Does my car insurance cover my son?
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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
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- You car insurance provides coverage for all listed drivers that are rated on the policy
- Most policies will provide coverage for resident spouses, household relatives, licensed children, and friends who have regular access to the car
- If you have a teenage child in the household, they will be covered under your policy automatically as long as the only have a provisional license
- If your son goes to the DMV and passes their behind-the-wheel licensing exam, he needs to be added to your policy as a rated driver who’s assigned to drive one of the cars in your home
- You can keep your premiums down by purchasing a safe car, assigning the teen as an occasional operator, and requiring your teen to get good grades before they can drive
Your little boy isn’t always going to be so little. As seasons pass and your son goes from a middle schooler to a high schooler, the focus of your worry changes.
Your worry goes from worrying about socialization to worrying about your child maturing into a young man too soon. One of the steps of becoming a young adult is getting a driver’s license.
No matter how responsible your son has proven that he can be, the idea of him getting his license can be nerve wracking. Even so, it’s a part of growing up that you need to accept.
Before you accept it, it’s your duty as an informed parent to find out how your car insurance policy will cover your son.
Here’s a guide so that you know when your son will affect your rates and how much you can expect your rates to go up:
Who’s covered to drive your vehicles?
Your auto insurance policy won’t pay if just anyone is driving your car and gets into an accident. If any driver was covered, the insurer would never be able to profit or manage risk.
The driver either needs to be listed, defined as a driver under the terms of the policy, or covered as a permissive user. Drivers covered under your policy include:
- Licensed family members in the household who are listed as drivers
- A spouse in the household who has insurance elsewhere
- A teen who lives in the home or a student away at school
- A friend or family member who is visiting you and has permission to drive your car
A teen doesn’t just earn their license right when they turn 16. Since driving is a huge responsibility that requires skill and experience, most states require young drivers to pass a driver’s training course and apply for a permit before they can test for an unrestricted license.
When your son gets his permit, he must drive with a licensed driver in their car.
You’ll have some piece of mind in knowing that you or your spouse will have to supervise their driving for at least six months before they go out on their own. It’s also illegal for your son to drive in the middle of the night if they possess only a permit.
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Do you need to list your son if they only have a permit?
Every insurance carrier has their own rules about teen drivers who are learning to drive. In most cases, a teen driver who has a permit is covered to drive any car on your policy automatically.
It’s important to call the customer service center to verify that teens with permits in the home are covered.
Some companies have special requirements in place that say that teen drivers with their permits are only covered for free when a driver on the policy is supervising them.
If you’re going to let your teen drive with an adult who’s not on your policy, you should check to see if this is allowed. If it’s not, your coverage might not extend.
When do you need to add your son to your policy?
If your insurance company does cover drivers with their learner’s permit without having to add them to the policy, you need to take action to add your son to drive as soon as they get licensed. To get a driver’s license, your son has to pass a written exam and a practical exam.
After your son passes the practical part of the licensing exam, they can legally drive home without you in the vehicle.
Unfortunately, if you let them drive home without adding them to your policy it could pose some serious problems. It’s best that you call your insurer, inform them of the exam, and then call again from the DMV to add your teen to avoid any problems.
Insuring a teen comes at a cost. You’ll be grateful that your insurer didn’t charge for your son when they had their permit once you see how much having a male teen drive will cost you.
If you’re only adding a driver, you can expect your premiums to go up, but not as much as they would if you were adding your son and a new car.
The average parent will see their rates go up by around 92 percent when they add a male teen driver. In some states, adding a male driver will more than double the existing rates. The increase depends on the state, the vehicle, and the teen’s grades.
Look For Discounts
The best way to manage your auto insurance pricing is to qualify for discounts. Teenage drivers are eligible for a few discounts that can drive rates down. Here are discounts to look for:
- Driver Training
- Good Student Discount
- Student Away at School
If you recently added your son to your policy, it’s important to shop around to find low rates. You may get a loyalty discount through your insurer, but not all insurers want to cover teens.