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Ways to lower the cost of adding a teen driver to your insurance

(KOMO file photo)

Talk about sticker shock: Auto insurance rates for teens are a real eye-opener. That's because teen drivers have a higher risk of having an accident.

"If you add a teenage driver to your insurance policy, your rates can be expected to go up by 50 percent or even more,” said Kenton Brine, president of the NW Insurance Council. “It's also important to know that if you put a teen on their own insurance policy, separate from yours, it can be even higher. So, that's still the best place to start."

There are some things your son or daughter can do to lower that cost. They can take a driver education course. And it’s important to get good grades. Many insurance companies offer discounts for a good grade point average.

“A lot of insurers also have their own programs that the teens can enroll in when they begin driving,” Brine explained. “If they maintain a safe driving record and have good driving habits and take a test online with the insurer, they can improve their rates as well.”

A note to parents: Even if you're happy with your insurance company, compare prices when you add a teen driver. You may get a better deal from another company.

Related Story: Summer is a dangerous time for teen drivers

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