Is My Child Covered Under My Car Insurance For a Learners Permit

Posted on Feb 16, 2021
Is My Child Covered Under My Car Insurance For a Learners Permit

Driving is one of those pivotal moments in a child’s life. One that defines their exit from childhood toward that of being an adult. It’s an exciting time for the teenagers who have earned this privilege and are now permitted behind the wheel of a car. 

However, for parents, this is a time filled with excitement, worry, and dread over what it might mean for your auto insurance costs. Rest assured, you are not alone. Many parents fear how much their insurance costs will increase with a new driver behind the wheel. 

But you may wonder whether your child is covered under your existing auto insurance policy with a learner’s permit. Here’s what you need to do.

Check Your Insurance Policy

Insurance policies vary from one company to the next. Different policies and protections have different requirements about who is listed on your insurance policy. For instance, your policy may require a list of all licensed drivers. That means permitted drivers do not need to be on your policy yet.

However, other policies may require you to list your new driver with a learner’s permit. In this case, you will need to make the changes to your policy before your child begins driving your vehicles.

Whether your insurance company requires you to purchase insurance for your permitted driver, it might be a good idea to do so. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teen drivers crash at rates nearly quadruple that of drivers over the age of 19 per mile driven.

On top of that, your teen faces the same legal consequences for accidents as adults behind the wheel. This means your teen could be held responsible for damages to your vehicle as well as that of the other driver in the accident, medical costs associated with injuries, and other expenses to rise in the aftermath of the accident.

How to Mitigate Insurance Costs for Teen Drivers

Whether your teen is just starting out with a driver’s permit or is moving on to the licensing phase of driving, there are things you can do to help keep your insurance costs lower. These are some of the steps you can take.

  • Choose safer vehicles. Choosing a vehicle with a high safety rating for your teen can significantly reduce insurance costs. Another consideration is to choose an older car for your teen to keep insurance costs down.
  • Encourage good grades. Students who have a B or better average in school also may enjoy the benefits of lower insurance rates than those who have lower grades. This can be a huge break for parents on stricter budgets.
  • Choose policies that offer accident forgiveness. This program promises your rates won’t rise as a result of your first at-fault accident. For permitted drivers, this can mean that first fender-bender can be the learning experience it should be rather than a financial catastrophe that may end their driving careers prematurely.
  • Enroll your child in a driver’s training course. Many insurance providers will offer discounts for children who have successfully completed driver’s education training, which can be a huge benefit for parents and your insurance bills.
  • Add a GPS tracking device to the car. Some insurance carriers offer a discount if you have GPS tracking on the vehicle the teen is driving. GPS tracking can send you alerts for speeding and even out-of-boundary (geofencing) alerts. 

Otterstedt Insurance Agency has been covering the needs of New Jersey (and beyond) drivers, parents and teens alike, for more than 100 years.  We’ll work with you to make sure you have the protection you need when your teen first becomes a road warrior.

Contact us today to learn about your options and needs when it comes to car insurance when your teen gets his or her learner’s permit and beyond.

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