Monday, July 06, 2009

Teens just wanna drive!

Yearly price quote for vehicle insurance given to our 18yo son!

We've come to the conclusion there was merit to once having lived in another Province where vehicle insurance was vastly different from here. There the government had a monopoly for holding the reigns of control over the automobile insurance industry. Having one price for all was something of a good thing - sometimes, if you weren't in an accident and if you had a safe driving record.

In our new Province of Ontario, sure oh sure we've loved lower costs by being able to "shop" for our insurance needs, saving huge dollars in combined vehicle insurance fees, especially when insuring all vehicles with the same company and taking advantage of further discounts for becoming valued clients.

We're still in shock though. Yes we are because in this province it appears there is a huge bias against young people who are treated unfairly to the point of the ridiculous when it comes to being able to insure a vehicle for anyone under the age of 21 years old!

Take a good look at the photo above and then tell me; Should this be the yearly (!) vehicle insurance fee for an 18yo male without having anything negative in his driving career? And all this for a 1998 Safari van, a larger safe vehicle ? Come on now! We're not talking a sporty vehicle, a wee little unsafe vehicle or a brand new one either. There must be a better way, right. You'd think. And we were assured there is. But it's all bogus you know. It is.

You see we are a typical family with two vehicles, that is we were until our move last December when my husband required a 4x4 to make it to work throughout the winter time, a work vehicle for the purpose of "work". Problem we found out - it is in his name! Is that a problem really, owning three vehicles now? YES! We failed to place our extra vehicle for sale earlier because one older son was offered to purchase it for his growing family, one vehicle that he was going to plan a vacation time around and drive it back across Canada and take it home. But that has since changed. I can't say I blame him for not wanting to pull through with the original thought of driving four children and one pregnant wife across a country, and so a few weeks ago I did in fact place the vehicle up for sale. Problem? In this recession, it hasn't sold, though we have had two very low offers. LOW offers. This is where we decided to seek out a price for future insurance changes to come should we decide to keep it for our son to use.

1998 Safari Van - vehicle in question here
(nice vehicle, one worth still having collisions options on it)

Problem? Here in Ontario, every "driver" must be insured and not just one fee per vehicle like back home. Each driver is "assigned" as a primary driver for an insured vehicle. Therefore in our home, we currently have three drivers and three vehicles. Although our son does NOT own our third vehicle, he will be placed automatically, by default, as the primary driver of it, therefore the fee above reflects what he must pay just to use it upon occasion. But, he doesn't own it. The insurance company said, if he gets into an accident, it's still OUR insurance and safe driving that will definitely take a hit and our fees will rise too. What in the world.....??? And so, we sought advice.....
  1. The brainy piece of advice was to sell our son the vehicle and place it in his own name. That would ensure we are no longer liable for him and his driving future.
  2. Secondly, make him get a job and pay his own insurance (wow, what a concept!)
  3. Next, we were advised to take off the collision part of the insurance and heh, like wow man (the insurance broker actually said that!), we would now save up to 1600.00 if we did it right! Huh? What a deal then, right? Wrong!
  4. Up comes our next driver anytime soon, a female who will also have to pay even more insurance to drive one of our vehicles. Oh, but she's a girl! She will pay much less. But she will be placed as a secondary driver on their choice of vehicles, AND in her case if she gets into an accident, our good record and insurance will also become affected.
If we continue on with the course we are currently riding, all total insurance fees which will be charged to owner/driver, primary driver defaults and a secondary driver addition will tally up to more than 10 thousand dollars for one 1998 vehicle only. Crazy! Just nuts considering the black/blue book value for such a vehicle is about half of that price. Nuts!

So a few thoughts we've had are to take the insurance and plates off of the vehicle for the time being, thus also removing our son from the drama of the inevitable and the stress it will produce for him/us when he graduates from the next phase of his insurance - a G2 license.

We have the vehicle priced to sell and have been offered two very low figures, insults really. Rather than give the thing away, maybe we will remove our son from being placed in such a position while initially fast tracking our daughter into driving mode, just bidding the time when until spring when she is insurable and place her on the vehicle instead as our third driver in the computer system. In order then our son would fall into place as a secondary driver instead.

Both could share in the savings from the fees between being a male to female and the combined primary/secondary fees to offer "fair value" for both to drive the vehicle, a safe and perfect conditioned, low mileage vehicle I might add, until we decide on something else.

They can pay for it themselves and both could have access for use of it in transporting themselves to ice hockey wee hour practices, getting to work and college, and beyond. The price is also right = It's paid for.

So, one might ask, how do young people in this area afford to drive?
  • The answer is easy...they buy (and often unreliable) beater vehicles, usually trucks and place zero collision insurance on it. (Do I want my teen to have an "unreliable vehicle? NO)
  • Or, they buy big cars of trucks to deflect more insurance fees for gaining safe car credits and can't afford to keep it fueled up.
  • Or, they get conned into buying a zero percent brand new vehicle and their premiums rise to an average of 8,000 dollars and they can't drive their vehicles from being too broke to pay both car payment AND insurance.
  • In turn must work their buns off to pay solely for their vehicle insurances.
  • Their parents do not allow them to drive their vehicles.
  • Their parents soon cease their frustration and tears by finally lifting their heads high to smile and laugh as they tell their driving children they are now at the perfect age for becoming prisoners in their own home, young slaves for sure. LOL
  • Or perhaps they will be smarter than that and seek out alternative forms of local transit abilities for getting around.
Nah, the second to last one is not entirely true, that is unless you happen to reside in a more rural country setting, like we do. No, it's hardly true even when the young drivers in our homes might begin to feel like it....that is - when those well meaning people begin offering their deepest sympathies to teens making them wonder or feel like they are being held in such a way by their parents in their own home. Oh yeah - it's a ploy, all the parent's fault and goal to keep them dependent, right? Shake head about here folks...shake head!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if those who choose to offer their grandest wisdom-filled opinions ad-nauseum could become instantly muted with just a click of a control switch button, rewound and then erased?

Wouldn't it be even nicer if those types of people really knew what they were talking about and didn't give parents the brunt of their bru-ha-ha thoughts which aren't so? Maybe instead they have a free car and free insurance to offer to such teens? Ah, now that would be grand! :-)

How do you shove off people like that .... politely? Ahem....

Do you have a bit of wisdom or a grand tip to offer us?