There’s one question that pops up every year: “When do I add (son or daughter’s name) to my car insurance?” It comes from a dad or mom with a teenager who’s about to turn 15.
Do they add them to the policy when:
- Their teen gets their learners permit?
- Or wait until they get their driver’s license?
This is a great question and the answer is very easy. Every insurance carrier I’ve ever worked with only allows me to add a “licensed driver” to the policy. If their teen doesn’t have a driver’s license, there’s no way I can add them to the policy.
This does, however, raise a number of points to address in this discussion including:
- Is the teen ready to drive with a permit?
- Are they ready to attend driver education?
- Do they have the time to work with their teen, letting them get the needed experience behind the wheel?
- Are they ready for the traffic levels where they live (learning how to drive in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston is different than learning how to drive in Longview, Fort Bend or Lubbock)?
I’ve had a number of parents delay getting their teen a permit because their teen wasn’t interested at that time. Other’s will have their teen get a permit at age 15 but make attaining the license a reward for good grades, etc. I’m not going to give parenting advice either way. The three points I’ll leave you with are:
- Most teens need a certain level of driving experience before they go off to college or work
- Studies show it takes new drivers about 5 years of driving to experience most of the situations they need to learn how to respond
- Most carriers provide a discount to that driver when they have 5 years of driving experience
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