Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Teen Car Insurance & Learners Permits

As soon a teen secures a permit to drive, many people wonder: Do you need to have your teenager on your insurance when they have a permit?

You do not always have to add your teenage child who has a learner’s permit to your auto insurance policy, but this rule varies from state to state and company to company.

Some insurance companies will require notification that someone with a learner’s permit is driving your car, while other times the child will simply be covered by the car’s existing policy without having to notify the insurance company.

For the most part, however, as long as the child is driving the parent’s car, and as long as that car is insured, the child is also covered. Read on to learn all about learners permits and auto insurance and then be sure to enter your ZIP code above to find and compare FREE quotes for insurance from many companies!

You will have to check with your individual company, but here are some instances where the likelihood is stronger that you may anticipate needing to add your child to your policy:

Teenage Driver of Divorced Parents

If the kid is the teenage child of divorced parents, and spends time with both parents, it’s possible that both parents will need to add their teen to their individual policies. If this is the case, this usually means that just the name will need to be added; most companies will not charge extra while someone is driving the car with a learner’s permit. The insurance simply follows the car. This assumes that the child with a learner’s permit is driving only when a licensed driver (who is the one with the policy) is also in the car.

This also works if a teen is taking a driver’s ed course in his or her school or elsewhere. In this case, the insurance that covers the car or the company will usually cover the driver.

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Teenage Driver Buys a Car

If the teen purchases his or her own personal car while still having a learner’s permit, then the situation will likely change. He or she will be almost definitely required to purchase an individual insurance policy in that case, because many insurance companies do not allow someone who does not legally own the car (i.e. the car deed does not have your name on it) to buy an insurance policy.

There will be instances where certain insurance companies may allow you to add to your policy the car that legally belongs to your child, but it can be a tricky process and it might not be possible at all.

The long and short of it is that there isn’t a hard and fast rule about whether or not you can or have to add a driver with a learner’s permit to your insurance policy. The best bet is to always check with your specific insurance company and make sure you are complying with all their rules. The one thing that is certain is that there will absolutely have to be insurance of some kind in place.

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Teenage Driver is an Adult Living at Home

Now, if your child with a learner’s permit is an adult at home, that may also change things. Your insurance company may absolutely require he or she be added immediately to your policy, just as if he or she had a full driver’s license.

The most important thing is that your child is covered by some kind of insurance. You have assets you’ll want to protect, and one way to do that is to make sure that you have the proper car insurance. You may want to take another look at your car insurance policy whether or not your kid has to be officially added to your policy. Because the truth is that new drivers always offer a new and uncontrollable factor to the situation. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have enough liability on your car to cover major accidents?
  • What is your deductible for fender-bender type accidents?

What do you do when your child with a learners permit crashes? You may want to increase the liability and lower your deductible before that happens. At any rate, you will want to consider several factors once your child begins driving. When he or she gets a full driver’s license that will open a whole other can of worms as decide whether or not to officially add him or her to your existing policy or get an entirely separate policy.

The best way (the only way, really) to find out the answers to these questions is to do research of some kind. You can call or visit your insurance agent directly. You can shoot off a quick e-mail. You can also do research on-line, looking at the policies of different insurance companies or the specific laws about these issues in your state.

You can also use our independent online car insurance quote tool to determine if you are getting the best price for the best coverage. Good luck and have fun!