If you thought taking the training wheels off was an important milestone, just wait until your child gets behind the wheel of a car for the first time. A driver’s license allows teens to become more independent, taking some transportation responsibility away from parents. But it can be stressful to imagine your inexperienced teen driver alone on the road. 

That’s why it’s important to teach your children defensive driving skills, purchase or lease a safe vehicle, and have a comprehensive insurance policy for your teen driver. If your teen gets into an accident, you’ll want to make sure your family is protected against financial losses. 

But insuring a young and inexperienced driver can be costly because of the perceived risk to the insurance company, and adding a teen to your family policy can raise your premiums. It’s important to compare insurance rates across providers to find the lowest possible premium for a policy that includes your child. With Insurify, you can compare customized car insurance quotes from up to 20 insurance companies in just a few minutes. It’ll save you a chunk of time compared to getting quotes from individual insurers.

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Do I have to add my child to my car insurance policy? 

Some insurance companies will extend coverage to all collisions that occur when someone is driving your vehicle, including your teenager. But other car insurance companies may require that you add your teen driver to the policy as soon as they get their license. Suppose you don’t tell your provider about your teen becoming legal to drive. In that case, it can be considered misrepresentation, which allows your insurer to deny coverage in the case of an accident. 

In some cases, you may be able to purchase a separate auto insurance policy for your teen. But this will likely be more costly than adding the teen to your existing car insurance policy unless the teen already has a problematic driving record. One way or another, all licensed drivers are legally required to carry insurance coverage (except in New Hampshire and Virginia). 

In most situations, it makes sense to add your young driver to your family’s car insurance policy. But there are a couple of exceptions. If your teen owns the title to their own car, they’ll need to get their own insurance policy. And if your teen lives away from home with the vehicle that you own, options can vary by insurance company, so you’ll need to contact your insurance provider to find out what their rules are. 

What if the teen driver only has a learner’s permit?

Some insurance companies may allow you to purchase an auto insurance policy for your permitted teenage driver. But they’ll typically require that your teen become licensed within a period of time. It makes the most sense to add your teen to your family’s existing policy when they get their learner’s permit, rather than having them purchase their own car insurance. Later, if your teen moves out or buys their own car, they can get their own policy. 

What happens in the case of divorce?

If you and your spouse get a divorce and obtain separate insurance policies, all drivers in your family need to be insured under one of those policies. You should add teen drivers to the policy that covers the cars they drive. If they are going to drive both your car and your spouse’s car, you should add them to both policies. 

Does adding a teen increase my car insurance premium?

Statistically, teen drivers get into more accidents than adult drivers. In fact, according to the CDC, teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers age 20 or older. That means these young drivers are a greater risk to insure, so your insurance carrier will increase your auto insurance rates when you add them to your policy. And the increase will be significant. 

Adding a teen driver to your policy will dramatically increase your premiums, which is why you should reevaluate auto insurance quotes from different insurers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Some policies that cover teen drivers may be more costly than others. To get the lowest rate that includes any personalized discounts you and your teen may be eligible for, use Insurify to compare customized quotes. You’ll just need to enter some information about your vehicle and driving history to get started, and you’ll be able to see quotes from up to 20 different insurance companies. 

Discounts for Teen Drivers 

Adding a teen driver to your policy will increase your premiums, but you may be able to offset some additional costs with discounts. Some savings your teen may be eligible for include:

Discount Eligibility Common Savings Amount
Good student discount High school or college students under 25 who maintain good grades, usually a B average or higher 15% to 25%
Accident-free discount No collisions on the new driver’s driving record for three to five years 5%
Driver training, such as TeenSMART Completed an approved course 10%
Students away from home A household member attends school more than 100 miles from where the vehicle is located 7% to 30%
Good driver or safe driver discount May require a clean driving record or the installation of a telematics device 20%

Your family may also be eligible for additional discounts if you purchase multiple policies with the same insurance provider, such as homeowners or renters policies. And you may qualify for a multi-car discount if you’re insuring more than one vehicle. 

To see how the rate increase is impacted by driver discounts at different auto insurance companies, compare premiums for the same coverage across insurers. With Insurify, you’ll just need to enter your information once, and you’ll be able to compare rates from up to 20 different companies. 

Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance Rates for You and Your Teen

If your teen is currently enrolled in a driver’s education course, it’s time to start comparing auto insurance premiums. That’s because adding a young driver in the 16 to 25 age group to your policy will dramatically increase your insurance rates. Policyholders should use Insurify to evaluate discounts and compare rates before renewing their existing policies. 

Comparing cheap car insurance quotes from different insurance providers used to be time-consuming and frustrating, but Insurify makes it easy to get the best rates. You can easily toggle between liability coverage and comprehensive coverage to find an annual premium that fits your budget. And rates are customized to your unique situation, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best deal based on the discounts you’re eligible for. 

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Updated September 17, 2020

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.