when Do you Add Child To Car Insurance

Generally, you should add your teen or young adult child to your policy as soon as they get their driver’s license. To be safe, though, you may want to contact your insurance provider before your child starts driving. Some companies may require that your child be added when they get their learner’s permit rather than their license.Usually, when a driver shops around for car insurance, specific factors such as driving record, marital status, and credit history play a large part in determining how much those rates will be. But a teen driver doesn’t generally have much experience in any of these categories, so you must consider other things. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, what kind of car you drive and how much you use it can significantly impact car insurance rates. If your teen is going to drive a newer car, expect to pay a lot more for car insurance than you would on a cheaper, used model.

when do you add child to car insurance

For many teenagers, the cost of buying car insurance on their own may be more than their summer jobs can handle. That’s why many parents put teenagers on the family insurance policy, where the expense is much less than if a teenager bought his or her own insurance policy.

At some point, however, teenagers become adults and their insurance risk level declines. Consequently, their insurance premium, were they to buy their own policy, also reduces as they move from adolescence to adulthood. Is this the time to advise children to take over responsibility and move off their parents’ car insurance policy?

It depends. There are several options open to the family – for the child to buy his or her own car insurance, for parents to continue to insure children and pay the premiums, or for parents to continue to insure children and have them cover the cost. Which option to choose will be different based on each family’s financial considerations. You might be wondering; How long can a child stay on their parents’ auto insurance? The fact is, parents can keep children on the family auto insurance policy for as long as they want, but it might not always make financial sense.

Do I Have to Add My Teen Driver to My Car Insurance?

No. You don’t have to add your child to your car insurance policy. But it will be less expensive than the child getting their own policy. “You’re not required to add a teen driver to your car insurance, but it’s more cost-effective to do so,” says Melanie Musson, a car insurance expert for CarInsuranceComparison.com. 

“From the very first time a student driver gets behind the wheel, parents should know if the child is covered under their plan or if they need to be added,” says Musson. “And if a child causes a wreck, the parent’s insurance company will be responsible for any damages.”

When adding a teen driver to your car insurance, be clear on who owns the car. Keep in mind that if your teen’s car is in their name, they will be unable to be listed on your policy, and they’ll have to get their own.

However, if a teen falls under a parent’s policy, they can remain on that policy as long as they live in the household and drive one of the family cars. There may be exceptions to this in some cases, such as when a younger driver goes to college and lives away from home.

As with any driver, it is always best to have the minimum state required insurance. Driving without any coverage is against the law and can come with some serious legal and financial ramifications. 

Insure Under Your Policy

It could make sense financially to add your teen to your insurance policy. “If you compared the increase in premiums that adding a teen driver would cause to a parent’s policy with the cost of an independent policy for that same teen driver, you would see that it’s cheaper to get on the parent’s policy,” says Musson.

Teen Getting Their Own Policy

The average rates for full coverage insurance for a 16-year-old driver is $6,930.

Below you can compare average annual rates for 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds, and 18-year-olds with their own policy.

AGEAVERAGE FULL COVERAGE PREMIUMAVERAGE MINIMUM COVERAGE PREMIUM
16-Year-Old*$6,930$2,593
17-Year-Old$5,836$2,214
18-Year-Old$5,189$1,920

Non-owner Car Insurance 

Non-owner car insurance is coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but use rental vehicles, ridesharing, and borrowed cars to get around. While it may be tempting to consider non-owner insurance for your teen, parents should be aware that insurance companies won’t write a policy for drivers with access to the family car.

Discounts For Teen Drivers

There are options to lower the costs associated with teen car insurance. “While we’ve always known that good grades can lead to scholarships and other educational opportunities, having a 3.0 GPA can also lead to good student discounts,” says an automotive expert for Car Coach Reports, an automotive industry news site. 

Although it varies by the insurance company, good students can see savings of up to 25% on their car insurance rates.

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