If you have teenagers, you can be certain that at some point they are going to want to obtain their driver’s license and start driving. While it can be a bit of a nightmare to think that your child will be out on the road without you, it’s important to remember that once they have obtained their license they are a driver like any other. Child drivers are also in need of insurance; let’s take a look at how adding your child to your car insurance policy works.
Are You Allowed To Put Your Child Under Your Auto Insurance?
The first thing you’ll want to do is check with the state insurance department or transportation authority to determine what the regulations are for child drivers. In some states, it is mandatory for children to be attached to their parents’ auto insurance policy until they purchase their own automobile; in others, it’s not. Some states will require that children purchase their own personal injury protection insurance once they become licensed drivers, as they are likely to drive at some point and may be involved in an accident. When your child goes to get their full license they will be able to access all of this information.
After you determine your legal responsibility, you’ll want to check with your auto insurance company to find out what their particular regulations are. Most insurance companies will extend your insurance coverage to young drivers who have a learner’s permit, as they are expected to have a licensed driver in the automobile with them at all times. Other insurance companies won’t offer the same luxury, so it’s worth checking.
Most auto insurance companies will also expect you to add any licensed children to your auto insurance policy regardless of whether or not they will be driving the car. It is considered a risk to have licensed children uninsured, so the majority of the time it will be a requirement to maintain your auto insurance coverage. It’s important to note that not disclosing this information – or hiding it – would be considered insurance fraud, so be careful and make sure you know your legal responsibility.
The situation will vary if your child is lucky enough to have their own automobile. It’s best to call your insurance company to find out how this works, or visit an auto insurance agent to discuss it. Generally, your child will be able to get their own auto insurance if they’re able to afford it, and many parents go down this road as it gets the child started on earning discounts, and teaches responsibility. Some parents prefer to keep the child under their own insurance until they head off to college or leave the house. However you decide, the most important fact is that the child be fully covered in case of an accident.
One of the unfortunate side effects of adding your child to your auto insurance is that your premiums are almost certainly going to go up. Drivers under the age of 25 are considered “high risk” by auto insurance companies, and they carry a heavy price tag. If you choose to add your child to your auto insurance policy after they have earned a couple of tickets or citations, the premium increase will be even worse. It’s best to check with your auto insurance agent to determine if your current insurance company is the right one for you to be with if you’re going to have children attached to your policy.
Are There Discounts For Having Your Children Under Your Insurance Policy?
It’s also worth it to check and see if there’s any way you can get your rate discounted for times that the child will be away from home and won’t be driving your car – for instance, during the school year. Many auto insurance companies have policies in place that allow for temporary rate discounts for children if they are certain to be unable to drive your car. It’s important to note that should you let the child drive while you are getting a discount such as this, it will be considered fraud.
It will serve you best to be open and up front with your insurer as soon as your child gets their learner’s or other pre-license permit to find out what the requirements are, and to get them added to your insurance as soon as possible to avoid any issues.
To search for auto insurance companies that accept child drivers in their policies and to get some sample rates, scroll up to the top of this page and enter your zip code to get started!