Individuals with learner’s permits do not need their own car insurance unless they own a vehicle that is registered in their name. Even at that, it is unlikely individuals would find themselves in such a position except under extremely rare circumstances. Therefore, as a general rule, you won’t need car insurance until you get your driver’s license.
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Abiding by the Law
If you are one of those rare individuals who need car insurance even though you only have a learner’s permit, keep in mind that having insurance does not give you the freedom to drive your vehicle outside of the terms of your learner’s permit. Using the state of Vermont as an example, its Department of Motor Vehicles states that new drivers are still required to have a licensed parent, guardian, driving instructor, or other unimpaired individual over the age of 25 in the seat next to you when operating a vehicle with just a learner’s permit.
Each state is responsible for determining the type of coverage required and how much each driver needs to have. To find out the regulations for your state you should visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.
Although car insurance is required in your state, you still want to do due diligence and make sure that the driver you are learning from has insurance on the car you will be practicing in.
Why don’t my teenage drivers need their own insurance?
The question of insurance with learner’s permits typically applies to teenage drivers. They don’t need their own insurance policies because they are covered by the policies of their parents or guardians. It is generally assumed by insurance companies that such minors will be operating the vehicles of their parents or guardians, with those adults present most of the time. Therefore, they allow minor drivers to be covered by the parent or guardian policies.
Furthermore, it’s highly unusual for teen drivers to own vehicles much before the age of 18 or 19.
This precipitates the need for them to borrow the cars of their parents when they need to drive. So, once a teen driver earns his regular license, he can be added to the policy of his parents without having to get his own. He can stay on that policy until he moves out of his parents’ home or reaches an age somewhere in his mid-20’s, depending on the state in which he lives.
Purchasing Car Insurance with Only a Permit
The truth is it can be pretty difficult to get car insurance if you do not have a driver’s license. You will have a much better chance of getting your own insurance if you are over the age of 16. Not all insurance companies will insure you if you only have a learner’s permit, so you may have to contact a number of companies and agents before finding one that will insure you.
Keep in mind that car insurance for teenagers is very high and it is even higher for drivers who do not have their license yet. There may also be a number of rules and restrictions if you end up getting insurance with only your learner’s permit.
The best thing to do when you only have your learner’s permit is to just be added to another licensed driver’s policy. If you live at home you can be added to your parents’ policy. If you do not live at home you can usually be added to your spouse or roommate’s policy until you get your driver’s license.
If you are just added to someone else’s policy there is usually no extra charge, which will save you a lot of money. It will also save a lot of problems and hassle.
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Purchasing Additional Insurance
This is a question that’s difficult to answer because there’s so much conflicting information. There are a fair number of insurance articles found online that suggest it is possible to purchase additional insurance coverage for learner’s permit drivers. At the same time, we were unable to clearly determine the difference between specific coverage for learner’s permit drivers and coverage that applies to such drivers through the policies of car owners.
Based on the previous example of the teen driver with his learner’s permit, having extra coverage is likely unnecessary because standard auto insurance covers that driver.
Teens are usually covered automatically under their parent’s insurance, while an adult driver with a learner’s permit should be covered by the insurance on any car they drive, provided the owner is present and gives consent.
Restrictions on Driver’s With Learner’s Permit
In every state there are certain things drivers with learner’s permits can and cannot do. For example, in the state of Georgia a student may not retain his learner’s permit under the age of 18 if he does not remain in school. As such, a 17-year-old high school dropout could no longer drive under a learner’s permit and would not be covered by insurance should he drive anyway.
It’s important to know what the restrictions are in your state so that the actions of learner’s permit drivers do not have an adverse effect on your insurance. Using the above example, if that 17-year-old high school dropout was pulled over, both he and his licensed passenger would be held accountable. If he were using his parent’s vehicle, it would reflect negatively on them and their insurance rates would most likely go up.
Drivers with learner’s permits can rest assured they don’t need to spend the money on their own insurance policies. But they do need to be careful to follow the rules that come with having a learner’s permit so as not to jeopardize parents, guardians, or other individuals with whom they may be driving. As long as student drivers are obeying the law, insurance rates will remain unaffected.
If you’re a parent with a child who possess a learner’s permit you may not need to inform your insurance company, but it might be a wise idea anyway. As soon as they earn their regular license you will have to inform the insurance company, otherwise they may not be covered in the event of an accident.
Informing the Insurance Company Once a Valid Driver’s Licence is Obtained
Once you pass your driver’s test and get your license, you will need to inform the insurance company that you are now an official driver. You can still stay covered under the driver’s insurance that you did when you had your permit, but now the insurance rates will increase because new drivers are considered to be a higher risk.
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