Insuring your teen can be expensive. Keep in mind these ways to control costs-and protect your son or daughter.

Educate your child about the costs and dangers of drugs and alcohol. These violations can significantly impact a teen's auto insurance premiums, even if they weren't driving or near a car at the time. That's because insurance costs are based on probability. Risky behavior, like underage drinking and drug use, increases the likelihood of drinking and driving in the future.

Just one alcohol or drug violation could make a teen ineligible for standard auto insurance. If the youth is forced to switch to a nonstandard insurer who handles high-risk drivers, annual insurance premiums could more than double. That means a 16-year-old male with one drinking violation could end up paying almost $4,000 a year just for car insurance.

Several other factors can affect the price for your teen's auto insurance, such as:

  • Academic performance: most insurance companies offer a good student discount of 25 percent if students have a B average or better.
  • Type of car: Sportier models or vehicles with high-performance engines will cost more to insure than conservative models because data shows teens are likely to drive faster and more recklessly. A safer and sturdier model, such as an older, four-door sedan, will likely cost less.

Find out more about selecting a safe car for your teen.

Your auto insurance agent can give you additional details on how your child's car type, academics and past violations will impact their individual rates and coverage options. You may also want to shop around to ensure your teen is getting a competitive rate from an established, reputable insurer, in case they need to file a claim in the future.