(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
“Oh Deer” it’s that time again…
Cars and deer can be a lethal combination. Deer migration generally runs from October through December, and causes a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. As a result,more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year, so drivers need to be especially cautious, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that there are more than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. An additional billion dollars is spent on medical payments for injuries to people in the car and out-of-pocket expenses paid by vehicle owners, bringing the total cost to approximately $4.6 billion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions is $3,000, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer vehicle collision.
The following facts can be helpful tips in avoiding deer-related collisions
When driving, the I.I.I. recommends taking the following precautions
- Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas, many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
- Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
- Deer often move in groups. If you see one, there are likely to be more in the vicinity.
In the event your vehicle strikes a deer, try to avoid going near or touching the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself, warned the I.I.I. If the deer is blocking the roadway and poses a danger to other motorists, you should call the police immediately. Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car.
- Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Always wear your seat belt. IIHS reports that in a study of fatal animal crashes, 60 percent of people killed were not wearing a seatbelt. Sixty-five percent of people killed riding motorcycles were not wearing a helmet.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before or after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven effective.
Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.
Contact the LEE ANN MILLER TEAM to help you contact an insurance agent today!