Is Your Child Covered Under Your Auto Insurance?
If your child drives, they need auto insurance. Does your policy cover them, and is that even the best option?
Almost every state requires drivers to have auto insurance coverage. This includes any teen drivers living under your roof. As soon as they get their learner’s permit, you’ll want them to have auto insurance before they get behind the wheel.
If you list your child on your auto insurance policy, they will have the coverage that you and everyone else under the policy shares. Adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy is a fairly simple process that doesn’t require a lot of information. This article will go over:
- How your car insurance policy covers your teenager
- How much it costs to insure your child
- How to add a teen driver to your auto insurance policy
- How long your child can stay on your car insurance
Does my auto insurance cover my teen driver?
Your auto insurance covers your child if you list them on your policy. Some insurers will cover automatically cover your child if they have a learner’s permit, without them officially being added to the policy.
Make sure your auto insurance company doesn’t require your child to be listed on the policy. Don’t assume they’re covered. You don’t want to find out they’re excluded from coverage after a car accident occurs.
If your child is an infrequent driver, a standard auto insurance policy may cover them to a degree under permissive use. It’s a part of car insurance that covers people who borrow your car. How much coverage they get often depends on the insurance provider, so you’ll want to be clear on what exactly your auto insurance company’s permissive use coverage entails.
Permissive use may be an inexpensive form of coverage if your child doesn’t drive very often. However, your auto insurance provider may have very low criteria for who qualifies as a frequent driver. Your child will need to have standard auto insurance coverage in that case, whether through their own policy or as an additional named insured on your policy.
Do I need to cover my child under my auto insurance?
The majority of states require drivers to have auto insurance. This doesn’t necessarily mean your child needs to be on your policy when they start driving. They can have their own auto insurance, but it could be cost-prohibitive, for reasons stated below.
How much it costs to insure your child
According to our research, teen drivers pay an average of $438 a month for their own auto insurance. The reason for such a high cost is that insurers consider teens to be a high insurance risk due to their inexperience, leading to a higher chance of accidents.
If you add a teen driver to your own insurance policy, however, you can expect to pay an average of $278 a month extra. While that’s still expensive, it’s significantly cheaper than a standalone policy. If you’re covering your child’s auto insurance costs, adding them to your policy can save you a significant amount of money.
There are some ways to cut down your premium if you are looking to defray the cost of adding a child to your auto insurance. Some auto insurance companies lower your premium the more drivers you have on your insurance policy. Also, have your kid keep their grades up; many auto insurers offer a good student discount, often around 7% (but some have 25% good student discounts), for students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
If you live in a state with already high auto insurance rates, shop around for lower auto insurance quotes to further offset the cost difference.
Adding a teenager to your car insurance
Fortunately, it's relatively simple to add a driver to your insurance. As soon as your teen gets their learner’s permit, get in touch with your auto insurance provider. Some insurers, depending on the individual company and the state you live in, will cover teens with learner’s permits as long as you’re in the car with them when they’re driving.
If your auto insurer does require you to add your child, they will probably require their name, date of birth and Social Security number.
How long can a teen stay on their parents’ insurance?
A big difference between auto insurance and other forms of insurance is that your children can stay on your auto insurance policy forever. However, if they permanently move from your home, they should get their own auto insurance.
If your kid is a college student living away from home, they can stay on your policy if your home is listed as their primary residence. Their coverage may need to be adjusted in relation to the state where they go to college. If they take one of the listed cars with them, you’ll probably see a premium jump for that car.
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