My Child Has A Learner’s Permit: Do They Need Insurance?

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My Child Has A Learner’s Permit: Do They Need Insurance?My Child Has a Learner’s Permit: Do They Need Insurance?

Your Child is Learning How To Drive – How Exciting! 

Your child is over the moon because they finally got their learner’s permit. Isn’t it crazy how time flies? Seems like only yesterday they were learning how to walk! And while they may be stoked about their newfound freedom, you might be a little bit terrified. Hey - that’s a normal parental reaction!

While we can’t promise to help you stay calm while you watch your child pull out of the driveway, we can help you figure out the insurance side of things. After all, one way to alleviate some anxiety is to make sure your brand-new driver has the insurance they need to get behind the wheel. And just because your child has yet to get their license, it doesn’t mean they don’t need insurance. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the logistics and the costs of adding your new driver to your insurance.

Do You Need to Add Your Child to Your Insurance? 

First things first, your child has to have insurance if they're driving a car — even if they only have a learner’s permit. There are two ways to go about making sure your child is insured while their out on the road.

Your child can either be added to your policy — which may make the most sense if they are driving the family car — or purchase their own policy if the car they drive is in their name. If you opt to add your child to your policy, they will receive the same coverage that you do. Plus, driving under your plan will help them establish an insurance history, which could be useful in the future when they need to purchase their own policies. Either way, before anyone gets behind the wheel, they legally must have liability coverage

The absolute sole exception to this rule is for folks living in The Granite State (aka New Hampshire). If you live anywhere within its 9,349 square miles, you (and your child) can legally forego auto insurance, provided that you are able to prove that you can cover the other party’s damages if you’re at fault in an accident.

In 2021, the average liability claim came in around $5,000 for property damage and $22,000 for bodily injury. That’s a heck of a lot of money, and given that costs just keep rising, it makes sense to protect your bank account by getting an insurance policy, no matter where you live. 

When Should You Add Your Child to Your Insurance?

Just as a type of cheese differs depending upon its maker (not all gruyeres are created equal, after all!), so too do insurance provider’s rules and regulations. So when it comes to when you should add your kid to your auto policy, the answer can vary. Some providers may want you to invest in coverage before your child has ever gotten into the driver’s seat, while others allow for a bit more wiggle room. 

Either way, get them covered as soon as they get their learner’s permit or begin a driver’s training program. That way, they will be protected from the get-go.

How Much Does It Cost to Add Your Child to Your Policy? 

Here’s good news: Your premium won’t increase while your child has their learner’s permit.

Now for the reality check: Once they pass their driving test and become a licensed driver, your rate will likely skyrocket. Depending on your insurance company, where you live, and the vehicle(s) your child can access, you could be paying thousands more per year.

If you have a teenage son, you can expect a larger increase than if you have a teenage daughter. That’s because young men are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as distracted driving. It’s as if ‘The Little Rascal’s’ knew everything.

Thankfully, that financial pain won’t last forever. Your rate will drop noticeably with every year your child maintains a clean driving record. Plus, there are ways you can reduce your premium after adding your teen to your policy. For example, they may qualify for a discount for any of the following reasons:

  • Getting good grades (known as the good student discount).
  • Taking a driver's education course.
  • Driving an inexpensive vehicle.
  • Installing a tracking device in the car to monitor their driving habits.

You could also consider raising your insurance deductible. If you take on more financial risk, your insurance company may reward you with a lower car insurance rate. You might also get a price break for pre-paying your entire year’s premium upfront.

Pro Tip: While adding your child to your policy is pricey, it’s even more expensive for them to obtain coverage for themselves — or pay out of pocket in the event they get in an accident. So starting out by adding them to your policy is often the most cost-effective option.

How To Add Your Child To Your Car Insurance

While you might have complex feelings about your teen starting to drive, adding them to your car insurance is simple. Depending on your provider, you can contact your insurance agent directly or enroll your child online. If you’re not sure what level of coverage your child should have, we recommend speaking with your agent.  

Keep Your Child Protected on the Roads With Marble

Understandably, seeing your baby behind the wheel is emotional — but making sure they have the right coverage can bring you some peace of mind. Keeping yourself and your loved ones protected is what Marble is all about. So whether you want to update your existing coverage or look around for a new policy, check out the Marble Marketplace. Then, create your free account to get access to everything you need (insurance-wise, that is) — and even earn rewards while you’re at it!