Car insurance protects you from financial hardship in the aftermath of a collision by paying for the associated repair or medical costs so that you don't have to pay out of pocket. Automobile insurance policies are funded through monthly payments, or premiums, which are used to pay the costs of other drivers covered by the same insurance company. Young drivers tend to face some of the highest premiums, as they do not yet have a track record of safe and responsible driving. This can be a major financial burden, especially if you're attending college at the same time. Fortunately, there are several ways that young drivers can keep insurance premiums affordable while still enjoying the financial protections of their policy.
Just like phone and internet subscriptions, insurance companies offer similar policies at different rates. A great way to ensure that you are getting the best deal is to contact agents and check websites to compare quotes between companies.
Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums to new drivers who have taken recognized driver-training or defensive driving courses. However, be sure to check with your insurance company for a list of recognized courses before you pay a deposit, as some companies require specific courses to be taken.
Having your own car insurance policy at a young age can be expensive, but being a secondary driver for your parents' vehicles on their policies is much cheaper. Talk to your parents about the possibility of being added to their existing policies – even if you're paying the premium yourself, it will likely be much more affordable and in line with your budget.
Conversely to the above point, if you do have your own car insurance policy, make sure that you always pay your premium on time. A missed payment can cancel your policy, and multiple cancellations can drive your premiums up.
When comparing insurance companies, make sure to inquire about student discounts. Some companies offer premium reductions to students who live away from home or who perform well academically.
Finally, the most important thing that a young driver can do to keep premiums affordable is to make good driving decisions. Don't speed, never drive drunk, put your phone down until you're parked, and always wear your seatbelt; traffic violations will go on your record and bring premiums up, while a clean history will bring them down year by year.