Help! My Teenager Was in a Car Accident!

Those first few years after teenagers earn the privilege to drive can be harrowing for parents. Sharing the road with and inexperienced driver is stressful enough, but when that driver is your own flesh and blood, it can be gut-wrenching every time you hand over the keys. You taught your child well, drive with her regularly, and trust her to make good choices, but you know there is always a chance she could run into trouble.

Many teens are involved in minor fender benders in their first years behind the wheel, and fortunately, many of these accidents only result in damage to vehicles. While any parent in that situation is grateful that no one was hurt, they are also keenly aware of the repercussions that will occur—especially regarding insurance.

After Your Teen Wrecks Your Car: The Insurance Pain

You probably noticed that your monthly premiums shot up after adding your teen to your policy—this is because as a whole, teen drivers are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident. Over time without a wreck, good grades and defensive driving courses may help ease the financial burden, but the fact remains that insuring teen drivers is a risky business.

When your teen is involved in a wreck, even a minor one or one that was not her fault, your insurance company goes into “I told you so” mode, often raising your premiums swiftly and significantly. There is a small chance, especially if your child has only been on your policy for a short time, that your insurer may cancel your teen’s policy altogether following an accident. The best case scenario following a minor fender-bender is that your premium is raised a small amount until your child builds a more positive driving record or takes an instructional course (ask your insurer about possible discounts and how to earn them).

The best way to protect yourself is to ensure that your teen is sufficiently covered (the formative driving years are not the time to skimp on coverage!), properly trained, and serious about driving safely. As the school year starts up once again, be sure to speak with your teen drivers and drive with them often to ensure that they have the skills necessary to drive safely. Should they get into trouble behind the wheel, however, attorney Steve Lee will be available to help you work out your Houston auto accident woes!

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