Can I add a learner driver to my car insurance?

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Things to remember...
  • A learner driver is a driver who has a learner’s permit instead of an unrestricted driver’s license
  • In most states, you have to be a resident of the state who is 17 years old or younger to get a learner’s permit
  • A permit holder who is learning to drive must drive under the supervision of an experienced adult
  • If you’re the parent or guardian of a learner driver and they live in your home, they may be covered
  • You should ask your insurer if learner drivers in your home are automatically covered or if there’s a charge

Driving is one of those skills in life that will develop over time as you practice. Much like riding a bike, you can’t learn how to operate a vehicle by reading a book.

Reading through the Driver’s Handbook issued by your state’s motor vehicle agency will help you familiarize yourself with driving laws, but knowing the laws doesn’t mean you’ll automatically know how to drive as soon as you sit in the driver’s seat.

The state wants only drivers who have proven that they can safely operate a car to be licensed. Young drivers must first get their learners permit for a short period of time before they can get their driver’s license.

If you have a learner driver in your home who is driving your car, here’s what you need to know about your insurance.

If you are also looking for the best auto insurance rates for you and your beginner driver, start comparison shopping by entering your ZIP code above!

What type of driving restrictions are there when a driver has a permit?

A permit isn’t a driver’s license for teens. While permits do grant teens permission to legally drive a car, there are a lot of restrictions.

In most states, drivers between 15 and 18 can get a provisional license. The permit holder can drive to and from work, to and from school, and during the hours of five in the morning and 11 at night.

Learner drivers also can’t drive cars by themselves. Most of the time, learners must be accompanied by their parent or another licensed driver who is 25 or older.

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Who is covered to drive your vehicle?

Not just anyone can drive your vehicle. You have to worry about who’s covered to drive your car before you given anyone other than your listed driver’s permission to borrow your car.

If you look over your Personal Auto Policy, you’ll see that the following meet the definition of insured driver:

  • The named insured’s spouse
  • A family member who is related by blood, adoption, or marriage
  • A resident of your household
  • A permissive user who’s been granted permission to drive your car

Do all resident drivers need to be listed and rated on your policy?

 

Just because a household resident is defined as an insured doesn’t mean they don’t need to be listed.

Insurance companies list drivers so that they can charge you extra premiums when someone with a poor driving record is living with you.

When a driver is listed and rated, the company will review the driver’s accident history and motor vehicle record.

If the likelihood that the driver will have a loss is high, then your rates could go up as soon as the driver is rated and assigned to another vehicle.

If you’re the parent or guardian, is a teen with their permit covered?

The rules to cover a teen with a permit can vary by state. Since learner drivers don’t have their license, they are an exception to the household resident rule.

Drivers who are gaining their practical skill are still a risk on the road and a financial risk. The financial risk is why you need to know how to cover teen drivers.

If you’re the parent or the legal guardian of a new driver, even if they don’t have a license, you could be liable for paying damages.

After all, you have to sign off and say that you’ll pay for damages that your teen causes in the vehicle as they are learning.

Most insurers will coverage permitted teens under your policy as long as you’re legally liable for them.

Will you be charged a premium to cover a teen who has only their permit?

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You’d think since a teen is such a huge risk on the road that you’d have to pay to get extra coverage. What’s surprising is that most carriers offer the coverage extension free of charge.

There’s no guarantee that adding a learner driver to the plan will be free, but this is a standard practice with most of the respected insurers.

Always contact your company before assuming that you have automatic coverage without additional charges.

Let your agent know a teen in your home has their permit, ask if they need to be listed, and then verify if you need to pay additional premiums for the added protection.

There are companies that will charge you a flat fee until the teen is licensed.

Why do most companies offer free coverage for learner drivers?

It’s shocking to learn that a learner driver probably won’t cost you money in additional premiums.

There’s a reason for this goodwill gesture.

Since teens have to be supervised by you, they will be on their best behavior. Teens also tend to drive better with a permit because tickets and accidents can delay their ability to get an unrestricted license.

When do you need to add the learner driver to your insurance?

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As soon as your teen is eligible to test for their driver’s license, you need to start getting quotes. Find out how much it will cost to add them as a driver.

Any teen or resident household member in the home who has a driver’s license and doesn’t have insurance with any other carrier must be listed.

What type of discounts are available?

Always look for discounts when you’re adding a new driver to the policy. When it’s a young driver, some discounts you can receive include:

  • Good Student
  • Low Mileage
  • Student Away
  • Driver Training

Your auto insurance rates can skyrocket. The average policy goes up by 79 percent after a teen driver is added.

Compare rates by getting online quotes instantly and see if you can afford to have a teen driver in your home.

Start comparison shopping today by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your zip code below to get started!

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