Getting a learner’s permit is an exciting time in a young person’s life. One of the first questions that parents ask when their teen gets their learning permit is whether or not they need to add their child to their insurance coverage. While there may be some differences from state to state, generally speaking, teens with learner’s permits do not require their own insurance. This is because your teen is covered under their parents’ insurance plan, at least until they get their license.
Here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:
Bottom line…if your child has a learner’s permit, they need to be covered under an auto insurance policy. In most cases, a teen learning to drive does not need to apply for their own auto insurance policy as long as they are driving with an insured adult over the age of 21. Car insurance follows the vehicle, so since a teen, with a learner’s permit, would be operating a vehicle under the supervision of a licensed and insured adult, the parent’s existing auto policy would provide the appropriate protection. Your teen will be getting their insurance coverage from your plan. The best approach is for you, the parent, to always drive with your teen so that there are never any questions of coverage.
It’s important that you have an auto insurance policy that will cover your teen driver if an accident were to occur while they have their learner’s permit. Not all auto insurance policies are the same, so you will want to check with your insurance agent or company to see what the rules are and when your child should be added to the policy. For instance, your auto insurance provider may want you to add your teen’s name to the insurance policy when they get their permit in order for it to be legal. If you don’t and an accident occurs, they may exclude your teen driver from the policy.
There are some cases where teens don’t have anyone in the family with valid insurance coverage. Or, in rare cases, a teen may be living independently on their own. In these cases, the teen driver will need to take out their own insurance coverage while driving with a learner’s permit, but a plan like this will be difficult to obtain and more costly because of the risks involved. Very few insurance companies offer coverage to a person who is not fully licensed. It’s always easier and less expensive for an adult to take out an insurance policy for the purpose of teaching a teen to drive, so check with your auto insurance company for more information if you’re faced with this kind of situation.
The insurance professionals at Foundation Insurance Group are always happy to review your current auto policy and answer questions. Check with an agent first, before your teen gets his/her learner’s permit to make sure you and your family are properly insured.