A client sent me an email two weeks ago that turned into an enjoyable “conversation” over a series of email messages. My client has a teen daughter that’s about to get her learner’s permit and she wanted to know when she should add her daughter to her car insurance policy.
My client asked a second question as we emailed back and forth. This question is asked less frequently but it usually accompanies the first question. That question is does it make a difference on the car insurance rate whether the daughter takes a parent led driver’s training course or one that’s led by an instructor in a driving school?
There is an appropriate time to add a teen driver to your car insurance policy. This depends on the insurance company:
- Some want the teen driver listed on the policy when they receive their learner’s permit.
- Other companies wait to add the driver when they obtain their driver’s license.
In the first case, listing a teen driver with a permit does not impact the car insurance premium. It simply acknowledges there is another “driver” within the household because they are listed but not rated. The rate changes only when the teen driver receives their driver’s license because they are now rating for the risk associated with the new driver on the policy.
For the second group of companies, since they do not require a permitted driver be listed, we wait to add them to the policy only when they receive their driver’s license. The rate is adjusted at that time to account for the new driver and the risk they represent.
In both cases, there is no set time between when a driver receives their permit or is awarded their driver’s license. Teen drivers are only rated when they become licensed, not when they turn 16 or some other age. That is up to the parent and the teen, not the insurance company.
Regarding my client’s second question, does the type of driver’s training class make a difference to her future rate? No! No insurance company I’ve worked with makes any distinction between a parent led or instructor led course. In both cases, the student driver is awarded a certificate when they complete the course which is worth a discount on the car insurance rate. The only question is which class option is best for the emotional and relational health of both the parent and the teen!
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