Are your palms feeling clammy? Is your heart beating faster? Oh boy, sounds like your teen may be hitting the road with their brand new driver’s license! If so, you probably have questions about getting them insured. If you’re wondering when to add your teenager to your policy, whether you should add them at all, or if they qualify for their own policy, look no further. Get the answers to common car insurance for teens questions here!
Question 1: My teen driver only has a learner’s permit. Do I need to add them to my policy?
Maybe. It depends on your state’s insurance requirements and your insurance company. Oftentimes, your current policy will cover your young driver until they receive their driver’s license. While a good portion of states don’t mandate that drivers with learner’s permits have insurance, all states (except New Hampshire) require all licensed drivers to carry insurance.
Question 2: Once they get their license, should my teen have their own policy?
It’s an option you may want to explore, but there’s really no right or wrong answer as long as your teen has an auto policy that meets the state’s coverage requirements. Some parents are comfortable adding their teen to their current policy, while others prefer to help their teen purchase a separate policy.
If you’re worried about your cheap car insurance policy becoming, well, not so cheap, helping your teen purchase their own policy may be the right route for you. Before making a decision, though, it’s worth your time to price out each option with your insurance company. Not only will this help your son or daughter better understand the costs associated with driving, but it may help you see how adding your teen to your existing policy could lead to additional discounts (like a good student or multi-car discount). Unless your teen is financially self-sufficient or working a steady part-time job, an individual policy may not be the most cost-effective route for them, or you, but it’s worth exploring.
Question 3: Do I need to call my insurance company the minute my son or daughter gets their license?
Insurers generally require that all drivers living in the household are listed on a policy, so adding your son or daughter to this list could help prevent a disaster later on if your teen ends up being involved in an auto accident or gets pulled over within the first few days of their newfound automotive freedom.
Question 4: Are there specific insurance coverages for teen drivers?
There aren’t any required coverages unique to teens, but there are some coverages that could be especially beneficial for rookie drivers. Beyond the state required coverages, you may want to take a second look at Roadside Assistance. According to a study shared by U.S. News, two in three teens don’t know how to change a flat tire, check or change their oil, or jumpstart a battery. Have you talked to your teen about basic car maintenance?
Question 5: Are there discounts for teen drivers?
Yes! If your teen is an honor student, on the Dean’s List, has a “B” average or better, or ranks within the upper 20% of their class, your policy may also be eligible for a good student discount of up to 10%.** If you add a car along with your new teen driver to your existing Direct Auto Insurance policy, you may become eligible for a multi-car discount of up to 25% when you add an additional car along with them.
Question 6: If my teen moves away for school, should they stay on my policy?
Here’s another one of those “it depends” answers. If your teen is moving to another state for school, the insurance requirements may be different. Call your insurance company and double check that the company offers insurance in the state and if need be, adjust your policy to meet the legal requirements of that state.
If your son or daughter is going to another state and will not be bringing a vehicle with them, you may still want to keep them on your policy regardless. In the future, an insurance company could view this period as a “lapse,” which may cause the cost of their insurance to go up.
Question 7: My teen wants to get a job delivering pizzas. How does this change things?
If your teenager is transporting goods for a fee, whether it’s pizzas, cupcakes, sandwiches, or flowers, your personal policy likely won’t cover them if they’re involved in an accident while working. If your new driver is interested in taking a delivery job of any kind, talk to your insurance agent about additional coverage options. Depending on the situation, your teen may be eligible for their own commercial policy.
Still have questions? Leave your question in a comment below and we’ll send it over to our insurance experts. Direct Auto Insurance can help you find the right coverage for your new driver. Give us a call at 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) today, and point your new driver to our Tips for New Drivers to help them ace their driving tests and more!
* Automobile insurance coverage and eligibility subject to individual carrier’s rules and underwriting guidelines.
**Roadside Assistance and Emergency Protection Plans is through NationSafeDriver, Boca Raton, FL
***Discounts subject to terms, conditions and eligibility requirements and may not be available in all states.
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