Adding Your Teens or Children to Your Car Insurance Policy

Last Updated on May 5, 2022

So your children are finally old enough to drive. It’s an exciting time – but it’s also a scary and expensive time. Once they get their license and are able to drive, can you add them to your existing car insurance policy? Is this a simple process? Below, we explain everything you need to know about adding your teenage child to your car insurance policy.

Call Your Car Insurance Company

Adding Your Teens or Children to Your Car Insurance PolicyIf your teenage child is driving your vehicle with a normal license (not a learner’s permit), then he or she needs to be on your car insurance plan.

As soon as your teen driver becomes licensed, he or she needs to be added to your insurance policy.

For most parents, however, that means you can avoid adding your child to your insurance policy until they get their full license. You don’t need to add your teen to your insurance policy while they have a learner’s permit, for example.

Call your auto insurance company to discover how much it will cost to add your teenage child to your insurance policy. Obviously, you can expect rates to rise significantly. A 16-year-old driver, on their own insurance policy, will pay an average of around $6,500 per year for car insurance. A 17-year-old driver will pay about $5,800 annually. Under your policy, coverage will cost a fraction of that amount – but it can still nearly double your monthly premiums in many cases.

Obviously, teens are some of the highest risk drivers on the road. They have less experience than virtually every other driver on the road. In the eyes of your insurance company (which references millions of driving records and decades of driving data), teen drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road. They make more claims, on average, than drivers in any other age group.

Yes, it costs a lot of money to add your teenage driver to your car insurance policy. However, there are certain tips you can use to save money.

Tips for Saving Money When Adding a Teen Driver to your Car Insurance Policy

So you’re adding your teenage driver to your car insurance policy. Your monthly premiums have nearly doubled, and you’re looking for ways to save money. Here are some of the best tips other parents have used to save money on car insurance:

Get your teenager to request their own car insurance quote. Many parents assume it will be cheaper to add a teen driver to their own car insurance policy. This is typically the case – but not always. Take a few minutes to request a car insurance quote online for your teen driver. Sometimes, two separate insurance policies will cost slightly less than adding your teen driver to your own insurance plan.

Talk to your insurance company about increasing your deductible. Some parents increase their deductibles after adding their teenage child to their insurance policy. Your deductible might be $500, for example, but by raising it to $2,000, you can reduce your monthly premiums significantly. How much do you trust your teenager to avoid a collision?

Ask your insurance agent about discounts for “occasional” drivers or “pleasure-only” drivers. If your teen isn’t the primary driver, then you might be eligible for steep savings. Your teen might receive an occasional driver discount or a pleasure-only driver discount. This is particularly common if your teenage driver is going to school over 100 miles away from you.

Do not register the car in their name. If you plan on adding your teenage driver to your auto insurance policy, its important to make sure the vehicle you let them drive is registered in your name. Most insurance companies require all cars on the policy to have a parent’s name on the title. So if you plan on giving your child a vehicle as a gift, you should keep it registered under your name. Once they move out and are no longer on your policy, you can transfer ownership to them.

Do not let them drive an expensive car. Some cars are cheaper to insure than others. If you’re looking to save money on your teen’s insurance rates, you should not let them drive a vehicle that is known to have expensive insurance rates. As a rule of thumb, cars that are cheap to insure are usually inexpensive to repair and have strong safety ratings. For a better idea, check out our list of the cheapest cars to insure for teen drivers.

Ask about good grade discounts. Some insurance companies offer discounts for young drivers – including high school and college students – who maintain good grades. If you have an average of B or higher, then you might be able to save a small amount on car insurance.

Take a driver’s education course. Driver’s education teaches you how to be a better, safer driver. Your insurance company likes that, which is why they offer a 5% to 15% discount to drivers who have taken a driver safety course.

Final Word on Adding Your Teen Driver to Your Policy

Ultimately, adding your teen driver to your insurance policy is a straightforward but expensive process. Many drivers can expect their premiums to nearly double.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Drivers and their children can get discounts for various reasons. You might get a discount by listing your teenager as a secondary driver – not a primary driver – on the insurance policy, for example.

The important thing to remember is that your teenager needs to be on your insurance policy as soon as they have their license. They do not need to be insured while driving with a learner’s permit.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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