Can I get car insurance with a learner’s permit?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Every state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to issuing an auto insurance policy for a driver with only their learner’s permit
  • If you’re a minor or an adult who lives in the same household as their parents or adult siblings, the best option for getting insurance is to be added to the policy that your household family member is currently carrying
  • Many auto insurance companies will cover a teen with a provisional learner’s permit for free
  • You should check to see if you qualify for a temporary car insurance plan that will pay for damages that you’re liable for until you pass your driver’s test and get an official license
  • It’s important to compare rates when you’re getting temporary insurance because the rates tend to be very high

You can’t legally operate a vehicle when you don’t have a driver’s license. Since driving is a skill that requires a lot of practice, states issue a provisional license to people who need to get behind-the-wheel experience. The provisional license is often referred to as a learner’s permit.

When you have a permit, you must be aware of the restrictions that exist. You can only drive during reasonable hours under the supervision of a licensed driver.

The restrictions for adults with a learner’s permit tend to be more lenient.

Unfortunately, having only a learner’s permit can pose problems if you’re looking for auto insurance.

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Are teens the only drivers who can be issued a learner’s permit?

 

All states require minors who want to earn their license to hold a permit first. Some states will issue permits to teens who are 15 1/2 years old and others require applicants to be 16.

After a period of six months to a year of supervised driving, the teen may be eligible to sit for their written and practical licensing exam.

Adult learners may also be eligible for a permit if they’ve never been licensed to drive. An adult learner is someone who is 21 years of age or older.

With the permit, the learner can drive to and from work without being supervised by a driver who is 25 and older. Some states don’t issue adult permits and will set up a driving test to cut down on processing costs.

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Get Insurance Under Your Parents’ Policy When You Can

If you’re an underage driver with your permit or you’re a young adult who still lives in your parents’ home, your best option is to get added as a driver under your parents’ policy.

Of course, your parents must have an existing personal auto policy. If they don’t own a car or have standard insurance, you have to consider other options.

One requirement to be covered under your parents’ policy is to be living under the same roof as them.

As long as you’re a household member and you’re the named insured’s child by blood or adoption, you’ll qualify for coverage that’s extremely more affordable than it would be if you were getting insurance on your own.

Some Companies Don’t Charge to Add a Teen with a Permit

What’s more affordable than free? Believe it or not, a majority of companies don’t charge extra premiums to policyholders who have a teen with a learner’s permit in the home.

Since a teen with a provisional license must drive with an adult who can take the wheel, the company doesn’t see the need to change the policy rating until the teen has a license.

What happens if you’re not in the home but you’re a student?

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There are few times where you can get coverage under your parents’ policy without living in the home.

One of the only scenarios where you can is when you qualify as a student away from home.

If you meet the student away at school criteria, coverage will extend to you when you have your permit just like it does when you live at home.

If you’re 25 or younger and you are going to school, you’re still seen as a dependent.

This is only true when your primary residence is your parents’ home. When you have an accident, the insurer will ask for proof of residency.

If you have your own home and you’re not a dependent, you’ll have to consider other options to get insurance.

Getting Insurance With a Partner or Roommate

If you don’t live with your parents but you do live with a licensed driver, you may be able to get coverage under their policy.

In some cases, you may have to be rated under the policy.

You should have your roommate, partner, or sibling call their company to ask what can be done to add an inexperienced driver.

Can you get insurance with a permit if you live independently?

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If you’re living on your own and you have a learner’s permit, getting insurance can be a bit more challenging. While it can be hard to find an insurer with lenient underwriting requirements, it’s not impossible.

One of your best options is to get temporary auto insurance through a specialty carrier. These policies offer the following terms lengths:

  • Day
  • Week
  • Month

Temporary auto insurance can get expensive, but it’s the only option if you own a car that’s registered in your name.

If you don’t own a vehicle, you may be able to qualify for a nonowner’s insurance policy that will pay for liability claims that you make when you’re borrowing a car.

Some of these policies are only sold to licensed drivers.

Having a learner’s permit can present unique problems when you’re trying to buy insurance. Driving without coverage will leave you vulnerable to lawsuits and financial losses.

If you can’t get coverage with your parents or your roommate, get quotes by using an online quote comparison tool and find temporary coverage that will cover you until you are licensed.

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