Learner’s Permit Car Insurance
Car Insurance

What You Need to Know About Learner's Permit Insurance

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Getting Insurance For Permit Driver is Easier Than You Think

Whether you’re a parent of a teenager or a new driver yourself, making the leap to become a licensed driver can feel like a rite of passage—and it is—but it’s also a major responsibility.

Part of that responsibility involves making sure you have car insurance for permit drivers. While you don’t need your own policy at this point, you do have to make sure that the policy on the car you are driving will cover you. 

What Is A Learner's Permit?

Regardless of the state you live in, all drivers learning to drive must get a learner’s permit before they are allowed to drive on their own. A driver must have the permit for anywhere from four months to a year and drive a minimum number of hours while under the supervision of another driver, usually one who is at least 21 years of age. 

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Learner's Car Insurance Requirements

As mentioned, you need car insurance to drive with a learner’s permit, but the insurance does not have to be yours, as long as the vehicle you are driving is insured. If you’re a teen, this vehicle will usually be your parent or guardian’s vehicle. If you’re an adult, it can be a family member’s car or even a friend’s.

This said, if you have a learner’s permit, you can’t just hop in any car and be totally covered. While some insurance companies automatically cover children with learner’s permits under the insurance of their parents, other providers require that permitted drivers be listed.

Every insurance company has different policies, so you should always verify your coverage to avoid making costly assumptions.

How to List a Permitted Driver for Insurance for Learner Drivers?

Listing a permitted driver is as easy as just calling your insurance provider and adding them to your list of drivers. In many cases, this addition will not increase your premiums, though there may be a slight increase with some providers. 

The good news is that even if there is an increase, it will be less than insuring a new, licensed driver. 

If you’re not sure if your child is automatically insured on your policy, again, call your provider. It’s better to know for sure—and have to pay a tiny increase if necessary—than to be on the hook for all the costs of even a minor accident. 

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How Much Does Having a New Driver Affect Your Premiums?

A report from the Insurance Information Institute shows that insuring a boy can increase your premiums by as much as 100% and a girl can increase your premiums by as much as 50%. Studies show that boys tend to be more reckless than girls and teen drivers, in general, are in four times as many accidents as people over 20.

What’s more, while teenagers drive less than all but the oldest population of drivers, their accident and death rate from crashes is alarmingly high.

So, you can see how insuring these young drivers can be expensive.

But there are ways to lower costs while also promoting safe driving practices that can last a lifetime.

How to Save Money on Learner's Permit Insurance?

As mentioned, there may be no extra expense associated with having someone with a learner’s permit on your insurance. In fact, with many insurance policies, anyone who you have not expressly forbidden to drive your vehicle can drive it without needing insurance since the insurance covers the car, not the person.

However, it’s wise to talk to your insurance company–and not only so you understand your coverage. Speaking with your carrier can also help you understand how you might save money on your teen driver (or yourself, if you’re an older adult with a permit) once a full license has been acquired.

Here are some money-saving tips:

  • Take a defensive driving course. In addition to learning how to be safer on the roads, taking a defensive driving course can also earn you a driving course discount.
  • Good student discount. If your kid can maintain a B average in school, some auto insurance providers will offer a good discount. Yet another reason to encourage your kids to take school seriously.
  • Follow the permit rules. It’s important to follow the rules your state outlines for its permitted drivers. (For instance, for young drivers, driving only with immediate family for the first six months.) Failure to follow these rules can put points on their record which will drive up premiums. 
  • Opt for occasional driver status. Maybe your teen won’t be driving much. If that’s the case, consider adding them as an occasional driver to your policy. This is more affordable than getting them a policy of their own. 
  • Increase your liability coverage. While increasing your liability coverage will cost you more now, if your young driver is found to be at-fault in an accident, having more robust coverage could be the difference between you having to pay out-of-pocket, and your provider taking care of the cost for you.
  • Family discount. If your teen driver needs their own policy, then add them to a family plan so you can get a multi-policy discount, which applies when you have multiple plans in the same home. 
  • Safety-feature discount. If you’re buying your teen their own vehicle, aim to buy a car with safety features like full-front airbags and anti-theft devices. These features can save you money on your policy. Also, steer clear of sporty cars or muscle cars. These may look cool, but they also cost more to insure.
  • Another thing about buying your young driver their own vehicle: it will cost you more in insurance premiums, as opposed to just listing them as a driver on one of your vehicles. 
  • The reason for this increased expense goes back to those unsettling stats about the accident rates of younger drivers. However, if your child only occasionally uses your car, the assumption is they won’t be driving around in it as much as if they had their own car. 

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Getting the Best Price on Car Insurance for Learner Drivers

At the end of the day, getting learner’s permit insurance is as easy as calling your existing provider and having a quick conversation. It’s possible that no changes need to be made to your policy at all. 

The real changes to your premium happen when that learner gets a full driver’s license. This is when you may want to shop around for quotes on car insurance if your existing policy’s premiums seem exorbitant. Or, you can just talk to us. We’ve curated a list of the top insurance providers that deal with young drivers. Contact us for a free quote and we’ll match you with your ideal carrier. 

Questions?
Yes, there are certain car insurance companies that will provide a policy if you only have a permit, but there's a caveat: you'll need to get a driver's license within about 30 to 45 days.

What's more, the insurance company may require you to start your insurance plan with a driver who has a valid license.

Finally, age can affect your ability to get insurance with a learner's permit. If you're under 18, you'll likely be required to get a parent or guardian to sign the policy with you. There are some companies with underwriting that states the named insured can't be under 18 years of age, in which case you may have to be insured under your parent’s policy.
No, as long as they are driving a car that is insured.