Do You Need Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

No matter if they have a learner’s permit or full driver’s license, any driver on the road must have car insurance. The consequences of driving without insurance range from fines and community service to more serious jail time. For anyone to be on the road, they must have a minimum amount of insurance to ensure that all drivers on the road are protected. However, the difference for someone with a learner’s permit is that they don’t have to have their own policy.

The majority of states in the U.S. require that all drivers have a minimum amount of liability insurance to be on the road. This coverage protects other drivers in the event of an accident where you are at fault. With liability insurance, however, you and your vehicle will not be covered. For someone with a learner’s permit, liability insurance is usually all that is needed since they typically don’t have their own at first.

Drivers who are learning the road rules with a permit are usually teenagers, and they are allowed to join on the policy of a parent or guardian. Insurance companies have varying policies about when a learner must be added to the policy, and they usually offer discounts to help offset higher rates. Let’s take a look at insurance for drivers with a learner’s permit.

Insurance Options

So, do you need insurance with a learners permit? Even though a teenager might be learning how to drive with a permit, they are still required to be covered with liability insurance. This is especially important as these drivers are usually at higher risk for accidents and bump-ups. As discussed, most younger drivers can be added to their parent’s policy without purchasing their own policy. Insurers have different ways of handling permit drivers, however.

Typically, the driver must be listed with the insurance company, and as long they have a permit, the insurer will not increase premiums. However, once the driver obtains a license, the insurer will factor them into the policy and adjust the rates accordingly. You must reach out to your insurance company to comply with their specific policies. Failure to do this could result in hefty out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident.

Insurance Rates

While drivers learn how to drive under a permit, their parents’ insurance rates will usually remain the same. Once the driver is fully licensed, however, rates can increase significantly. Out of all of the age groups that insurance companies evaluate, teens are seen as the most at-risk group for accidents, tickets, and other incidents. Teens from 16 to 19 years of age are at an elevated risk. As a result of these risks, adding a teen to an insurance policy could increase premiums by more than $2,000 a year.

Among other factors that impact insurance rates are age and gender. As male drivers are generally seen as higher risk, adding a teenage male to any policy will be more expensive. Although rates will be higher for teens until they can establish a clean driving record, it will be beneficial to shop around for rates and policies. Many insurers offer discounts and incentives that could help offset high rates for teens. Some companies will offer discounts for installing tracking devices, completing driving classes, paying upfront, and even having good grades.

Getting a permit and finally being allowed behind the wheel can be an exciting time for new drivers. However, before they get on the road, it will be important to ensure that they are covered with liability insurance. The law requires that even permitted drivers have valid insurance. As rates for younger drivers can be significantly higher, it might be beneficial to shop around for the best policies and rates.


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