How to save money when adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy

Recently a McGriff-Williams client contacted us about adding three, yes – count them, THREE teenage drivers to their auto insurance policy. With triplets turning 16, they were a little nervous about what this might mean for their auto insurance premium. Although their premium will increase significantly, we were able to provide them with some money saving options.

How to save when adding young drivers to your auto insurance:             

1) Good student discount: Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are often eligible for a discount with most auto insurance providers. 

2) Trained driver discount: Young drivers that have successfully completed a driver’s education course, or have completed a driving course through a certified program, may be eligible for a discount on their auto insurance.

3) Occasional driver discount: You may be eligible for this discount with some auto insurance carriers if the teen driver shares a car with their parent(s) and therefore only “occasionally” drives the car.

4) Student away discount: If your child is attending a college over 100 miles away from home and does not bring a car with them, they may be eligible for a student away from home discount with some auto insurance providers.


Majority of Alachua County High Schools receive A and B grades for 2012-2013

The most recent grades for Florida high schools were recently released. In general, the grades are based on college readiness, graduation rates, Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores and the number of students taking accelerated coursework, such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.

The grades released for 2013 are referred to as “preliminary” grades because a school may choose to appeal its grade, and at this point in time the data is still subject to revision.

Alachua County High Schools (Preliminary Grade for 2013/Grade for 2012)

Gainesville High School: A/A

Hawthorne Middle/High School: F/D

Newberry High School: A/B

Santa Fe High School: A/B

Professional Academy Magnet at Loften High School: B/B

Eastside High School: B/A

F.W. Buchholz High School: B/A

For 2012-2013 Elementary and Middle School grades in Florida click here. Elementary and middle school grades are based on different criteria, to learn more click here.


Christmas Tree Safety

Although artificial trees pose fewer safety concerns than live trees, they are not entirely risk free. Even fake trees can catch fire when sockets are overloaded with Christmas lights and yes, flame-resistant artificial trees can eventually ignite as well.

If you plan on having an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. If using a pre-lit tree, always follow the instructions and put the tree in an open area where a fire won’t quickly spread to furniture and other flammable items nearby.

If you choose to celebrate the holidays with a live tree in your home, be sure the needles are fresh and don’t easily fall off. Fill the stand with water regularly, as this is the best way to prevent a fire. The drier the tree becomes, the more dangerous it is. Don’t overload your tree with lights and flammable decorations.

Christmas Tree Fire Facts: According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 210 house fires that began with Christmas trees. These fires resulted in an annual average of:

  • 6 deaths
  • 16 fire related injuries
  • $16.2 million in property damage

Click here for more facts about home fires involving Christmas trees or holiday lights.

Tips to prevent Christmas tree fires:

  • Place the tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fire places, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • If using lights on your Christmas tree, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose ball connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in lights.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.