If you have a car, you need car insurance. That’s the law. 

But what if you have car insurance and a child that’s about to start driving? Many parents have the question “is my child covered under my car insurance?”

So, how about it? Is your teen covered under your policy? Do they have to get their own policy? Is there a difference between when they have a permit vs a full-blown driver’s license?

We’ll answer all these questions below so you know what to do when it comes to auto insurance and your child.

Is My Child Covered Under My Car Insurance?

The short answer is it depends and maybe. Yes, we know that’s confusing. So let’s break it down a little so the answer becomes clear (instead of clear as mud).

When your child is first learning how to drive, they will get a learner’s permit. This only allows them to drive with an adult in the car. (There may be other restrictions with the permit as well.)

When your child gets their learner’s permit, they will be covered under your insurance policy. And, with most policies, this is automatic. You don’t have to call to add them to the policy. They are just covered as a driver under your existing policy.

And, best of all, that means your rates will not go up.

Again, this is the way most insurance companies handle permits. You should check with yours to find if this is the case with your policy.

When They Get Their License

When they get their driver’s license, that changes. Your auto insurance policy will no longer cover them automatically. You will have to contact your insurer (or a different one) to get your child on a policy. Whether they are driving your car or have one of their own does not affect this at all. They must have their own policy.

But adding them to your policy or getting their own policy will not be cheap. We cover this in other articles like this one, but car insurance policies for younger drivers are more expensive. MUCH more expensive. 

That is because insurers find them riskier to insure. Since they are inexperienced when it comes to driving, Insurers see them as riskier policyholders compared to middle-aged adults. And, with insurance, the more risk an insurance company sees, the higher they’ll charge for a policy.

Options For Insuring Your Teen Driver

You basically have 2 options when it comes to insuring your child once they get their license.

One is to add them to your existing car insurance policy. Here, you just call your insurance company and provide them with details about your teen, whether you’re adding a new car to the policy, etc. 

They’ll let you know how much it will increase your premiums (it will be A LOT!) and, assuming you give the okay, they’ll add your child to your policy.

The other option is to get your child a separate insurance policy. While it costs a lot to add your child to your policy, it generally costs even more to get them their own policy. 

So, between the 2 options, your best bet is to add them to your own policy.

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