If you have teenagers, you can be confident 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, children must 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 buy 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 is 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 hefty 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.
How Much Does It Cost to Add Your Child to Your Policy?
The question most parents have when they are thinking about adding a teen driver to their auto insurance policy is this: “How much is it going to cost?”
There is no clear-cut answer to this question because it depends on a variety of factors, including where you live and your insurance provider. However, generally speaking, teens are the most expensive group of drivers to insure. The reason? – Because they are inexperienced and immature, and that often makes them significant risk-takers or means that they are simply not aware of the rules of the road. In fact, teens have the highest rate of traffic violations and accidents than any other group of drivers.
While the reason for the high cost of insuring a teen driver is apparent, how much can you expect your insurance to go up when you add your teenager to your policy? The rate increase does vary. As mentioned, the amount that your insurance carrier takes age and experience into consideration when determining rates and the state that you live in determines how adding a teen to your policy will increase your insurance.
To give you a general idea, here’s a look at the states that have the highest and lowest average increase when adding a teen driver to a policy:
- States with the Highest Rate Increase:
- States with the Lowest Rate Increase:
Hawaii offers the lowest rate increases when adding a teen driver to your insurance policy. Why? Because it’s the only state in the country that doesn’t permit insurance carriers to base premiums on the age, gender, and experience of a driver. In fact, because of this, the rate increase for adding a teen driver to your policy is an average of just 18 percent!
On average, adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy increases rates by as much as 161 percent.
Money-Saving Tips for Parents
No matter where you live and who your insurance provider is, you can expect the cost of your auto insurance to go up when you add a teen driver to your policy. However, if you want to save money on your insurance, consider the following tips:
- Keep tabs on your teen driver. Most people are more cautious drivers when they are aware of being watched, and when they are aware that they are being watched. You can track your teen’s driving behavior by enrolling in a pay-per-mile, or telematics, program; Progressive’s Snapshot program, for example. When you enroll in this program, you’ll receive a device to plug into the car your teen is driving, and it will record and sent information regarding driving behaviors; for example, speed, braking, and other important factors that can affect safety.
- Look into discounts. There are many discounts available that can apply to teen drivers and can help to cut down the cost of your insurance. These discounts include:
- Good driver discounts
- Good student discounts
- Driver training discounts
- Low mileage discounts
- Safe vehicle discounts
- Family plan discounts
For example, if your teen is driving a car that has a high IIHS safety rating, your insurance carrier may offer you a discount.
What Companies Offer Discounts for Teen Drivers?
Several well-known and highly reputable insurance companies offer an array of discounts for teen drivers. Some of the companies that offer discounts include:
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 sure 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 upfront with your insurer as soon as your child gets their learner’s or another pre-license permit to find out what the requirements are and to get them added to your insurance as quickly 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!