For teenagers, the first step in the pathway to being a driver is to obtain a learner's permit. With a permit, teen drivers have the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to be safe and defensive drivers all under the watchful eyes of their parents. However, before you allow your child to hop into the driver's seat, it is important to address the insurance issues that come along with your teen's new status.
State Law for Permit Drivers
Even before your teen has their learner's permit in hand, it is important that you do your research. State laws vary when it comes to the auto insurance requirements for permit drivers. For example, some states treat these drivers just the same as they do licensed drivers, in that full coverage is required.
Yet, there are other states that do not require the driver to be added to the policy, and instead, only require that the vehicle they are driving be fully insured. If you are unable to find out this information on your own, you can also call your insurance company to find out.
Another insurance factor to consider is who owns the vehicle that the teen will drive. While rare, in the event your teen owns the vehicle that they will drive with their permit, the purchase of an additional policy is required.
The reason is that auto insurance policies are more or less about insuring the vehicle. So, you cannot take your teen and their vehicle out on the road without having it insured first. Keep in mind; that if the teen's name is the only one listed on the vehicle, they will have to purchase a separate policy for the vehicle.
New Driver Notification
If your state law does not require you to insure the teen and they do not own the vehicle, you might think you are free to let your child drive your vehicle. However, you must contact the insurance company first. Depending on the specifics of your coverage, your policy may or may not provide coverage for the uninsured teen.
As such, you want to notify the insurance company of your child's new driving status so they can document that they will be driving and ensure they are covered under your policy.
Remember, each insurance company, state law, and insurance policy are different. It is critical that you reach out to your auto insurance provider to determine which steps you need to take.