Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

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Important facts to know...

The thought of your minor passing their permit test is a scary one. Most parents are terrified at the thought of their teen student getting behind the wheel.

Some worry about it from the moment they welcome their child into the world, and others don’t start to panic until their son or daughter ask for at-home driving lessons.

No matter how much you’d like to delay the inevitable, your teen is just years away from being a legal adult who can decide that they want to apply for their license. Many parents then choose to monitor their teens as they learn how to maneuver the roads by allowing them the privilege of getting their permit.

If you or your child is about to get a permit, let’s discuss what you need to know about insurance.

If your teen is about to get their permit and you need the proper coverage, start comparison shopping for the best auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code above!

Consider the Cost of Insurance First

Before you accompany your eager beaver to the DMV to discuss the process of getting a permit, you need to sit down and contemplate how much the decision is going to wind up costing you.

Newborns, toddlers, and school-aged children cost a small fortune to rear, but having a teen is a whole new ball game. There are fewer expenses, but the ones you must pay are sizable.

Teen drivers, no matter where they live or what type of car they drive, will automatically fall into a high-risk group.

You can’t take it personally as a parent because it’s all based on statistics and data that shows that teens under 19 are riskier drivers than any other age group. You will have to be prepared to pay the price.

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Do you have to add your learner driver to your insurance?

Your driving record and insurance history are things to be proud of. If you have maintained a good driving record for years and you have carried insurance without a lapse, you can keep your premiums low.

Unfortunately, adding an inexperienced driver to your once affordable policy can change all of that.

If you’re trying to not tarnish your reputation as a standard or preferred risk policyholder, you’re not too excited about the idea of adding a new driver to your policy.

Luckily for you, when your teen is just a learner driver, there’s a good chance you won’t have to add them to your plan. You’ll still have the protection as if they were added.

Why don’t most insurance companies required insureds to add teens with their permits?

In the insurance world, the term high-risk translates to high rate, which also translates to a higher probability that there would be a loss.

It’s, therefore, surprising for many parents to hear that their for-profit insurance company doesn’t charge when they know there’s a high-risk driver in the home who will have access to the car.

Some consider the insurer’s choice of automatically extending coverage to a learner permit a goodwill gesture while others see it more as a strategic business decision.

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Adding a driver to a policy costs money. The carrier has to run reports and pay their manpower to make the necessary changes.

The company also has to issue new documents which lead to more administrative expenses. Since there’s not an actual license number yet, adding the teen and rating them would be difficult.

It just makes sense to extend the automatic coverage for free while the teen has to be supervised by an adult. When a license is issued, they do need to be placed as a rated driver on the insurance or excluded.

Are there restrictions for the coverage extension?

You can’t hand your keys over and let your teen drive just anywhere and also have all of the coverage options necessary to protect your finances and your vehicle. There are some restrictions that you must be aware of.

First off, the teen has to be living with you, and you must be their parent or guardian. Other restrictions include:

  • The teen must have their permit issued by a state motor vehicle issue, and it must be valid
  • The teen must be supervised by an adult driver on the policy who is over 25 at all times
  • The teen must maintain a clean driving record and be free of accidents and tickets

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Can you buy insurance for your minor teen separately?

If you’re still convinced that you need separate insurance for your minor teen, you might be a little astonished to learn that you’re not going to be able to find an insurer who will issue the policy to the teen.

Most insurance companies will only sell separate insurance policies to someone who owns a car registered in their name and who has a license.

Alternatives to Insurance Under Your Primary Policy

If you’re going to buy a separate car just for your teen to practice in, one alternative would be to purchase a separate policy just for the car they’ll be using. The primary insurer can’t require you to add the teen to your policy when they get licensed because you can prove you have coverage elsewhere.

Doing this keeps your other policy untouched and still gives you the automatic coverage extension.

Just remember, you won’t be eligible for loyalty, multi-car, and multi-line discounts. The premium on the new policy may be more than you would anticipate.

Car insurance is a big expense. You may cover the cost for a while, but eventually, your teen will start to pay.

For now, you need to find low premiums. Make sure you price the cost of adding your teen and compare it to the cost of buying a new policy by getting quotes online.

Start comparison shopping today for your teen by entering your ZIP code below!