Who among us could ever forget our very first car? We can still hear the hum of that engine. We can still feel the upholstery of the seats against our skin, the grip of the steering wheel, the wind in our hair. This was our key to freedom.
Your first car is a magical thing, standing singular in your memories forever. You’re a young adult, about to embark upon one of the most exciting (and daunting) journeys of your life. Driving your very own car.
First-time drivers have much to learn before taking to the open roads, and one of the most important (though, not always the most romantic) aspects to owning and operating your own car is one often overlooked, and tragically misunderstood.
We’re talking, of course, about insurance.
Who among us could ever forget the very first time our first car broke down? Got broken into? Was stolen from the driveway? Needed costly repairs?
This is why insurance is important. Whether you’re a parent looking to get insurance for your child, or a young adventurer about to get behind the wheel yourself, in this two-part guide we’ll give you everything you need to know about first-time car insurance for a first-time driver.
What do you need to keep in mind? What should you avoid? Most importantly, how can you get the best out of your policy? Let’s take a look.
Several interesting dynamics go into the calculation of a motorist’s insurance premium. Insurance companies factor a staggering amount of information into the equation when determining how much of a risk we pose.
We’ve gone into this process in the article presented above – How Is Your Car Insurance Premium Calculated? – but for now, one of the first things you need to know is that, unfortunately, younger drivers (commonly aged between 18 and 25) are generally considered a higher risk on the road.
Insurance companies base this assumption primarily on your lack of driving experience, but also on well-documented statistics gathered over a very long time. These account for many factors, including human behaviour, demographics and both the probability and level of risk faced each and every day.
For instance, younger drivers tend to demonstrate riskier driving behaviour and, likewise, are inclined to drive at much higher speeds. Adding to that, younger drivers generally aren’t married, don’t have children and don’t have a reliable credit record. This all means that they are far more likely to end up in a collision, cause an accident, and are far more likely to claim, costing the insurance company a lot of money. This would lead to an increase in premiums for everybody else.
Young people are a greater risk to insure, and for that reason, their monthly premiums are considerably higher.
Don’t despair just yet, though. There is light at the end of this tunnel.
Because the monthly insurance premiums for inexperienced, younger drivers are more expensive, many parents sometimes elect not to insure their child’s vehicle at all.
In this scenario, however, insurance may prove more vitally important than ever. Not only will the right cover protect the parent from having to unexpectedly shell out ridiculous sums of money in the event of an accident (repairs to either the child’s vehicle or somebody else’s), but will also offer relief in the event of theft or fire, as well as roadside or emergency assistance.
Another problem, best avoided, is that parents will sometimes claim to be the main driver of the vehicle when applying for said insurance, believing that they will save some money when it comes to the premiums.
While this may seem like a smart solution at first, it may, unfortunately, incur many more problems further down the line.
This is commonly known as ‘fronting’, and because the parent has misrepresented the regular driver of the vehicle, claims will likely end up being rejected. This misrepresentation may even result in the policy being cancelled or voided.
A far better solution is for parents to seek out options that will benefit their child’s driving. There are several types of innovative cover, such as that from Discovery Insure, which incentivises their first-time driver to drive well by offering rewards and benefits. This could even include lower premium rates.
So, what if you’re a first-time driver yourself, looking to take matters into your own hands? Bravo! But, it's not going to be easy...
Many online sources will have you believe that, until you are older than 25, you simply won’t be able to escape the lofty monthly premiums that come attached with being a younger driver.
Finding affordable insurance may seem like an impossible task, and you may even find that there are several insurance companies out there that’ll flat-out refuse to insure you at all. You’re too much of a risk, they’ll say.
But luckily, you’ve got a Guru to guide you, and we’re here to tell you that there are several things that can be done to help your cause.
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