The Race to FIRE - Financial Independence, Retire Early

Got Teen Boys? It’s Gonna Cost You!

Got Teen Boys? It’s Gonna Cost You!

The Effect of Teen Boys (and a Couple of Accidents) on Auto Insurance Rates

Our two oldest kids are teen boys. They’re great kids – healthy, happy and respectful (most of the time.) Sure, they eat a lot and their soccer bags smell like a couple of skunks died in them, but overall, we’re pretty lucky. We’ve been cruising along with reasonable increases in expenses as the kids have gotten older. You know, stuff like food, sports teams, school fees, etc. But one year ago, both boys got their drivers’ licenses. And we were woefully unprepared for exactly how much this was going to cost us.

Adding the boys to the policy

Last September, we added both boys to our auto insurance policy. The additional yearly premium was $759 for each kid. This rate included a discount because each boy had completed a driver’s education course consisting of classwork and on-road instruction. My husband’s car was a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder and my car is a 2011 Honda Odyssey. Notice I said was for my husband’s car and is for my car, but more on that later. My oldest son had been working in retail to save up enough money to buy a car. After several weeks of searching for a reliable used car with no success, my husband had a brilliant idea. He would sell his Pathfinder to our son for $2500 and my husband would get a new car.

Increase in Yearly Insurance Premium – $1518 to add both boys, $1618 to add husband’s new vehicle

Accident # 1

Unfortunately, within the first 2 weeks of buying the Pathfinder, my son rear-ended another vehicle. No one was hurt and the other driver was very nice about the incident. We debated whether to file this claim with the insurance or pay for the damage to both vehicles out-of-pocket. If we reported the wreck to our insurance company, we would have to pay the $500 deductible and risk having our rates increase dramatically since our oldest son was a new driver and a teenager. A bigger worry was that if he was involved in another at-fault accident anytime soon, he may be deemed uninsurable. We elected to pay for the repairs for both cars and did not report the accident. Fortunately, the other driver understood completely and agreed on the plan.

Cost of Accident # 1 – Our son’s car – $474. Let’s just say we didn’t fully repair the car to its original glory. The radiator was replaced and the hood was stapled back together. No joke – huge black staples. It looked so bad, we named the car Frankenstein. Cost to repair other car damaged in the wreck – $2487

Accident Number # 2

Back in July, my oldest son and I drove my Honda Odyssey to visit my mom in Georgia. On the evening before we were scheduled to return to Canada, my son had another wreck. Yes, this was the same kid! No one was hurt and the other driver was very nice about the incident. My son was charged with making an illegal U-turn. However, since his driver’s license was from Canada, the policeman could not enter the charge into his system and no ticket was issued. We didn’t know it at the time, but that was a huge break for us. It took 9 weeks to get the Honda repaired, during which there was a lot of back-and-forth with the insurance. Warning – don’t ever have a wreck in another country – what a hassle!

Cost of Accident # 2 – $500 deductible, insurance rate increase – $360 per year

Accident # 3

As we were returning to Canada (from Accident # 2,) I received a call that my other son had been in a car accident. My son had rear-ended another vehicle in the 2004 Pathfinder. No one was hurt but the other driver was NOT very nice about the incident. My son was issued a ticket for Careless Driving. As the policeman handed the $480 ticket to my husband, he said “I am required to charge him with Careless Driving, but you can plead down the charge with the Prosecutor.” The Pathfinder was a total loss. That poor car had made it through a tree falling on it during a hurricane in South Florida, a tornado and massive hail damage in Alabama, but it could not survive my teen boys. With the loss settlement of $5491 (less the $500 deductible,) we purchased a 2006 Nissan Altima to replace the Pathfinder.

Our insurance premium increase? It’s yet to be determined. We are meeting with a Prosecutor in mid-December. The plan is to ask the Prosecutor to downgrade the charge to Failure to Make a Left-Hand Turn to Avoid an Accident – yes, it’s really that specific. This charge carries a penalty of 2 points and costs $180. That’s much better than the 6-point, $480 charge for Careless Driving.

Cost of Accident # 3 – $500 deductible, ticket – $180 to $480, insurance rate increase – undetermined, but most likely $360

And that brings you up to date. In the past year, we’ve shelled out $7457 to add the boys to the policy, add a car to the policy, pay deductibles in 2 wrecks and pay for an unreported accident. This doesn’t include whatever damage Accident # 3 is going to cost us. But like I said in the beginning of the story, we’re lucky to have 2 healthy, happy teen boys (most of the time.)

Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

If you like it, please share it...


10 thoughts on “Got Teen Boys? It’s Gonna Cost You!”

  • Yikes! Aren’t teenage boys fun? 🙂

    I had two, but now they’re both adults so they’re responsible for their own auto insurance and cars. Each teenage son had minor fender benders. One tapped the car in front of him when he went to Prom. No damage, but he became a better driver for it.

    The second dented a neighbors parked car (the neighbor was very understanding) and ran into a sign pole because he was reaching for google map directions. The paper map had fallen on the floor and he decided there was no need to stop the car in order to reach down and to pick up the directions off the passenger seat floor. 🙂 This only caused minor dings and scratches. So I feel we got off lucky.

    Good news – they don’t stay teenagers forever!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! That’s exactly what our insurance agent keeps saying – these experiences will make them better drivers.

  • Sweet baby Jesus in the manger!!! Fantastic that none of the boys were hurt! Almost $8000 just to add them on is crazy but like Mr FF says, they won’t stay teens forever. Does it come out of their pocketbooks for the repairs?

    • Your comment is spot on! And yes, the oldest is on an installment plan for the repairs and increase in the insurance payments. He pays us $250 at the beginning of every month, straight out of his paycheck. The younger one is off the hook for now, since he won’t have a job until the summer. But he can’t drive until we get the issue with the ticket resolved in mid-December.

  • I’m glad to hear that you’re kiddos are alright. That’s definitely the most important thing!!! Sounds like they are learning…hopefully they have gotten all the accidents out of their system 🙂 I am hoping by the time my kiddos can drive we have driverless technology 🙂

    • Absolutely, I’m hoping the driverless technology happens sooner rather than later. The high-speed tunnels between the big cities also sound pretty interesting – anything to decrease commute times.

  • I had to pay for half of my car insurance in high school, so I had some skin in the game. I always was mad that my premiums were so much higher then my sisters. She got into multiple accidents and my premiums were still higher! Kept me more focused on the road I will have to say and knock on wood I have never been in a serious accident.

    • Yep, it seems pretty unfair that boys cost so much more than girls when it comes to car insurance. Glad you made it without any serious accidents!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the Race to Financial Independence!

Sign up to get the latest blog posts straight to your inbox.