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By Claudia Buck

Its the kind of sticker shock that makes any parent wince: car insurance for your teenage driver.  For families with teens behind the wheel, you know what we're talking about: high-octane jumps in insurance premiums, especially if your 16-to-19-year-old is a boy.

"Teens are statistically the most dangerous drivers on the road compared to other age groups," said Tully Lehman, spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California.  Unfortunately, that added risk — accidents, speeding tickets, crashes — revs insurance costs into overdrive.

"Adding a student to a parent's insurance policy roughly doubles the premium," Lehman said.

How to save

First, shop around. Not all insurers charge the same rates for teens, depending on the frequency and severity of loss claims in a given area or ZIP code.  That's why comparing premiums from four or five companies will yield a wide range of rates.

"That's the best way for anybody to save, especially for younger drivers," said Brad Cooper, a senior vice president for insurance Web site "They'll see a big variation."

When contacting insurance companies for quotes, "make sure to compare apples to apples, in terms ofthe coverage limits and the deductible amounts," said California Deputy Insurance Commissioner Joel Laucher.

Keep grades up

One of the biggest breaks for teen drivers is a "good student" discount. Typically, if your kid has a 3.0 or better grade-point average, you can shave off anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent, depending on the insurer.

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Cliff Cottam Insurance Services will shop multiple insurance companies to find you the most affordable rates. Among the companies we can place your business with, is Mercury Insurance. Mercury is well known for having the "best" rates for teenage drivers. Why not let us give you a no obligation Auto Quote today! 

Posted 11:11 AM

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