When the Teen Drivers' Parent is a Buddy

If you are alive today to read this and have teen age children, there are some truths:

  • You were once a teenager
  • When you were a teen, you had someone to care for your needs
  • At that time, you thought you could do a better job

Without the gift of maturity and perspective, your teen care giving skills would have been, at best, the blind leading the blind. 

Unfortunately for some teens, one or both of their parents never received the gifts mentioned above.  They are not receiving guidance from mature parents who understand they are the parents, not the buddies, of their children.  Some parents find it so hard to use any type of ‘tough love’ so in some areas the teens  are working with a “try and succeed/try and fail” mentality.  The bad news, regarding poor choices and auto insurance, is that the costs can be VERY HIGH.

A claim example:

We had a client who had an auto policy with us.  The household vehicles were a new Lexus and a three year old Infinity.  For the teen son it was prom season.  The sons’ drivers’ license had been suspended for a prior conviction.  The sons’ best friend had a valid drivers’ license.  The son went to the father and asked if the friend could drive the Lexus to the prom.  They Really Needed the Lexus as it would be the coolest car there.  The dad asked about the best friends’ license and if he had any driving accidents.  The friend said no.  Instead of saying the same, dad said it would be okay to use the car with no other questions or caveats. 

To make a long story short:  There was alcohol at the prom, the friend got drunk, the son wasn’t Quite as drunk, drove home, went to fast for conditions (rainey), slid off the road into a ditch.  Totalled the car and non-life threatening injuries to the people in it.

The insurance company adjusted and paid the claim, then cancelled the policy.  The reason for the cancellation:  poor judgment on the part of the parent.   The insuring company needed the dad to step up, do the ‘tough’ thing and say no. 

Hang out with your buddies, grow to maturity with your parent.

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