Car Insurance For Kids: What You Should Know

car insurance for kids
Photo by Berke Araklı

Many parents are understandably troubled when the time comes to add a child to their car insurance policy. This is because finding affordable car insurance for kids and dealing with the stress of having a teen driver in the house can be challenging.

Lucky you, we’ve got you covered. This article will break down the process of adding a child to a car insurance policy and share some strategies for saving money on your premiums. We’ve also researched the best car insurance companies to assist you in finding a good fit for your coverage requirements.

Do You Have to Add Your Kid to Your Car Insurance?

Anyone living in your home with a driver’s license and access to your vehicles must be listed on your auto insurance policy. This applies to both new drivers and those with extensive driving experience. Some states allow you to add a child with a learner’s permit to your policy, but check with your provider first.

If your child is not driving one of your vehicles, many car insurance companies will let you add them as an excluded driver. This means you can include your child on your policy while avoiding the high insurance premiums associated with insuring a teen driver. You will typically be required to sign a form from your provider confirming that your child will not be driving any of your vehicles.

Cost of Car Insurance for Kids

Adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy will almost certainly result in a significant rate increase. Young drivers have little driving experience and are generally regarded as high-risk customers by auto insurers. Younger drivers typically do not have much or any credit history, which can also lead to higher insurance rates.

According to Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of a full-coverage car insurance policy for a 35-year-old driver with a good credit score and a clean driving record is $144 per month or $1,730 per year. The table below shows how much a full-coverage car insurance policy can cost young drivers on their own policies.

Driver AgeAverage Monthly Insurance CostAverage Annual Insurance Cost

While 16- and 17-year-old drivers pay the most due to inexperience, insurance costs decrease as drivers age. After the age of 25, young adults tend to find better rates.

Why Is Driver Car Insurance for Kids So Expensive?

Car insurance premiums are calculated by providers based on the likelihood of having to pay a claim. That’s why expensive vehicles, such as sports cars, cost more to insure and why having a speeding ticket or other traffic violation raises your car insurance rates.

Teen drivers are far more likely to be involved in car accidents than experienced drivers. This is especially true when they are 16 or 17.

According to the most recent edition of the Federal Highway Administration’s National Household Travel Survey, 16- to 17-year-olds had three times as many fatal crashes per mile driven as drivers aged 20 and older in 2016 and 2017. When the age range is expanded to 19, the fatal crash rate is nearly four times that of drivers aged 20 and up.

Because teenagers are more likely than other drivers to be at fault in an accident, insurers tend to view young drivers as higher risks. As a result, the cost of car insurance typically decreases as drivers age.

Car Insurance Discounts for Kids, Teens and Young Adults

Finding the cheapest car insurance rates for teen drivers frequently entails looking into available discounts. The following are some of the most common car insurance discounts for young drivers, which can help offset high rates:

  • Good-student discounts: Most insurers provide some form of good-student discount to students with good grades. Students must typically maintain a 3.0 grade point average or a B average. A driver must be a full-time student aged 25 or younger to qualify for good student savings.
  • Defensive-driving classes: Many insurance companies provide discounts to drivers who complete safe-driving or defensive-driving courses. Teen drivers who completed training courses to obtain their driver’s license may be eligible for a discount as well.
  • Distant-student discount: This discount is available to college students who are away at school and do not have a car. To be eligible for this type of discount, a student must be at least 100 miles away from home and not have regular access to a vehicle.

Best Car Insurance Recommendations

We recommend that you start your search for the best rates and coverage for your family’s needs with two of the highest-rated providers.

#1. State Farm Insurance

State Farm is the most popular car insurance provider in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). We also named it Editor’s Choice because of the company’s excellent industry reputation, competitive rates, and extensive network of local insurance agents.

State Farm offers a variety of discounts in addition to its low rates, which are especially beneficial for those looking for teen car insurance policies. The company offers a good student discount, a student away from school discount, a defensive-driving-course discount, and a safe-driving discount. Young adults under the age of 25 can also take part in its Steer Clear® program, which helps drivers improve their skills while earning extra savings.

#2. Geico

Geico is yet another well-known insurance company known for its low rates and excellent customer service. One of the things that makes Geico insurance so affordable is the variety of discounts available.

Geico offers savings opportunities for good students, those who take defensive driving courses, and those who go accident-free for five years.

Pros of Including Your Kids on Your Car Insurance Policy

Although adding your kid to your policy will most likely result in a premium increase, there are some advantages. Some of the most common benefits of including your child as a driver on your auto insurance policy are:

  • Reduced premiums for your child: If your teen is 18 or older, they can buy a policy in their own name (assuming they own, lease, or finance their own car). Car insurance for 18-year-olds on their own, on the other hand, is typically quite expensive. If your teen lives with you and has your name on their vehicle, they will almost certainly save money by staying on your policy.
  • Qualifying for new discounts: Teen drivers are eligible for a variety of car insurance discounts. By taking advantage of good student discounts, distant student discounts, and teen driving programs, you may be able to offset some of the cost of adding your teen driver.
  • Simplified Policy Management: Having your entire household on one policy may make it easier to make changes, pay bills, and keep track of your insurance documents.
  • Obtaining coverage for your adolescent: Adding your kid helps to provide coverage in the event of an accident. If your child is not listed as a driver on your policy but regularly drives one of your vehicles, coverage may be denied in the event of an accident.

Adding your teen to your car insurance policy may also present a learning opportunity. You could teach your child about car insurance, explain why it’s necessary, and show them how to pay bills.

Cons of Including Your Kids on Your Car Insurance Policy

  • Increased rates: Adding your child to your car insurance policy can significantly raise your premiums. If your teen is unable to cover the costs, you will be responsible for them.
  • Liability: If your child is involved in an accident while driving, you may be held liable, and your insurance rates will most likely rise.

What Kind of Insurance Should Your Kids Have?

Your teen driver should have, at the very least, the minimum amount of insurance coverage required by your state, ideally including the following types of coverage:

#1. Liability Insurance

Most states in the United States require drivers to have liability insurance. As a result, your teen must have at least the minimum amount of liability coverage required by law in your state. If you can afford it, you should cover your teen beyond the minimum requirements.

Liability coverage pays for any damages or injuries that your kid causes to a third party while driving. If your kid causes an accident that causes severe damage or injury, the minimum required liability insurance may not be enough, and you will be responsible for any costs that exceed what your insurance will cover. If you find yourself in this situation, paying for additional liability coverage or getting an umbrella policy for additional liability protection can pay off.

#2. Collision Insurance

If you have a loan on your car, your lender will almost certainly require collision coverage for any named drivers. This type of insurance can help pay for vehicle damage after a collision with another vehicle, and it applies regardless of who is at fault. You would have to pay for the repairs to your own car out of pocket if you did not have collision coverage.

#3. Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance can protect against fire, weather damage, vandalism, theft, animal damage, and falling objects. If your car is financed, your lender will usually require comprehensive coverage in addition to collision coverage. This type of coverage can assist in repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged in an incident that is not a collision.

How to Include Your Kids in Your Car Insurance Policy

If your kid is approaching the age of driving, it’s a good idea to be proactive and look into insurance options. Follow these steps when it comes time to add your teen driver to your auto insurance policy.

Step 1: Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company that your child is in the process of obtaining a driver’s license. Even if they only have a permit, notifying your insurer will help reduce the possibility of a coverage gap between the time your teen passes their driving test and the time they are covered under your insurance.

Step 2: Request a Quote

Request a quote from your insurer to determine how much it will cost to add your child to your auto insurance policy. Check that the quote includes high liability limits.

Step 3: Go Shopping

Request quotes from multiple insurers and compare premiums and coverage to determine which option best fits your budget and coverage needs.

Step 4: Add your Kid to your Insurance Policy

When your child passes their driving test, contact your insurer right away and add them to your policy. Remember to inquire about any discounts that may be available to help you save money on your insurance.

Step 5: Re-Shop Once a Year

When it comes time to renew your policy, compare rates from several insurance providers—this can help you keep your costs as low as possible while still providing adequate coverage for you and your teen.

When Should You Add Your Kid or Young Adult to Your Car Insurance Policy?

As soon as your kid or young adult child obtains their driver’s license, you should add them to your policy. To be safe, contact your insurance provider before your kid starts driving.

Some states, such as Florida, provide “risk alert” reports to insurance carriers. These reports notify them of any licensed operators who have the address of the insured on their driver’s license.

When should your adult child get their own car insurance policy?

There is no set age at which your child must obtain their own insurance policy. You must remove them from your car insurance policy at no set age, as long as they are still living with you and you have an insurable interest in the vehicle they drive. However, if any of the following factors apply to your kid, it may be time for them to have their own policy.

  • They are either married or have children.
  • They do not live in your home and are the sole owner of the vehicle they drive.
  • They are financially self-sufficient.
  • If none of the aforementioned factors are present, many insurance experts advise keeping your teen or young adult on your policy.

Is it necessary for my kid to own a car to obtain insurance?

No, your child does not need car insurance if he or she does not own or lease a car. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot typically purchase their own car insurance policy, so as long as your child is driving a vehicle owned by you or someone else in your household, they should be added to your car insurance policy.

What information do I need to provide to add my kid to my policy?

You’ll most likely need your child’s name, birth date, and driver’s license number. You may need their Social Security number as well. If your child is eligible for a good student or distant student discount, you may be required to provide proof of their grades (such as a recent grade card) or proof of the school they attend if they do not have a car (such as an admissions letter with the school name on it).

How can I Save Money on Kids Car Insurance?

Adding a teen to your policy provides an excellent opportunity to compare car insurance quotes from various companies. You may discover that the cheapest company before you added your teen is no longer the cheapest option. Taking advantage of discounts is another great way to save money, as is teaching your child safe driving habits so that they keep a clean driving record.

What Is the Earliest Age at Which You Can Purchase Car Insurance?

To buy their own car insurance, a person must be at least 18 years old. In some states, an emancipated minor under 18 can purchase car insurance.

How Long Can Their Parents’ Car Insurance Cover Children?

A child can remain on their parents’ car insurance policy as long as the parents’ home is listed as a permanent residence. When it comes to staying on your parent’s auto insurance policy, there is no set age limit.


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