  If Plymouth Rock has been insuring parent and teen drivers in PA for decades. Call today to speak with a friendly, knowledgeable representative – you’ll be glad you did!

Call 855-993-4470, get your free quote online, or find an agent to learn more about car insurance for teenagers. Visit our contact us page if you need to call us with additional questions.