Yes, you will likely have to add your teenager to your car insurance when they first get their permit and start driving. Some states - including Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and others - allow insurance companies to require that customers list a teen driver on their policy when the teen receives a learner's permit. However, different insurers differ on when you have to start paying extra for them.
The bottom line is that you should inform your insurance company before your teenager gets their preliminary permit. While most companies start covering your teen then, you typically will not be charged extra at this point because the mandatory adult supervision makes your teenager a lower risk. You will be charged additional premiums for your teen when they are fully licensed or turn 18, whichever comes first.
But be aware that this is not true for all companies in all states. It’s important to ask your insurance company if you’re required to not only add your teenagers, but also start paying premiums for them as soon as they get a permit.
The average cost to add a teenage driver to your family policy is about $225 per month. It’s a bad idea to try to hide your teen from your insurance company just to save this cost, however. Your insurer is likely to find out anyway. You may have listed your young children on your original application, for example. Insurers also receive reports listing residents at your address and periodically review Department of Motor Vehicles information. If your insurer doesn’t find out about your teenage driver until he or she is involved in an accident, this can be a big problem. Some companies will forgive you. Others will refuse to pay the claim or back-charge you for all the premiums you haven’t paid since your teenager became licensed.
If you don’t want to add a teenager to your policy, you can have them buy their own. This will cost about twice as much, but it does protect the family assets from liability in case your teenager causes an accident. If your teenager moves away from home (other than for school), they will have to get their own policy anyway.
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