Is it a bad idea if my child isn’t on my car insurance?

It is bad if your child isn't on your car insurance if they live in your home, are licensed, and drive your cars, because if they aren't on your policy and they get in an accident while driving your car, you could both be penalized. Since it is bad if your child isn't on your car insurance, you should add them to your policy as soon as they're licensed. Car insurance for teens costs an average of $691/mo, but you can save by comparing rates from multiple companies and asking about discounts.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • Your child should be on your car insurance if they live in your home, have their driver’s license, and drive your car
  • In most cases, once your child moves out, they should buy their own insurance coverage
  • You may not be covered for a claim involving your child if they weren’t listed on the policy and live with you

Insurance can suddenly become more complex when you have children of driving age. We know that it can be overwhelming, but you’ve come to the right place with your questions about young drivers’ car insurance.

Is it necessary to add a teenaged driver to your insurance? Is it unfavorable if your child isn’t on your car insurance? Does your car insurance policy automatically cover your child? Can your child be on your car insurance if they don’t live with you? Can your child be on your car insurance if the car is in your name?

Before we dive into this discussion about whether or your child should be included on your car insurance, you probably want to ensure you’re getting the best rates for your car insurance policy. Take a moment to enter your ZIP code into the tool on this page to obtain a free quote on car insurance and begin saving today.

Do you need to add your child to your car insurance, and what happens if you don’t?

Are you required to add your child to your auto insurance? If your child is a licensed driver living in your home and driving your vehicles, they should be on your insurance policy. If they aren’t on your policy and are in an accident while driving one of your covered vehicles, you could face penalties.

If your child isn’t licensed yet, but has a learner’s permit, you may or may not be able to add them to your policy. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company, before your child begins driver’s education, to determine whether they will cover the learner’s permit phase. If not, you’ll need to wait to add your child to your coverage until they get their driver’s license.

When should you add your child to your car insurance policy?

Once your child is licensed,  you should add them to your policy.

If your child is under 18, it will be difficult to purchase insurance, even if the vehicle they drive is in their name.

All you need to do is reach out to your car insurance company to add another driver to your policy. Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to add other drivers to your policy through the company website or app. Other companies may require you to contact them to add a driver to your coverage.

You’ll need some basic information about the driver you’re adding to your policy, including their name, date of birth, social security number, and driver’s license number.

How much does it cost to add your child to your insurance, and are there ways to save?

Are you wondering what you should expect to spend on car insurance for teens? Unfortunately, insurance for teenaged drivers is expensive. The average rate for 17-year-old drivers across the country is $691 per month. While it’s less expensive to add your child to your policy, rather than having them buy their own coverage, you’ll still see an increase in your rates because teen drivers are considered a high risk.

Take a look at this table for average major insurance company rates for teen drivers across the country.

Average Annual Rates for 17-Year-Old Drivers by Insurance Company
Car Insurance CompaniesMonthly Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Female DriversAnnual Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Female DriversMonthly Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Male DriversAnnual Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Male DriversMonthly Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Male and Female DriversAnnual Average Rate for 17-Year-Old Male and Female Drivers
USAA$400.63$4,807.54$448.80$5,385.61$424.71$5,096.57
GEICO$471.13$5,653.55$523.25$6,278.96$497.19$5,966.25
Nationwide$479.70$5,756.37$597.94$7,175.31$538.82$6,465.84
State Farm$496.16$5,953.88$610.36$7,324.34$553.26$6,639.11
American Family$499.71$5,996.50$677.54$8,130.50$588.62$7,063.50
Farmers$710.16$8,521.97$762.00$9,144.04$736.08$8,833.00
Progressive$724.16$8,689.95$802.12$9,625.49$763.14$9,157.72
Allstate$773.52$9,282.19$886.88$10,642.53$830.20$9,962.36
Travelers$775.61$9,307.32$1,070.91$12,850.91$923.26$11,079.12
Liberty Mutual$968.42$11,621.01$1,143.22$13,718.69$1,055.82$12,669.85
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While the cost of this coverage can be expensive, there are ways to save. And, ultimately, the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to insuring teen drivers.

The best ways to save include shopping around for coverage and inquiring about discounts. For example, if your teen maintains at least a B average in school, they may qualify for a good student discount.

When should you take your adult children off of your car insurance policy?

Is it unfavorable if my child isn’t on my car insurance anymore? It depends on the circumstance. If they’re still living in your house and driving your vehicles, the answer is probably “yes.”

However, once your child moves out, they’ll need to get their own car insurance coverage. The exception to this is if your child is away at college and is eligible for a long-distance student coverage discount with your insurance company.

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The bottom line: Is it a bad idea if my child isn’t on my car insurance?

Is it unfavorable if my child isn’t on my car insurance policy? If your child is licensed, lives in your home, and drives your vehicles, they should be listed on your insurance policy. Even if the car they drive is in their name, if they’re under 18, they’ll likely still need to be on your insurance policy.

Insurance for teens is expensive, but you can save by asking about discounts and shopping around for coverage. Comparing quotes from at least three companies is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the right coverage for the lowest rate.

Now that we’ve discussed the basics about whether or not it’s a bad idea if your child isn’t on your car insurance, are you ready to shop for affordable coverage for your teen driver? Type your ZIP code into our rate comparison tool to obtain free quotes and start saving right now.

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