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How Long Can You Stay On Your Parents’ Car Insurance Policy?

Find out how long you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy, and how to save money when you get your own.

young driver leaning out car window giving thumbs up

There’s usually no age at which a child is forced to purchase their own car insurance policy, as long as they’re still living at home. Some companies may require a child to leave their parents’ policy at a specific age, but that’s not common.

Typically, drivers must leave their parents’ policies when they move out of the house. There isn’t a defined age when this occurs, of course; it varies from person to person. Often, it’s when you graduate high school or college, or when you’re financially stable. Find out how to get off your parents’ policy and get your own in this article, which includes:

Getting off of your parents’ auto insurance policy

If you’re able to stay on your parents’ car insurance policy, you should do so as long as you can. It can save you money to stay “bundled” on your parents’ policy. That’s especially true if you’re in your teen years, when car insurance is significantly more expensive. Remember, car insurance will usually cost you more than average until you reach 25 years old.

One exception: if your parents have a bad driving record with tickets and accidents, it may actually cost you more to share an insurance policy with them.

Some insurers even require all drivers in a household to be put on one policy because they assume all drivers in a household drive each other’s cars. So, if you live with your parents, you may have to stay on their plan until you move out.

On the other hand, some insurers may make your parents exclude you from their policy when you get your own insurance. It’s important that you and your parents are on the same page about this. That’s because you wouldn’t be covered if you borrowed your parents’ car and got into an accident.

No matter when you decide to leave your parents’ policy and get your own auto insurance, it’s important to know how much coverage you should buy and how to save money on your policy.

How much coverage should you buy?

How much coverage to purchase beyond your state’s minimum insurance requirement is a personal decision. It depends on your current needs, as well as what your provider requires. For example, as an employed young adult, you might not need as much personal injury liability coverage. Your health insurance and disability insurance through your employer might already cover most of that.

However, it’s wise to buy more than the minimum uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. That's because you want to be protected if you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist. It’s a good idea to explore your options. You should fully understand what type of coverage you’re buying and how much of it you’re getting. Get quotes and speak with insurance agents and brokers about your insurance needs.

Young adults buying auto insurance on their own for the first time should do a lot of research. It’s a complicated decision. There are many insurance companies, coverage types and factors that can affect your rates. You want to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the right coverage.

Shop around for the best rates

Car insurance is typically more expensive for younger and older drivers. This means the rates you’re quoted may be relatively high when purchasing your first policy. This is probably much higher than the rates you were charged when on your parents’ policy. While 16-year-olds have the most expensive premiums, your rates will likely remain high until your 25th birthday.

There are several reasons young adults typically pay more for insurance than drivers over the age of 25:

  • Younger drivers are more likely to have accidents and file insurance claims
  • Most young drivers don’t have an established a credit history
  • Most young drivers aren’t married and can’t take advantage of marriage discounts
  • Very few young drivers own their own home, so they can’t bundle their car insurance with homeowners insurance

All of these are factors insurance companies take into consideration when determining rates. That’s why young people usually have higher premiums than the average driver.

We recommend shopping around and comparing auto insurance quotes to find the best rates. Don't accept the first insurance quote you receive. You can save hundreds of dollars on your premium depending on the policy and the insurance company you choose.

Auto insurance discounts

Auto insurance can be expensive, especially if you’re a young driver. Luckily, there are discounts you may qualify for. If you have a good driving record, you may qualify for a "good driver" discount. Depending on your provider, the qualifications and discount itself may vary. Also, if you've filed few or no claims over an extended period of time, you might qualify for a discount.

If you're a college student and have a good GPA, you may be eligible for a good student discount.

If you use your parents insurance company when you get your own policy, they might give you a loyalty discount. Different companies offer various discounts with different eligibility requirements, so be sure to ask your carrier about any discounts you might be eligible for. They can add up and significantly reduce your rates. It's also a good idea to compare quotes from multiple insurers. One of them could offer a discount the other doesn't.

Can you stay on your parents’ car insurance after marriage?

Once you leave your parents’ household, you’re not covered by their policy unless, in some cases, you’re away at college. So, if you get married and move out, you can’t stay on their car insurance policy.

If you get married and you and your spouse live in your parents’ home, you may be able to stay on their policy, as you’re still considered a member of the household. In general though, you’ll need to buy your own auto insurance policy once you get married and move out of your parents’ home.

Can I stay on my parents’ car insurance after I move out?

No, you should expect to purchase your own car insurance policy once you move out. Most insurers require you to get your own insurance policy after you move out. Your parents’ policy usually only covers you while you’re considered a dependent (if you live at home or are away at college).

Can I be on my parents’ car insurance if the car is in my name?

No, you can’t be on your parents’ car insurance if the car is in your name. This varies from insurer to insurer, but for the most part, if you’re the owner of the vehicle, you need your own policy.

Can I stay on my parents’ car insurance if I go to college?

Yes, you can stay on your parents’ car insurance if you go to college. If you’re away at college but are still dependent on your parents and come home during school breaks, insurers typically allow you to stay on your parents’ policy. It’s also usually a cheaper option than buying your own policy, so it’s a good idea to stay on their plan while you’re in school.

Can I drive my parents’ car without insurance?

If you’re included in their plan, you can drive your parents’ car without insurance of your own. However, once you’re not covered through their policy, you can’t drive your parents’ car without insurance. This is a liability for both you and them if you’re in an accident and don’t have adequate coverage. Get your own car insurance policy if you expect you’ll be driving often.

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