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Can You Get Car Insurance With a Permit?

You can get insurance with a learner’s permit. But you may not need your own policy if you live with someone who’s insured.

Permit driver with parent

Yes, you can buy car insurance with a learner’s permit. Just like you can buy a car with a learner’s permit--though you usually can’t register a car without a license. You may not need to get car insurance when you have a learner’s permit or provisional license, though.

You’ll learn why that is in this article, plus you’ll find answers to these related questions:

Does a Permit Driver Need Insurance?

All drivers need some form of insurance. However, learner drivers with permits typically don’t need their own car insurance.

This is because the car the permit driver uses should be insured – and that insurance should cover the permit driver.

Most people who are learning to drive live with a parent, spouse, or partner who has car insurance of their own. And that policy usually covers provisional drivers or drivers with learner’s permits.

One exception to this is if you own the vehicle you’re using to learn how to drive and only your name is on its title. In this case, you’ll need to get a separate car insurance policy.

You also might need to get your own car insurance policy after you graduate from your learner’s permit to a driver’s license. Another option: your parent or spouse can add you to their policy as an included or covered driver.

How do you add a learner driver to a car insurance policy?

Adding a driver with a learner’s permit to a car insurance policy is just as easy as adding any other kind of driver to a policy. You simply contact the insurance company and request to add a new driver to the policy.

In some cases, it’s easier to add a learner or permit driver to an auto policy than it is to add other types of drivers. The reason: many insurance companies and policies automatically cover provisional drivers.

Even if that’s not true of your parent’s, spouse’s, or partner’s car insurance, though, adding you to their policy should be a simple process.

First, they need to contact their insurance provider and give them some information about you. Typically they have to give them your:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth

If you’re not a teen driver, they’ll have to share your occupation, too.

Normally they’d also have to say how many years you’ve been driving and whether you’ve received any tickets or been in any accidents in that time. Since you’re a new driver, that’s not needed here.

How Do You Get Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

To get car insurance with a permit, you have to be added to someone else’s policy or you need to buy your own policy from an insurance company.

To buy your own policy, you should shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. That will help you find an affordable policy from a reputable company.

If you want to buy your own car insurance policy with a learner’s permit, though, keep the following in mind as you shop around and compare quotes:

  • You might have to buy coverage from a small or regional insurer like Amica, Infinity, or PEMCO rather than a big national one. Many of the larger insurers won’t sell a policy to a first-time driver or a driver without a license.
  • Expect to pay a lot more for your policy than you will when you’re older and have more driving experience under your belt.
  • Some insurance companies will require you to get your full driver’s license shortly – such as within 30 to 45 days – after they sell you a policy.
  • Also, some insurers require drivers under the age of 18 to have a parent or guardian sign their policy with or for them.

What are the best car insurance companies for learner drivers?

The best car insurance companies for drivers with learner’s permits provide discounts that help make their policies more affordable.

For example, a good student discount can have a big impact on a young driver’s premiums. And a good driver discount can benefit someone of any age. The same is true of the discounts many insurers offer for completing a defensive driving course.

Given that, check out these companies if you’re looking for cheap car insurance for learner drivers:

  • American Family
  • COUNTRY Financial
  • Esurance
  • GEICO
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • State Farm

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Learner Driver?

What you pay for car insurance as a driver with a learner’s permit depends on a few factors, with your age and whether you buy your own policy or get added to a parent’s or spouse’s policy being two of the most important.

Let’s say you’re a teenager. Our research found that individual car insurance policies for 16-year-old drivers cost $438 a month, on average.

That same research found it costs an average of $278 a month to add a 16-year-old driver to a parent's policy.

Older permit drivers might pay more or less than those amounts, depending on their age. And other rate factors like where you live and the make and model of your car will impact these costs, too.

If your goal is to get cheap car insurance as a learner driver, compare quotes from a number of companies. And if you’re in a situation where a parent or spouse could add you to their policy, get quotes related to that as well as quotes related to you buying your own coverage.

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