When to add 15-year old driver-in-training to car insurance policy

Most insurance companies add teenagers once they are officially licensed, but some add young motorists right away.

Auto insurance is particularly important for teens because statistics show they have more accidents than experienced drivers. In fact, a National Institute of Health (NIH) study found the crash risk for teens is highest during the first three months they are licensed.

If your child has the misfortune of causing an accident, he/she may be responsible for another person's injury or property damage. These costs are typically covered by the liability portion of an auto insurance policy. However, withholding information about the new driver in your household puts insurance coverage in jeopardy. You could end up paying the other person's damage out-of-pocket.

Your auto insurance premium is certain to go up when your teen is listed as a driver. Companies offer limited discounts. However, many insurers reduce the young driver's vehicle rate by 5 - 20 percent for maintaining a B average. In addition, ask about receiving credit for taking a recognized driver training class or completing an insurer-sponsored new driver training course. Other cost-saving measures include raising comprehensive and collision deductibles or adding a telematics device to monitor driving behavior.