Teaching kids to drive is something that most parents dread. You are introducing your teen to the rules of the road and instructing them on how to use a dangerous piece of machinery. It's going to take a lot of patience and care to make sure you give your teen appropriate training. Furthermore, it's your responsibility to ensure your teen driver has insurance coverage backing them up from the moment they take the wheel. It often takes a few different steps to make sure this is in place.
Car insurance for teen learners and new drivers can be complicated. Therefore, you'll need to reach out to your insurer directly to figure out the exact changes you might need to make to your policy. Different policies apply differently when it comes to teens.
The Risks Teen Drivers Pose
You might have heard the joke that a car in the hands of a teen driver is a death trap. It might seem laughable, but it's very much the truth.
The CDC estimates that in 2016:
- There were 2,433 teens (ages 16 to 19) killed in car wrecks, an average of 6 fatalities per day.
- Emergency departments treated 292,742 teens injured in wrecks.
- Teen alone accounted for $13.6 billion in injury costs.
Teen drivers usually face much higher accident risks than other drivers. They are three times more likely than drivers over age 20 to be in fatal wrecks, per mile driven. That's why it's important to provide teens with a car insurance foundation. Coverage can minimize the personal losses both your teen and you, as their parent, face. Still, because teens present such high driving risks, it often takes a lot of consideration to get the right coverage for your teen.
Coverage For Teens Who Don't Have Licenses
Car insurers understand that many parents let their teens drive their cars (with supervision) before they get their learner's permit or full driver's license. They can often make accommodations within your policy to cover such teens in the event they cause a wreck in these instances. There's always a chance your teen might back into a building when you are trying to teach them how to reverse, after all.
However, most insurers will want to know that you will soon have a teen driver among your ranks. Therefore, before you take your teen out to a deserted parking lot, you'll likely need to contact your Auto Insurance Discounters agent. You can explain to them that your teen is going to start learning to drive. They can then add your teen to the policy, perhaps by marking them as an unlicensed driver. The teen can then receive coverage in case of accidents.
Depending on your policy, an unlicensed teen who causes a wreck may or may not impact your individual rates. Policies also may not cover the teen if they take the car for a spin unsupervised. However, to help remedy this potential problem, some insurers require policyholders to disclose all of those in their households who are of a drivable age.
The best way to figure out what steps you need to take is to contact your agent.
Coverage For Teens With Permits Of Full Licenses
Depending on state laws, most teens receive a learner's permit before they get a full license. The permit restricts how and when a teen can drive. They can receive a full license once they meet certain benchmarks in their training.
Once your teen obtains their license, you can usually update your policy to reflect the fact that the teen is now a driver with their own driving record. Because the teen now has their own license, you might be able to add them to your own coverage as an additional insured driver. Families can often carry multi-car policies. These policies apply to all drivers in the household, regardless of what car they drive.
If your teen begins to rack up a hefty driving record, or if they buy their own car (in their own name), then it might be time to get them their own car insurance policy. Talk to your agent about the best course of action to take in these situations.