Do Learner Drivers Need Insurance?

Can you get car insurance with a learner’s permit?
Woman learning how to drive car with her instructor. Find your learners permit insurance.

Are you learning to drive, or do you know someone applying for their learner’s permit? If so, you may be wondering if you are required to have insurance once you have your permit. The truth is, the answer isn't always straightforward. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the world of insurance for learner drivers, exploring the different types of coverage available, who needs it, and what factors insurance companies consider when issuing policies. 

Whether you’re a parent of a teen driver or getting your own learner’s permit, understanding the ins and outs of learner driver insurance can help ensure you're protected while on the road.

Can You Get Car Insurance with a Permit?

If you have a learner's permit and are looking for car insurance, the answer is, generally, yes, but it may depend on your insurance provider. Some insurers may require you to have a licensed driver on the policy with you, while others may allow you to purchase a separate policy for yourself as a learner driver. It's important to note that as a learner driver, you could be considered a higher risk by insurance companies, which could lead to higher premiums.

Additionally, if you're seeking insurance on your own rather than being added to your parents’ or someone else’s policy, you may need to provide additional information, such as proof of completion of a driver's education course or proof of your driving history (if you have any).

Adding a Learner Driver to an Existing Insurance Policy

If you have a teen driver with a learner's permit, you have the option to add them to your existing insurance policy. This is often the easiest and most affordable option, as it allows the learner driver to be covered under the same policy as you. However, it's important to note that adding a teen driver to your policy could result in an increase in premiums, as insurance companies could consider them a higher risk.

On the other hand, if the learner driver owns their own car, they may have the option to obtain their own insurance policy. This could be a good choice if the learner driver is planning to drive frequently or for an extended period, as it allows them to build their own driving history and insurance record. However, it's important to note that obtaining insurance as a learner driver can be more expensive than for an experienced driver.

Unsure about the best option for insuring a permit driver? The best course of action is to reach out to your current insurance provider. They can provide you with specific information on how to approach learner driver insurance and may be able to offer you a range of options and policies to choose from.

If you’re shopping for new insurance, consider reaching out to an independent insurance agent. By taking your unique circumstances into account, they can help you get coverage designed specifically for you.

How Much Car Insurance Does a Permit Driver Need?

When it comes to car insurance for permit drivers, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, your policy must meet your state's minimum liability insurance requirements. But it's important to keep in mind that permit drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents due to their lack of experience behind the wheel. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teens between 16 and 19 years old are four times more likely to be in a crash than older drivers. That's why it's a good idea to opt for higher liability coverage limits to protect your assets in case of an accident.

In addition, it might be smart to include comprehensive and collision coverage on the vehicle the learner driver will be driving. These types of coverage can help pay for repairs or replacement of the vehicle, no matter who’s at fault. Comprehensive coverage can cover claims for things like animal collisions, vandalism, theft, broken windows, and weather damage, while collision coverage can help pay for damage incurred from hitting another vehicle or object.

Be sure to talk to your insurance provider or an independent insurance agent to discuss your options and find the right coverage for your learner’s permit driver.


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Teen Permit Driver Insurance Costs & Available Discounts

If you’re looking to save money on insurance for your teen driver, many insurance companies offer discounts that can help make those high costs more manageable. It's always worth asking your insurer if any of these discounts are available to you:

  • Good grades: If your teen has a high school or college GPA of 3.0 or higher, insurers often reward them for their academic achievement with lower rates.
  • Tracking devices: By using a telematics device to share your driving data with your insurance company, you can prove, in real-time, that you're a safe driver and potentially qualify for a lower rate.
  • Driving classes: Your teen driver can also consider taking a driver's education course. In some cases, insurers will discount premiums for completing these courses, though it does depend on state law.
  • Living away from home: If your teen will be living away from home at boarding school or college and won't be using the car for a significant portion of the year, they may be eligible for a reduced rate.
  • Paying upfront: Finally, paying for the entire insurance plan upfront can be a cost-saving option. While most people choose to pay monthly, paying in full can lead to lower costs overall.

Be sure to check with your insurance company to see which car insurance discounts are available to you and your teen driver.

FAQs about Learner Driver Insurance

Yes, auto insurance is essential for all drivers, including those who are learning to drive. Every state has minimum insurance requirements that apply to anyone operating a vehicle, even if they only have a learner's permit. If your teenager plans to start driving with a learner's permit, ensure that they have auto insurance coverage, either by adding them to your policy or by purchasing their own policy.

New drivers holding a provisional license must comply with the same state-required minimums for insurance coverage as all other drivers. A provisional or intermediate license is a level above a learner's permit but below a full driver's license. If you have a learner's permit, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver – such as a parent or guardian – when driving.

People with provisional licenses can drive with passengers who don't have a license, though there may be restrictions on the number of passengers allowed. Additionally, a provisional license could have driving restrictions during nighttime hours.

It's possible to buy a car with a permit, but in most states, it can't be registered unless you have a valid driver's license. To ensure coverage, check with your insurance company, and consider other options, such as being added to an existing policy.

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