If you have a child who will soon be obtaining a driver’s license, you may have questions about how to handle your auto insurance policy. Should you add your 16-year-old as a new driver on the family policy? This is a common question and there are multiple factors to keep in mind.
Insuring child drivers can significantly increase your car insurance premiums because new drivers are statistically ranked among the most dangerous on the road. Is it worth the extra expense to cover your child on your auto insurance policy?
Insuring Teenage Drivers
Most insurance companies require that ALL licensed drivers in your family be included on your auto insurance policy if all of the following apply:
1. They use your home as their permanent legal address;
2. They don’t carry their own separate insurance policy; and
3. They live at your house at least part-time.
Even if a driver only shares a vehicle and is not the primary user, your insurance company will most likely want that driver covered in some way. If your teenage son or daughter plans on driving, you should discuss any expected changes with your insurance agent to find out about the company’s requirements and discuss options for possible discounts.
Benefits of Adding a Child on Your Auto Insurance
By listing your child on your policy they are termed “insured.” An insured will be protected in these situations:
If They Drive Someone Else’s Uninsured Vehicle
Your liability will extend to your child if they get behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn’t insured.
If an Accident Occurs
An insured child is eligible for your medical payment coverage if an accident occurs in another vehicle, or if an accident occurs and they’re termed a “pedestrian.”
When They Buy Their Own Insurance
Your child will pay lower rates for their own insurance if they can show proof of being previously insured.
Risks of Not Insuring a Teen Driver
You may save some money on your insurance premiums by neglecting to add a teen driver to your auto policy, but the risks may cost much more than the premium increase. As mentioned before, most insurance companies require that you maintain coverage on all drivers who permanently/legally reside in your home. If your insurance company learns that you have a licensed driver living in your home and using your vehicles who isn’t adequately covered under a car insurance policy, there may be consequences.
An insurance company can choose to cancel your policy if you do not uphold the terms of the agreement by insuring all drivers. If this happens, it can be very expensive and difficult to find another company to provide you with coverage.
Consequences on Claims
Even though your vehicle may be insured, if the uninsured driver has an accident, claims will investigate why they were driving your car. If the investigation proves that the driver was a resident in your home at the time of the accident, they could deny your claim. For liability claims, this could result in tens of thousands of dollars that you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket.
The entire purpose for having insurance is to make sure your family is protected, so we highly recommend you do not do anything to jeopardize your coverage. Therefore, we encourage you to do your own research and talk to your insurance company about their policies regarding drivers on your auto insurance.