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Is Insurance Required for Teens With a Driving Permit?

Is your teen nearing the age in your state where he or she will soon be able to obtain a learner's driving permit? If so, then you might be wondering what steps you'll need to take in terms of auto insurance once your teen obtains his or her permit. Specifically, you may be wondering: is insurance required for teens with a permit? The simple answer is yes, since all drivers on the road need some form of insurance. However, there are some specifics that all parents and guardians ought to be aware of.

Start By Contacting Your Insurance Company

In most cases, your current auto insurance company (assuming you drive and own a vehicle) will extend to your teen driver while he or she has a learner's permit. However, insurance companies can vary in terms of how they handle this. For example, some insurance companies may automatically extend coverage to your teen driver as soon as he or she obtains a permit. On the other hand, some other insurance companies may require you to call your agent and have your teen added to the policy.

Either way, it's best to play it safe and contact your agent before allowing your permitted teen to get behind the wheel. In most cases, your insurance premium won't change significantly when you add your teen to your policy--and some companies may not increase your premium at all.

Consider Increasing Your Coverage Limits

Now is also a good time to take a look at your existing coverage and make sure you have enough of it. Remember: teen drivers are statistically more likely to get into an accident, so you'll want to make sure that you have enough liability coverage, in addition to comprehensive and collision coverage, if possible.

In other words, if you currently have your state minimum requirements for insurance, you may not be fully covered in the event that your teen gets into an accident behind the wheel--especially if your personal vehicle is damaged in the accident or if the accident resulted in a great deal of property damage for the other party. Consider speaking with your insurance agent about increasing your coverage limits or even lowering your deductible; you may be surprised at how much additional coverage a small amount of money can buy you, and it'll give you added peace of mind with your newly permitted teen driver.

What About When a Teen Becomes Licensed?

Once your teen gets his or her official driver's license, you'll need to re-visit your insurance situation. At this time, your teen will need to have additional coverage added to your existing auto insurance policy, at which time your rates will most likely increase. Your teen also has the option of purchasing his or her own separate insurance policy, but this is usually even more expensive. Still, it may be necessary if your teen is planning on buying his or her own vehicle. Each situation is different, so if you have any questions, your best option would be to contact your current insurance agent.

In short, all teens who are legally able to get behind the wheel (whether using a permit or a license) need to have some form of insurance. While your teen is permitted, you should contact your insurance company and make sure they extend coverage to your teen. Once your teen is fully licensed, you will need to purchase more coverage. By following these insurance tips and making sure your teen has the best drivers education training, you can keep your teen driver safe and enjoy added peace of mind by knowing that your teen driver is properly insured behind the wheel.

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