Do You Need Insurance With a Learner’s Permit? Your teen has obtained her learner’s permit and is eager to get behind the wheel. It has its own reservations, one of which is what this will mean in terms of the insurance.
The fact is, regardless of whether your child has a permit or a license, they will need auto insurance. In many cases, the parent’s policy can be extended to cover the teen learning to drive; however, do not assume that your teen is covered by your auto policy until you have talked to your insurance provider. Make sure to keep these things in mind when you get a car insurance policy for your teen:
Notify your insurance provider
Once you get permission, be sure to alert the insurance company before your teen gets behind the wheel. Otherwise, if there is a fender accident, you may find yourself spending a lot of money on a loss that you mistakenly assumed was covered.
You can get a separate auto insurance policy with a permit, and in certain circumstances, you may have to. This is another topic that you will want to discuss with your insurance company.
By checking this with the company upfront, you allow your insurer to consider any special circumstances that may require your teen to purchase a separate learner’s permit insurance policy. If the teen owns the vehicle with their name only on the title, separate insurance is likely to be required even with just a learner’s permit. Also, it allows you to start a conversation with the insurance company about the best way to cover your teenager once they are fully licensed.
Choosing the right car for your teen
Typically, a car insurance policy will cover a car and not necessarily the person driving the car, so one thing you need to determine ahead of time is the type of car your teen will drive. Whether you plan to buy a new car for your teenager or use a family car, you will want to choose one with a high safety rating and preferably not that flashy or luxurious. A new driver behind the wheel of a practical family vehicle may be less likely to accelerate than someone learning in a muscle car, built to go fast, something insurance companies acknowledge. So if you have options, choose the car that has the lowest insurance rates to help with rising premiums.
How does a new driver affect your car insurance?
The fact is, when your teen becomes a licensed driver and is added to your policy, your rates could go up significantly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, adding a teenager to an insurance policy could increase your rates by as much as 100%, while adding a teenager could mean a 50% increase. The size of the increase may vary by state.
Families can reduce or prevent additional costs in some cases. For example, Nationwide offers a good student discount for drivers ages 16-24 who maintain a B average, and its accident forgiveness program ensures that rates don’t go up after the first at-fault accident on your policy.
So when your teen comes to you with the learner’s permit in hand, accept the rite of passage knowing that you have already looked to the future.
Driving on the highway is certainly a new and exciting experience for your teenager. A family driving contract can help you set expectations and goals for the new driver in the family.