Some Important Facts About Teenagers and Car Insurance
If you have growing children then teenagers and car insurance will loom large in your life at some point.
When your children become teenagers, cars and getting around become big attractions for them not only in terms of accessible transport but as a status symbol too.
However, be aware that a teenager driving a car has huge insurance implications.
Facts About Teenagers and Car Insurance to Keep Them – and you – Out of Trouble
- Learners Licence
When you teach your teen to drive it’s not just a case of hopping in beside him (or her) as the nervous teen learns to drive. There are implications for teenagers and car insurance.
Make sure you alert your car insurance company that your daughter/son will be driving your car. This will involve an increased premium.
Make sure your teen never drives the car alone and – it goes without saying – never gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
2. Driving Without A Licence
Unfortunately a lot of parents – and teens – think that a teen driving before he or she has a licence is a clever thing to do. But it’s not at all clever, it is in fact, a statutory offence.
If an unlicensed teen driver has an accident, whether responsible for the accident or not, the teen and you will be in deep trouble. There can be huge financial consequences of unlicensed teenagers and car insurance.
Unfortunately an unlicensed teen may speed away from the scene of the accident because they are unlicensed. This is an offence that carries a fine of R36 000 or nine years in prison. The insurance company will definitely not pay out in these circumstances.
If an unlicensed teenager causes an accident in which someone dies, then the teen will be charged with manslaughter. Also your insurance company will refuse to pay for the replacement or repair of the other vehicles involved in the accident.
If the parents claim that they are not responsible because the child took the vehicle without their knowledge, this will not be accepted as a charge of theft will simply be slapped on the teen. Even if the charge is withdrawn the insurance company will not pay for damages.
3. Driving While Drunk
Insurance companies have found that the main cause of licensed or unlicensed teenaged drivers being involved in accidents is drunkenness.
No insurance company will pay out insurance for accidents that are proven to be caused by drunken driving, no matter the age of the driver and no matter whether they are licensed or unlicensed. Teenagers and car insurance don’t mix.
4. If Someone Dies It’s the End of the Road for Your Kid
This is without doubt the worst thing that can happen to a drunk teenage driver – or any drunk driver for that matter. Your child could be charged with manslaughter. Even a first offender will face a jail term of 15 years of more. Needless to say, the insurance company will refuse to pay a cent in damages.
5. Insuring A Teen’s Car While They Live At Home
You can add your child’s car insurance to your premium. Be sure to be honest about the fact that he or she is the driver, not you. This might lead to high premiums but it will ensure that when a claim arises then damages will be covered.
6. Matric Farewell
Plenty of accidents are caused by unlicensed and licensed teenaged drivers who are on their way to or returning from matric farewell’s and after parties.
The organisers of such parties should include safe transport, designated drivers and even a relay lift services as part and parcel of the celebrations. No insurance company will regard a matric farewell as a mitigating factor when it comes to an accident caused by drunken driving.
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