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Insurance and Your Child: What to consider before handing over the keys

 After instruction and countless reminders to be safe, your youngster is finally ready to hit the road. Congratulations! This is a milestone you have been dreading for years, and now it has finally come to pass. Your baby is ready to take the car out for a spin. Before you hand over that set of keys, you need to ask yourself one question: "Did I add my child to my insurance policy?"

Ah, yes. In the UK, car insurance for young drivers is an absolute must. Making sure that young driver in your household is covered by your insurance policy will give you the confidence to hand over the keys with nothing more than a stern, "Make sure you have it back by ten! With the additional insurance coverage, you will at least know that any dings or scratches your new driver puts in the body of your beloved vehicle will be repaired.

Perhaps you forgot about car insurance when you were planning the whole my-child-is-driving scenario. Adding your child to your policy will increase your premium rates, and because young drivers are high risk to the insurer, the premium hike may take your breath away. In the midst of a weak economy, you may find the new rates to be difficult to manage, or worse, completely outside the scope of your budget. If this is the case, it may be time to re-evaluate your car insurance company.

Insurance rates vary widely by company, as well as by the amount of coverage you choose to carry. Increasing your voluntary excess, for example, is a quick and easy way to reduce your rates. While this tactic may bring your monthly budget back into the manageable zone, it is important to remember that this increases your risk. If you do incur any kind of damage to your vehicle, you will be responsible for that excess before the insurer will pay you anything at all. If your vehicle sustains a total loss, this might not be a bad thing. You could take the funds provided by your insurer and buy a cheaper car. If your car sustains minor body damage, you might decide not to make a claim, and either pay for the repair yourself, or choose not to repair it. So increasing your excess might be a viable option if you are really in a tight spot.

But remember that rates vary by insurer, as well. You should consider shopping around for cheaper rates, now that you have your teen on your policy. Conveniently, many of the insurers offering lower rates would like to earn your business, so they make it easy on you. Try comparing prices online and see what you come up with!

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