(Whether Parents Should Add Student Drivers to their Insurance Policy)
Your child just got her learners’ permit. Uh oh! Besides the obvious worry about safety issues, the pushing your foot into the floor on the passenger’s side to step on an imaginary brake, and the holding on for dear life while she’s putting in her practice time, have you thought about the issue of insurance? Do you know what is required when your little munchkin gets behind the wheel? States and insurance companies do differ, so take heed.
In the vast majority of states, all drivers need to carry some form of financial responsibility and be able to prove it, in order to buy a car, register a car, or respond to a police officer if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or if you have an accident. Where insurance is required for licensed drivers, a young driver without a license must also have insurance. Typically, but not in all cases, a teen driver with a permit can get away with being covered on her parents’ auto insurance policy, and there is usually no extra charge until she gets her license. A driver with a learners’ permit must have an adult in the car at all times; this is usually a parent who owns the car and thus, carries the insurance on it. Check with your insurance agent for the company’s procedure on including a young driver with a permit on the parents’ policy.
State law also comes into play. Most states will not require that a beginning driver with a learner’s permit have his or her own insurance. In those cases, however, the car being used must be insured; it can be insured under another person’s policy, but it must carry the mandatory minimum amount of insurance. The policyholder might be required by law to formally notify the insurance company that there is a driver with a learners’ permit driving the car. Notifying the insurance company should be done regardless of state laws or policy stipulations. Normally in these circumstances, the driver-in-training will not be officially listed under the parents’ insurance policy, but they will still be covered should anything happen while they are driving.
That is not to say that learners’ permit insurance does not exist. Insurance specifically for those with learners’ permits is sold. It is just not usually necessary. Ask your auto insurance provider for the rules in your state and you can search online to find quotes if such insurance is required.
Note that if your child is taking lessons with a driving school, he or she will be covered under the driving school’s insurance policy while driving the school’s car. That coverage does not extend to your child driving any other vehicle, however.
***If your child makes A’s & B’s, and has taken a drivers safety course, you may be entitled to additional savings under your auto insurance policy! Make sure to advise your insurance company if your child qualifies and they will usually request a copy of their most recent report card and a drivers’ training certificate and they will add these discounts right away!
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!!
The Lee Ann Miller Team