FOX13 INVESTIGATES: How your student’s report card could save you money on car insurance

MID-SOUTH — People across the Mid-South are experiencing record-high gas prices, increased costs for groceries, and in some instances, rising rent costs. Parents with a new teen driver could experience yet another item going up in price, their car insurance.

Most car insurance policies go up in price when a parent adds a new teen driver. That happens because the driver has no experience. FOX13 investigates sought to find ways Mid-Southerners could save money on their car insurance.

One way is if parents save their teen’s report card.

FOX13 found out that most car insurance companies like Allstate, Nationwide, State Farm, and Geico offer a Good Student discount if the teen has maintained a 3.0 GPA or a B average.

How much a parent is able to save depends on the insurance company and how much your current policy rate is.

With Allstate and Nationwide, parents can save up to 10% with a Good Student discount. With Geico, parents can save up to 15%, and with State Farm, parents can save up to 25% with a Good Student discount. Also, companies like Allstate and Nationwide allow customers to double their discounts.

Cynthia Scales, Allstate Insurance agency owner, tells FOX13 how parents can double discount.

“The other discount they can have at the same time is called the Drivewise Discount,” said Scales. “That Drivewise Discount can go anywhere from 0 up to 25 percent.”

The Drivewise discounts require teen drivers to download the Drivewise app. The app then tracks the teens’ driving habits. The better the driving, the more money parents can save.

Nationwide has a similar discount. Christine Adams, Ephlin Insurance Group agent, tells FOX13 how their customers can double discount.

“Multi-policy discount will be on there, good student discount if they are a good student, multi-car, depending on driver ratio,” said Adams.

State Farm is a little different. State Farm allows customers to combine up to three discounts to save money.

There’s the Good Student discount and their Steer Clear discount, which requires students to take an online training course, record a certain number of driving hours, and receive mentoring from friends or family members to get the discount. Then teens can get a third discount if they complete a driver’s education course.

Misty Rosser-White, State Farm Insurance agent, tells FOX13 that on top of saving money, students can become more confident with their driving.

“It also gives the student a little more confidence while driving,” said Rosser-White.

FOX13 also spoke to John Thomas, a parent who decided to make his son wait to get his driver’s license. Thomas tells FOX13 he made his son wait to ensure he was ready to take on Memphis drivers.

“We wanted to make sure that he was ready, that he was mature enough, and that’s why we waited,” said Thomas.

During the waiting period, Thomas tells FOX13 that he and his wife made sure to point certain things out to their son and to reiterate certain rules of the road.

“When we were driving, we would bring out things to him, make him pay attention to certain things, what rules were like in case say the traffic lights were out,” said Thomas.

Thomas started that early because he knows how crazy Memphis drivers can be. He didn’t want his son to be influenced by how other younger drivers drive.

“Some of them see how some of these other drivers are, and they may feel that it’s ok to drive 70 miles per hour down Poplar weaving in and out of traffic, and it’s not,” said Thomas.

Thomas tells FOX13 that his son receives a good student discount from their insurance company. It saves him a little over $50 every six months. Thomas says he was also conscious of the car he bought his son, knowing the make and model can also increase his insurance rate.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be putting him in a sports car, so I wasn’t really too worried about it being very expensive in the Arcadia,” said Thomas.

If you feel like your insurance policy is still too expensive, there may be other factors to look at. Look at the driver history of everyone on the policy.

Does anyone have any tickets? How many? Have any of the drivers been in any accidents? Those are all factors that can increase your insurance rate. FOX13 Investigates also found out that where you live can impact how much your car insurance could be.

Christine Adams, Nationwide insurance agent, tells FOX13 that if you live in an area with a lot of uninsured drivers, that can increase your insurance rate.

“The insurance company knows we’re likely going to have to pay an uninsured motorist claim if you have that coverage,” said Adams.

FOX13 Investigates also uncovered another problem: A large amount of Mid-South drivers don’t have insurance.

A 2021 study by the Insurance Information Institute found all three Mid-South states ranked in the top 10 for most uninsured drivers. Mississippi came in at number 1, with 29.4% of drivers uninsured. Tennessee ranks 3rd with 23.7% uninsured, and Arkansas ranks 8th with 19.3% of drivers uninsured.

You can read the complete study here.