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Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

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When your little ones seem almost all grown up, the time comes for them to learn about greater responsibilities and independence. But they haven't quite left the nest, and as a parent, your job isn't done. Adding them to your car insurance policy is the most affordable way to ensure that when they're ready to navigate the road on their own, you still have them covered.

Your child turning 16 is a big milestone in their life. When it's time to cover your teenage driver, comparing car insurance rates with Insurify makes it easy to ensure you have the right policy at the right price. Not all insurance companies are the same; finding the best value for your family's policy is just a few clicks away.

Quick Facts

  • Parents can see up to a 130 percent increase in rates after adding their teen driver to their car insurance policy.

  • On average, parents will see lower rates when adding their teen driver to a shared policy than they will by purchasing their teen a separate policy.

  • Teen drivers and their families can save on their premiums by applying discounts, such as a safe driver discount, a multi-car discount, or a good student discount.

The Cost of Adding Teens to a Car Insurance Policy

When do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

Although adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive, it is much more expensive for your teen to have their own insurance policy. Generally speaking, your teenage driver should stay on your insurance policy from when they get their license to when they no longer live under your roof.

Adding your teen to your car insurance policy will notably increase your premiums. Premiums may increase by over $2,000 annually, which is typically around a 130 percent increase to the parents' policy. However, it is still much less than an individual policy for your teen. The following table shows best and cheapest premium increases for adding your teen to your policy.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote with a Teenager
Amigo USA$266
National General$316
The General$523
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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Benefits of Adding Your Child to Your Car Insurance Policy

When do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

Although adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive, it is much more expensive for your teen to have their own insurance policy. Generally speaking, your teenage driver should stay on your insurance policy from when they get their license to when they no longer live under your roof.

In property and casualty insurance, policy provisions apply to named, unnamed, first named, and additional insureds. Guidelines vary between insurance companies; however, the insured is anyone covered under the auto insurance policy, whether they are named or not. This may include a spouse and any relative who is a member of the named insured's household.

Named insureds are the people whose names appear on the policy's declaration, which is the section containing your name and address. The first named insured is the person whose name appears first on the list. Additional insureds who are not listed in the policy's declaration may be added by endorsement.

Rules differ between insurance providers, but standard provisions usually provide medical and liability coverage to the insured, the insured's household, and anyone using the covered car with the insured's permission. Most auto insurance companies will want each licensed driver of the household to be listed on the policy to ensure correct insurance premiums for the risk.

Adding your new driver to your own car insurance policy is usually much less expensive than paying for a separate policy. Insurers may also provide multi-car discounts, so try to ensure your teenage driver is covered under the cheapest car for the best rates. In addition to saving money, you will get peace of mind by managing your household's car insurance on one policy.

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Costs of Adding a Young Driver to Your Car Insurance

When reading through your car insurance policy's conditions, the jargon can be confusing. Full-coverage car insurance provides numerous types of coverage, but all policies usually require liability that covers bodily injury and property damage, which the insured is responsible for. This coverage may be extended to family members and other people who drive your car.

Factors that affect your car insurance rates include your driving history and age. First-time drivers are more high-risk than mature drivers. The lack of a driving record and the predisposition for teen drivers to drive recklessly or be distracted and get into a car accident lead to higher risk for insurers, and therefore higher premiums.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

Special Scenarios for Children on Car Insurance Policies

Insurance providers may offer insurance discounts specifically for teen drivers. Adding your 16-year-old driver to your own policy or getting a separate teen driving policy for them may come with a variety of discounts to lower your rates. These discounts may include driver training, safe driver, teen driver, good student, and student away at school discounts.

Driver Training Discount

Insurance companies may offer driver training discounts for drivers who pass defensive driving or driver's education courses. Most states require drivers to pass a driver's education course before they get their driver's license, and if your teen takes a defensive driving course, you may qualify for a discount if your company provides it.

Safe Driver Discount

Insurers may offer discounts for safe driving. Policyholders whose households go a certain number of years without any violations, accidents, or major claims may qualify for a safe driver discount.

Insurers may also require you to install a telematics device in your car to ensure you are practicing safe driving habits, like wearing seat belts. Some insurance providers also offer an app that you can download to your smart device.

Teen Driver Discount

Some insurers, like Progressive, offer a discount when teens are added to the policy. Some conditions may apply, such as the number of years the parents' policy has had continuous coverage.

Good Student Discount

Car insurance companies may reward your student's good grades with a good student discount. Usually, insurers require your child to be a full-time student and maintain a B average. You can present your child's report card or honor roll certificate to your company for a discount.

Student Away at School Discount

Student away at school discounts may apply if you meet the insurer's requirements. Usually, the student must be under the age of 25 and go to college 100 miles from home. They must not bring the car with them to their campus but may drive the car on occasion, such as during their breaks.

Other Ways to Save

Other hacks that you can use to lower your car insurance premiums when it's time to add your child to your car insurance policy include reducing the limits of liability on your car insurance policy and increasing your deductible. Make sure you meet your state's minimum requirements when reducing your liability. You may also raise your deductible to lower your premiums.

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

Some car insurance companies will extend insurance coverage to your teen driver while they are driving with a learner's permit under your supervision. Once they are issued their driver's license, they will probably need to be added to your car insurance policy to continue coverage.

It's best to communicate with your company as soon as your child is in a driver's education course to see when they should be added to your policy.

What happens in the case of divorce?

If you and your spouse divorce, usually the partner who is not the first named insured may have 90 days from the time they leave the household of residence or until the end of the policy to remain covered. The parent with primary custody is usually responsible for maintaining your teen's coverage, and if you have joint custody, both parents must have them on their policies.

When should your adult son or daughter get their own car insurance policy?

Once your child no longer lives at your residence and needs a car of their own, a separate policy will be required. As long as your child lives in your family home and drives one of the cars on their parents' policy, it's unnecessary to remove them from your policy. If possible, leaving them on a combined policy is the easiest way to find the most affordable car insurance.

See More: Best and Worst Sites to Compare Car Insurance

Discounts for Teen Drivers

Car insurance companies may provide discounts for your teen driver. Your child is most expensive to insure at 16. With these discounts, you can save money while your child gets driving experience on the road. And premiums decrease naturally as your teen gets older. The table below shows the best discounts for your teen driver and your possible savings.

Discount TypeEligibility RequirementsPotential Savings
Multi-CarHave multiple cars insured with one company10-25%
Driver TrainingSuccessfully complete a defensive driving or driver’s education course5-20%
Safe DriverGo a number of years with no at-fault claims, accidents, or violations, or install a telematics device in your vehicle to monitor your safe drivingUp to 30%
Student Away at SchoolStudent attends school 100 more more miles away from the residence the car is garaged, and only used on occasion15-30%
Good StudentStudent under the age of 25 who maintains a B average7-15%
Teen DriverHave continuous coverage with an insurer upon adding your teen driverVaries

Compare the Best and Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes for Teenagers

Your car insurance policy's premiums may change when you add just about anyone to your policy, but when it's your child, the price increase and the stress of your child driving alone are a double whammy. To ensure that you have the best possible coverage at a price that fits your budget, shop around and compare quotes to find the best car insurance for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A 16-year-old is usually the most expensive risk to add to your car insurance policy. A parent policy's premiums usually increase by over $2,000 annually, which is about a 130 percent increase.

  • Although adding your young driver to your policy seems like an extra extraordinary cost, it is still far less than buying them a separate policy. An individual teenage policy could be upwards of $3,000 annually, whereas adding them to your policy can cut that cost in half.

  • By comparing the most affordable car insurance quotes for your family's policy, you can find the best company for your household needs, at the right price. By using insurance comparison sites or tools, you can evaluate your best options that fit your optimal coverage needs.

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  • Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Aissa Martell
Aissa MartellInsurance Writer

Aissa Martell is a licensed insurance producer in the State of New York. She is a creative writer and has been freelance writing for five years. She’s happy to share her knowledge of the insurance industry and its products.