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November 30, 2021

When Should You Add Your Child To Your Car Insurance?

Families change all the time. Eventually, your kids will grow up, and most will need to learn to drive. That means making sure they have a vehicle and insurance coverage that meets their unique needs. If you are a single parent, you might wonder how to procure a policy for this child. You might also consider how to keep coverage affordable. Teen drivers come with costs, after all. Take some time to think about some of the ways you can keep your kid’s insurance affordable. 

Having a new driver in your house doesn’t mean you have to face unanticipated costs. With a little thought, you can often make coverage both cohesive and affordable. Get started today! 
Girl with dad in car
The Cost Of Teen Drivers 
All insurance costs money. Therefore, when a new driver comes along in your home, expect to spend more money. That’s simply because you will receive more coverage. However, particularly if the driver is a teen and a new driver, you might even see costs arise sharply. 

Insurance companies charge clients based on the risks they pose the company. Risk, in this case, is a cost risk. It is the insurer’s chances of having to pay out on a claim you make on your policy. If you have a higher chance of filing a claim, that’s more risk for the insurer. As a result, the insurer might have to charge you more for your coverage. Essentially, this action is to cover the insurer’s ability to continue to serve customers, including you. 

An unfortunate, but not unreasonable fact is that teen drivers create more risk. Therefore, they are more than likely going to cost you more for your insurance. 

Let’s look at this idea a little more closely. Teens and new drivers do not have a lot of experience behind the wheel. Because of this, a variety of harmful mishaps might occur. 

Newer, younger drivers might not have experience with certain roadway hazards. Essentially, every situation is a new one. The teen will need time to develop their skills and professionalism behind the wheel. Yet, in the meantime, they will likely pose higher accident risks because they simply might not know how to handle sudden occurrences. Not only that, teens as a group have a higher risk of becoming distracted or making mistakes that endangers themselves and the cars. 

Insurers understand these risks. That’s why they often charge more for a teen driver than they will for the parent in the situation. However, they also understand that parents still want to be able to manage their insurance costs. A variety of outlets exist to help families better afford teen drivers. 

Ask Your Insurer About These Options 
You’ll need to tell your insurance agent when your teen starts driving. They’ll likely need to issue coverage for both the teen and the teen’s vehicle. Depending on specific details, how and when you need to get coverage might vary. 

In most cases, you will need to add your teen to your auto policy when they receive their driver’s license. If they receive a learner’s permit first, this might also be the time to do so. Most states require all licensed drivers to carry insurance. So, once your teen gets an ID, add them to coverage. 

If you will not provide the teen with a car, you might simply only need to add them as an additional insured driver on your existing policy. This helps in situations where your teen will drive your vehicle when they need transportation. While this might increase your premiums slightly, it’s still necessary. Many insurers only make incremental rate increases when teens are not the primary vehicle operator. 

However, if your teen will get their own car, you face a couple of unique options on how to offer them coverage. Often, your final decision might come down to affordability and coverage needs. 

  • Many insurers offer what’s called a multi-vehicle insurance policy. This coverage can insure multiple drivers and vehicles with similar coverage limits. Policyholders will pay a single premium for the coverage. You’ll also free yourself from the responsibility of managing multiple policies. With these policies, every driver on the policy will generally have coverage regardless of which vehicle they drive. 

  • If a teen driver has a specialty vehicle, or certain driving needs, it might prove more pertinent to get them their own coverage. For example, you might want your child to have more coverage than you personally carry. A separate policy will need to apply 

Your Auto insurance agent can often help you investigate the most cost-effective ways to insure a teen. Some insurers will offer discounts for students, safe drivers or those who pass defensive driving courses. Each of these options might prove an incentive for your teen to take proactive, responsible steps for their own security.  

Furthermore, at times, it might even prove more affordable to buy insurance from an entirely new provider than you have used previously. Your insurance agent often can compare the policies of multiple insurers to find one that offers the best rates. 

So, if the time is approaching to insure your teen driver, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance agent. They can help you determine when and how to insure your young driver. 

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