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Jeff Johnson: Would teen driving restrictions change auto insurance premium rates?

Driving restrcitions and teen auto insurance.

Response :  If a new Federal Act passes, all teens will have to go through an even more steps to get their driver’s license.

 Teens have the highest insurance rates of any other driving group and there is good reason. Teens also have the highest accident rates of any other group. Now, this is not to say that all teen drivers are bad. They just do not have the experience and maturity level that is learned with experience and this leads to more accidents.

To try and keep our teen drivers safe (and the rest of us) a new law is making its way through congress that would impose teen driving restrictions for drivers under the age of 18.

 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York has submitted a proposal to the Senate that would set getting a driver’s license into a multi-tier process rather than the two steps it is today.

The act would have the first level stay the same with the new teen driver being issued a permit. The only difference is that it would be illegal for permit drivers to text or talk on a cell phone while driving.

The second level is a restricted license at age 16. The driver would be restricted from driving at night and also from texting and talking on a cell phone while driving. An unrestricted license would not be issued until age 18, different from the unrestricted license that is now issued at age 16.

Driver’s licensing is similar to insurance; it can vary from state to state. Some states have very loose rules such as a driver can be issued a  permit  at age 14 and a license at age 15. Other states already adopt a graduated licensing approach like the one that is trying to make its way through the Senate.

The difference is that if the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act is passed and put into effect that this would be a federal law. Meaning that each state will have to adopt this law instead of the licensing laws being different from one state to another.

Because drivers that are age 16-17 will be restricted from driving at night their driving exposure is cut to half of what it was previously. Also, with restrictions on cell phone usage while driving, one would reason that there should be a decrease in insurance premium for their teen driver.

Of course, this all will depend on the insurance company. If your teen has restrictions on their license right now ask you agent how it makes a difference on your insurance premium. Also if your insurance company offers any discounts for a restricted teen license.

Also as more and more statistics are being released to confirm that restricting teen driving time does decrease teen accidents we may see insurance rates start to be more reasonable for this group.

Please also understand what is Named drivers restriction and how this would affect the auto insurance rates.



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