Protecting Teenage Drivers & Their Parents
Do I Have to Add My Driving Age Child to My Auto Policy?
If your child is licensed and living at home you usually must add the child as a driver on your policy or exclude your child from your policy. Some insurance companies do not allow the excluding of drivers. If a driver is excluded they have no coverage until the policy. If an excluded driver drives it is very dangerous to owner of the vehicle and to the driver. Ask your agent for advice.
When you are raising a teen who has finally received their driver’s license, you’ve got some important decisions to make about car insurance. If your teen is going to drive, then he needs to be covered by a policy—but should it be your policy or one of his own?
Coverage on Your Policy – It is usually less expensive to add a teen driver to the parent’s policy rather than initiating an individual policy for the new driver. And its is usually the safest option too. Talk to your agent and get the rates for adding your new teen driver so you have somewhere to start. Usually the best and safest choice.
Buying the Teen Her Own Policy – If your teen has her own car and drives frequently, then it might be ok to separate her risk from your own by having them get their own policy. The cost of the policy may be more expensive, but factors such as grades or completion of a formalized driving education program could work to lessen the cost. Talk to your agent again about this possibility and ask for the rates so you can compare. Keep in mind that just because your child has their own policy does not mean you are not responsible for damages that exceed the policy limits. If there is an insurable incident and the damage to the other person’s vehicle is greater than the limits on the policy someone is still responsible for the damage. This usually depends on the laws of the state where you live. Ask your agent or family attorney for state specific advice.
Other Factors in Cost – In addition to looking for discounts for good grades and driving lessons, parents should look for other discounts when insuring their teen, either on a joint policy or individual one. Other discounts can be found with daytime running lamps, cell phone apps, antitheft devices and more.
It is important that cost not be the only consideration when choosing benefits, deductibles and limits. While low benefits and high deductibles will decrease your insurance premiums, they greatly increase your financial risk should an accident occur; and with an inexperienced teen at the wheel, the chances of an accident occurring increase substantially.