Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teens and car insurance: Who should pay?

Most accidents occur to teens drivers and therefore the teens should pay for the car insurance. Why should parents have to pay for the insurance of their teens when it is the responsiblity of their teens?

In many situations, a teen who has a car has many friends who don't have a car. and these friends are like leeches. The teen becomes an unpaid chauffer of these friends and they pressurize him to take them to parties and other places he may not like to. While some of these friends chip in to pay the fuel when they go to the gas station, many don't. They assume that everthing is free, and the insurance premium remain hidden. At all times of the day, they call or text the driver to take them to a function. The teen driver is in a dilema of whether to reject them or go even if he doesn't wish to go.

When a teen is behind the wheel, he should realize that he not only has a financial responsibility but a social one. As a teen with a new drivers license, there is the thrill of driving fast, the desire to impress his passengers of what a good driver he is, and even succumb to the urges of his friends to drink under the influence of alcohol. What price is that when he is involved in an accident. A life might be lost, he or his victims might be maimed. Friendship will be lost.

Perhaps the high premium rate, and the lost of no claims bonus coming out of the teen's pocket will be a deterrence to reckless driving. Then each time the teen goes behind the wheel, he will be reminded of the "kaching kaching" of the cash register of the insurance will ring louder in his ears when the money is coming out of his pocket, and not easy money of his mum and dad.

Yes, a teen will have to take a part time job to pay for his insurance. But he will appreciate it more than if the money is just an easy handout from mum and dad. He will be a more environmentally friendly person when he thinks twice if he needs to take the car if he was going just down the block. He will also be a healthier person if he walks rather than just taking the car and thus limiting the risk of an accident. The teen will grow up and ne a more responsible person when he knows he has to pay for his insurance and his parents will not bale him out of any accident he is involved.

In New Zealand, we have different tiers system. After a person passes his practical driving test, he gets a restricted licence.

Restricted licence conditions
You can drive on your own, but not between 10 pm and 5 am. Between these times you must have a supervisor in the front passenger seat who holds a full New Zealand car licence, and has held this for at least two years.
You must not ride a moped between 10 pm and 5 am.
If you sat the test in an automatic vehicle, your licence will say that you can only drive automatic vehicles (unless accompanied by a supervisor).
You must not carry passengers unless you have a supervisor with you

Full licence

You can apply for a full driver licence after 18 months on your restricted licence if you're under 25 years old, or after six months on your restricted licence if you're 25 or older.

This appears very good on paper. It is hard to police though. Many teens drive their friends once they pass their exams. Many are killed, and taking their friends with them.

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