request info email to friend
Keeping an Eye on Your Kids
We all want to believe that our children tell us the truth all the time. Still, most of us understand that something short of full disclosure is the norm for most adolescents, and we hope that what we don't know about our children's lives won't hurt us – or them.
It can hurt us, though, if our young drivers amass tickets that we don't know about. Suppose your teenage driver gets two speeding tickers and just pays the fines, hoping Mom and Dad don't find out. But the state of Illinois knows, and those tickets will show up as convictions on your child's motor vehicle report. That could end up costing you big bucks.
Your insurer has the ability to obtain motor vehicle reports on you and the other drivers in your household, and sometimes does so on a "random sampling" basis. If you have an umbrella insurance policy with a high limit, such as $10 million or more, the insurer will check motor vehicle reports annually. And if your child's tickets are for significant offenses, such as driving 25 miles per hour over the limit, your insurer probably will act to cancel your auto and umbrella insurance.
So talk to your kids about the importance of being honest about any tickets they get, and work with them to help them maintain a clean driving record.
If you are not sure you can trust your kids to tell you the truth, the state of Illinois allows you to check up on them. The Secretary of State's Web site has a link called "Parental Access to Teen Driving Records." If you are the parent or guardian of a driver under age 18, you can click on this link to take a look at the child's driving record. The state offers this service as a way of helping parents to monitor and control their teen's driving until they are ready to be fully responsible themselves.
Finally, remember that The Bensman Group is here to help. We know that young drivers sometimes make mistakes and, although we can't promise miracles and we certainly don't want to condone bad driving, we can offer a network of contacts, including well-respected attorneys, who may be able to provide assistance in these matters. Telling us about a major driving violation – your child's or your own -- is not the same as telling the insurance company. We want to work with you to solve all your insurance issues.