Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • As passengers, your family members are always protected under your car insurance policy
  • Once your teen starts learning to drive, it’s important to review your options and decide if you’d like to add them to your policy
  • Teen drivers can raise your premiums, but discounts offered through many insurers can help negate the costs

When the time comes for your children to learn to drive, many parents wonder – is it bad if my child isn’t on my car insurance? The process of learning to drive can be very intimidating for parents and teens alike.

As a passenger, your children are always protected under your car insurance policy. Once they get their permit, it is a good idea to start researching car insurance options near you.

Review the main factors that affect the price of car insurance to get a good idea of what to expect.

You have the option to either add your child to your own car insurance policy or help them to secure their own. In the end, the choice is yours, and the best decision would be the one that suits your family’s needs. However, there are a few things to consider in the process.

Before learning more about if it is bad if your child isn’t on your car insurance, enter your ZIP code above to instantly compare car insurance rates near you for free.

Can my child drive my car if they are not on my insurance?

Starting when your child first gets their permit, they may be using your personal vehicle to practice driving. This is a very common practice for parents guiding their children through the rules of the road.

You may be wondering, can my son drive my car if he is not insured? Will my daughter be protected in an accident?

The answer is usually yes. Car insurance coverage typically extends to any driver who has been given permission to operate the vehicle. This is because car insurance applies to the vehicle itself, not the motorist behind the wheel.

For better understanding, review your car insurance policy’s omnibus clause. This clause states that any licensed family member who lives with you is able to operate your vehicle with your approval.

As for auto insurance for a child not living at home, they are typically also covered. The omnibus clause also applies to children away at school, such as in the case of college students.

This does mean that there are more repercussions for the owner of the car rather than the driver in the case of an accident.

Before your child begins to drive, be ready to talk about what they should do if something goes wrong. It’s vital to discuss accident preparedness.

When a teen with a learner’s permit is driving, there’s a few things you need to do:

  • A licensed adult over the age of 21 should be in the front passenger seat
  • The teen driver might not be able to drive after certain time of night
  • The teen driver must carry their learner’s permit with them whenever they drive

Depending on the state you live in, these requirements might be a little different, so it’s important to make sure you understand and follow any requirements for teen drivers.

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Benefits and Discounts for Teen Drivers

Adding a teen to your own policy is cheaper than them getting their own, but it will likely raise your rates. Fortunately, there are options to lower these associated costs. Good grades can help teens cash in on great discounts through many insurance providers.

Having a 3.0 GPA or above can add savings of up to 25% on car insurance rates. Always check with your agent and review your policy for more information.

Another option would be to enroll your teen in a safe driving course. These programs help teach defensive driving techniques, and can be very beneficial for new and experienced drivers alike.

You can select a program from a local driving school or contact the National Safety Council for more offerings within your state.

The best way to save money on your car insurance rates, even when adding a teen, is through comparing your options.

Now that you know more about if it is bad if your child isn’t on your car insurance, enter your ZIP code below to instantly compare teen car insurance rates near you.