Ohio teen insurance premiums lower, but still a burden

Safety may be the biggest concern for Ohio parents as their teen drivers take the wheel, but the cost of insurance coverage hits budgets hard, especially if the teenager is a male.

Teen driver premiums fell a percentage point from 2013 to 2014, but adding a teen driver still increases premiums an average of 84 percent in Ohio, according to research from InsuranceQuotes.com.

The most startling contrast is between genders, a male teen will cause a parent’s insurance costs to jump an average of 96 percent, a female teen — 72 percent.

It’s a burden, according to Misty Branch of West Carrollton, who has two daughters drivers, and a son who is in driver’s education.

“I was shocked. I just couldn’t believe the prices, and just because of age and gender,” Branch said.

There are ways to take the sting out of the premiums, according to D&D Driving School President Sharon Fife.

“When I added my my daughter on to my insurance policy, I put her on as a part time driver. Not many teenagers drive ‘full-time,’ so you can ask to add them as a part time driver and that way you do’t have to pay near as much,” Fife said.

Insurance companies also offer discounts for GPS monitoring, auto safety features and more, said Fife.

“Check with your insurance agent to know what discounts are available because they don’t always tell you,” Fife said.

Even with discounts, budgeting for the premiums is tough, said David Crisenbery, a Warren County father of five boys, aged 22, 18, 13, 12 and six.

“Each kid you add on, you have to figure another $250 a month until they can get their own policy. You just have to roll with the punches,” Crisenbery said.

With new extended drivers education, and more restriction, Branch said insurance companies should reconsider their teen prices.

“They go through all the schooling and learn a lot more than they used to in the older days. I think kids are smarter these days and I think they need to lower the insurance rates quite a bit to help parents,” said Branch.

Ohio ranks 23rd in the nation for teen driver premium increases. New Hampshire is number one with a 115 percent jump. Hawaii is the cheapest state to insure teen drivers with only a 17 percent increase.