How Much Insurance Should I Have on my Sixteen Year Old Driver? - Jones Law Group

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This is not my first blog about teenaged drivers, nor will it be my last. You may be the parent of the most well meaning, responsible teen alive. That teenager still has fairly high odds of being involved in a car accident before they turn 20. [1] Unfortunately, for the parents, the fault in such accidents generally lies with the inexperienced driver. Even a conscientious teen driver can cause an accident because they are simply not experienced behind the wheel and lack experience to draw upon when anticipating the actions of others. In Florida, the parents will be liable for all damages caused by their minor child in a car crash caused by the minor child. [2] This number can be astronomical total depending on the personal injuries suffered by other driver.

How Much Insurance is Enough?

I recently heard a particularly horrifying story where an insurance agent recommended that a couple who is financially solvent should purchase a policy for their 16 year old child in the minimum amounts allowed under Florida Law. [3] In other words, they were carrying a policy which provided $10,000 in bodily injury coverage and $10,000 in property damage coverage. The teenager caused an auto accident, in which the damages were well in excess of those policy limits. Of course the injured party will look to the parents of the teenaged driver in that situation to pay the difference. It is important to remember that a very minor accident can cause property and bodily injuries in excess of the minimum Florida requirements. Mercedes are usually more expensive to repair than a Chevy. Likewise, one trip to the emergency room to get checked out can result in medical bills which exceed the personal injury coverage.

Therefore, it is important to examine your assets and choose an amount that protects that. I have heard Dave Ramsey recommend that, at a minimum, a policy for $500,000 should be maintained. The cost of this insurance when you add your teenaged driver will be shocking. There are ways to minimize the additional costs. Good grades and driver’s education courses are two ways to reduce the cost impact of adding a teenager to your insurance policy. Check with your insurance provider regarding their approved driver’s education courses, as not all classes will qualify for a discount. Does your child really need a new BMW or will an older sedan suffice? Remember, it’s very likely a car they will wreck. Also, many insurance companies will offer discounts for installing devices which monitor the driving habits of your child or will actually limit the speed, acceleration and volume on the radio.

What About Children Over the Age of 18?

I can almost hear the collectively sigh of relief from parents whose children have safely reached the age of 18 and beyond. After all I did say that you would only be responsible for the damages caused by minor children, right? So your child has reached the age of 18 and has moved into their apartment in downtown St. Petersburg. They are waiting tables or bartending by night and attending college by day. You have done your job. They made it this far and you tell them that they will now be responsible for their own insurance premiums. It does not take a psychic to predict what insurance policy they will purchase. They will get the cheapest policy with the least coverage the can buy. What could be the problem with this scenario? Remember that sensible sedan you gave them on their sixteenth birthday. It is probably still in your name, which will leave you still holding the bag for all of the damages occasioned by a car accident caused by your adult child.

Contact Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident caused by teenaged driver? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney at The Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
65622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707

https://www.jlgtampabay.com/personal-injury/

References:

[1] http://www.teendriversource.org/stats/support_teens/detail/107

[2] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0322/Sections/0322.09.html