It’s the moment teenagers dream of and parents dread: getting a driver’s license. Now your keys will be in short supply and your patience tasked. Hopefully, you little princess or prince is a good, conscientious driver who won’t make you worry (too much). Of course, with a new driver, there are always new challenges on the road and more of a potential for mishaps. This brings up another subject: auto insurance. Since Junior is only occasionally using your car, do you need to add him to your policy?
Nearly all insurance companies require that all members of your household that are licensed drivers be added to your auto policy. If you have several vehicles, you can add drivers to individual vehicles, ideally those that are the least expensive to insure. You can also exclude drivers, but that means they are specifically not covered for anything that happens while driving your vehicle. This could also be cause for cancellation should something occur.
As far as your teen drivers go, you’ll want to let your insurance professional know when he or she gets their learner’s permit. They won’t necessarily need to be listed on your policy until they are fully licensed. If you do not have primary custody of your teen, you may not need to add them as a household driver. You should check with your insurance professional to be sure.
Another option is for your teen driver to have their own vehicle. Just bear in mind that premiums for teen drivers are high as it is. Insuring a separate vehicle may cost more than adding the vehicle (and driver) to your policy. Also check to see what sort of discounts (good student, driver’s education, etc.) there may be available.
There are systems available for monitoring driving behaviors — speeding, seat belt usage, hard braking and cornering – that can send you a notification if your teen does something he or she is not supposed to do. Technology is available that blocks cell phone calls and text messages when a vehicle is in motion. Installation of any of these systems could mean a premium reduction.
Sit down with your insurance professional and talk about the changes in your household. Let them show you what adjustment you need to make to insure you and your family are well-protected.