Drunken driving by teenagers could prove to be costly for entire family


shutterstock_34443202Drunken driving by teenagers could turn out to be a costly affair for the entire family especially if all members are listed on a single auto insurance policy.

The rates will go up even if a teenaged kid is caught driving under influence, states Bill Martin, Senior Vice President at Farmers Insurance. This hike in rates would be spread over all the vehicles in the household rather than just on one particular vehicle, he stated.

The rise in rates would be quite sharp due to the fact that the teen would not have a long driving history and it would become difficult for the insurance company to figure out if the incident is just a one-time offense or if is a behavior that is likely to be repeated in the future, states Martin.

But what would be the hike in rates under such circumstances?

Chris Wukovits, Manager at AAA New York Insurance Services states that some of the premiums may actually double or even triple at the time of renewal.

In some rare cases, the insurance company might also prefer to cancel a policy altogether, he states. And if that happens then parents who go shopping for another policy are most unlikely to find cheap auto insurance.

There are some auto insurance companies who will not write an auto policy for anyone with a DUI within the last five years, states Wukovits.

As per the Insurance Information Institute, alcohol-related auto accidents in teens generally see a rise during the prom season which is during May and June. So, parents can do a lot to ensure that their teenaged kids are not drinking and driving during this season.

According to Bill Windsor who is the associate vice president of consumer safety, Nationwide, the best way to do this is to talk to your teen. As per the research it has been observed that parents had a major influence on their kid’s to drink and drive.

Hence Windsor states that parents must have a frank talk with their kids and explain the consequences of drunken driving. The other way to control drinking and driving to the prom is to just eliminate the chances. Parents can pool in resources and send their kids to prom in a rented limousine or offer to drive their kids to the prom and ensure that their children are going to a dry event after the prom. Parent’s involvement can significantly cut down the risks he stated.