Car Insurance for a Child of Divorced Parents

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Things to remember...
  • If you and your ex-spouse have a child that is learning to drive, it will be much more cost-effective to have your child added to your insurance policy
  • Car insurance for new drivers is extremely expensive because they are the most likely to be involved in a serious and expensive auto accident
  • The parent who has primary custody of the child will want to have the child added to his or her car insurance policy as soon as possible
  • If custody of the child is shared between parents, the child should be listed on at least one of the parents’ car insurance policies
  • If you are confused at all, it is best to talk to your auto insurance agent to make sure that there is sufficient coverage for your child no matter which car he or she is driving

The process of insuring a teen driver can be trying even in the best of circumstances.

However, if you are currently divorced, there may be a few more wrinkles to work out with your ex-spouse to ensure that your child driver is properly covered by a car insurance policy before he or she takes the wheel.

There may be a few more hoops for you to jump through in these circumstances, but doing your homework to make sure that your child is properly insured will most certainly pay off.

If you are looking to get the best auto insurance rates for your teen, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

The Requirement for Your Teen Driver to Have Auto Insurance

Even though your teen driver may not actually own a car yet, it is still important that you take all of the proper precautions to have him or her insured.

In typical circumstances, you should contact your car insurance agent and make sure that you have given proper notice that there will be an additional driver in your household.

When you make arrangements for your child to be listed as a driver on your auto insurance policy, you will be required to provide updated information to the insurance company concerning any changes in your child’s driving status.

If your child ends up purchasing a car in their own name, the auto insurance company would need to be informed about this change immediately in order to be required to provide coverage.

The risk of not having coverage for your teen driver is not something you want to take on. A single accident that is not covered by insurance can be enough to wipe out your savings and end up with you paying for the expense of a lawyer to represent you in court.

An uninsured accident could also seriously damage yours and your child’s driving records and end up costing you in higher auto insurance premiums for years to come.

Licensing Stages for Your Teen Driver

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Many states have adopted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws that are designed to incrementally give more driving privileges to a teen driver and therefore gradually accustom them to driving.

These laws have presented some confusion regarding auto insurance requirements for teen drivers.

Even if your teen driver does not have a full driver’s license just yet, he or she should still be covered by some auto insurance policy.

Auto insurance is essential because, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the number of teen drivers who were involved in fatal accident grew by more than 10 percent last year.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have enough coverage with your current policy limits when adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy.

You may need to consider increasing your liability policy limits to compensate for the extra risk of having a new driver on your policy.

Special Considerations for Teen Drivers

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It should not surprise you that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers.

A teen’s level of inexperience means parents must be vigilant in making sure their teens understand how important it is to prioritize safety behind the wheel at all times.

Taking the time to review important safety concerns with your teen driver can save lives as well as plenty of money on insurance premiums.

According to the National Safety Council, about half of all teen drivers will be involved in an auto accident before earning their high school diploma.

As a parent, there are several steps that you can take to make sure that you are keeping your son or daughter safe on the road. Start setting certain strict ground rules for your teen driver, such as:

  • Cell phones must be turned off in the car while driving.
  • No extra passengers in the car for any reason unless permission has expressly been given ahead of time.
  • No wiggle room with the posted speed limit. If your teen driver is issued a speeding ticket, they could lose their driving privileges.
  • A seat belt must be worn by the driver and passengers in the vehicle at all times.
  • No driving in inclement weather. If bad weather is approaching, your teen driver should get in touch with you ahead of time before getting behind the wheel.
  • No music playing while driving. Not playing music will cut down on distractions and eliminate the urge to fiddle with the radio dial.

It is up to you as a parent to set clear guidelines on safe driving behavior.

Enforcing a curfew for night driving is a good idea, as the likelihood of being involved in an auto accident with a drunk driver increases after dark.

You can also remind your teen driver that these restrictions are not forever and are essential for making sure that he or she retains the privilege to drive until they are living in their own home and paying for their own insurance coverage.

Signing Up for a Defensive Driving Course

After your teen driver gets his or her license, it might be a good idea to find a defensive driving course in your area. Your auto insurance company may even be able to recommend one.

While there may be a fee for your teen to attend these classes, they can pay dividends in giving your child an extra layer of safety training as they hit the road.

Some auto insurance companies even provide a discount for teen drivers who complete one of these defensive driving course.

Check with your auto insurance provider first to make sure that you are enrolling your child in a defensive driving course that meets all of the criteria for a discount.

You will typically have to present some proof of completion, such as a certificate, to your auto insurance company in order to see the discount reflected in your auto insurance premium.

You do not have to be a teen driver in order to benefit from a defensive driving course.

If you are looking for ways to lower your insurance rate, you could enroll in one of these courses even with decades of experience behind the wheel. The level of the premium discount may vary, but it never hurts to take a refresher course in safe driving practices.

Ways to Lower Your Rates for Insuring a Teen Driver

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If you are responsible for paying the auto insurance premium for a teen driver, then you will want to do everything that you can to keep the rate as low as possible.

In addition to taking defensive driving courses and making sure that your child avoids getting into an accident, there are many other steps you can take to keep your auto insurance premium in line.

— Don’t List A Teen As a Policyholder

The primary recommendation for teen drivers is that they should not be listed as a policyholder on their own policy.

In fact, many auto insurance companies may not agree to provide coverage at all to teen drivers because they pose too much of a risk without gaining the requisite experience to avoid accidents.

If your teen is able to get auto insurance on his or her own, the cost of the policy will likely be too prohibitive.

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— Multiple Car Policy

Some auto insurance companies utilize a discount scheme that gives you a break for having multiple cars insured under the same auto insurance policy.

If you are purchasing a new vehicle in your name that you intend will be driven by your child, then this could work in your favor for lowering the price of your premium.

If you can list all of the cars in your household under the same policy, this could net you a larger discount than if they were all listed under separate car insurance policies.

— Good Student Discount

Another discount that your son or daughter might qualify for is the good student discount. Upon a showing that your child has achieved a certain grade point average (GPA) in school, some auto insurance companies offer another discount to recognize their responsible behavior.

The reasoning behind the good student discount is that teen drivers who concentrate and earn good grades in school are probably less likely to engage in reckless behavior while on the road.

If your auto insurance company does not offer any of these discounts, then it may be time for you to shop around for a new auto insurance company. This process is much easier than you might be anticipating because it can largely be done online.

There are free tools that allow you to search for a listing of auto insurance rates in your area. Rates are typically assessed by your zip code and will depend on a list of your personal information.

The reason that so many drivers take the time to shop around for a new auto insurance company every so often is that there is nothing to be lost from searching.

It does not require a commitment to leave your current auto insurance provider and can provide you with valuable information that you might not otherwise have access to.

You could find out that you have been paying much more for auto insurance in your area than you really need to.

Communicating with Your Ex-Spouse About Auto Insurance Considerations for Your Teen Driver

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Even though it might seem like a pain to have to make auto insurance arrangements for your child with your ex-spouse, it is necessary.

You should be as clear as possible with your ex-spouse about what the arrangements are for insurance.

It will not be an acceptable excuse for you to say that you thought your teen driver was insured under your ex-spouse’s auto insurance policy if your child is involved in an accident using your vehicles.

It is always best to be on the same page with your ex-spouse as to how your teen driver is covered for auto insurance. Do not hesitate to inform your current auto insurance provider of the circumstances under which your teen driver will be typically driving.

Even if your teen driver is only commuting to and from school each day, there is still plenty of potential for an auto accident that could make your life very complicated.

Final Thoughts on Getting Car Insurance for a Child of Divorced Parents

If you and your ex-spouse have a teenager who is just learning to drive, it is important to make sure that he or she is listed on at least one of your auto insurance policies so that there is protection in the event of an accident.

The parent responsible for paying the auto insurance premium for the child is the one who is listed as the policyholder.

If you share custody of your child with your ex-spouse, speak with your insurance agent to make sure that the auto insurance company has proper notice of which cars the child will be driving.

Failure to properly notify your agent of information involving your child’s driving could mean that a claim is denied by the insurance provider.

If your child is about to start driving, start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates. Enter your ZIP code below!

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