November 08, 2013

Missouri Department of Insurance encourages parents to educate their teen drivers

National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers free resource to hold teens accountable

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging parents to talk to their teens about safe driving habits and then have them sign a contract. Teen drivers whose parents take an active role in educating their children about safe driving habits are twice as likely to wear seat belts and are 50 percent less likely to have an accident.

"Nearly 28 percent of deaths in Missouri among 13- to 19-year-olds in 2012 occurred in car crashes," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "It's important we set rules and talk to our children about the risks associated with driving."

To make those discussions easier, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has created a free teen driver contract to help parents set rules and expectations for teens when on the road, at home and in the classroom. The contract is available at

 The contract requires teenage drivers to adhere to several rules, including:

  • Not use a cellphone while driving.
  • Require everyone to wear seat belts.
  • Not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Maintain a certain grade point average.
  • Complete homework on time.
  • Respect rules of school and rights of peers.
  • Respect and obey parents, uphold responsibilities and drive with permission.
  • Contribute to gas, insurance and maintenance costs as agreed upon with parents.
  • Not allow anyone else to drive the vehicle without their parents' permission.

The contract also outlines consequences if the teen should break those rules and provides insurance tips for safe driving.

Director Huff also reminds parents that many insurance companies offer discounts for students who take driver education classes and make good grades. Parents are encouraged to check with their insurance company or agent.