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Much like eating lunch off-campus and going to the prom, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for every high-schooler. No more asking for rides (they think), with that little rectangle of freedom, they can come and go as they please. At least for a little while, this independence will be dependent on your car. You fully expect your wallet to take a hit at the gas pump, but what about on your insurance premium. Does your young driver need to be added to your auto coverage?
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.
Instead of guessing about what does and doesn’t need to be done, you need to sit down with your insurance professional and get some definitive answers. Make sure everyone is covered as much as they need to be, including your teenage driver.