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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Can I get car insurance with just a learner's permit?

Yes — you can get car insurance with just a learner's permit or provisional license. This is fortunate given all drivers, even those just learning to drive, must have the minimum insurance coverage required by their state. You can also purchase and register a vehicle without your full license.

Getting a learner's permit can be an exciting first step toward adulthood, but it also comes with responsibility. Below, we outline how drivers with permits can ensure they get appropriate coverage without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaways

  • Drivers with learner's permits and provisional licenses can and should get car insurance, especially since each state requires it.
  • Always confirm with your auto insurer whether your child with a permit is automatically covered or needs to be added to your current policy.
  • On average, parents save $1,900 annually by adding teens to their policy versus getting them their own and can save even more by comparing quotes from multiple insurers.
  • GEICO and Progressive have the lowest average rates for parents adding teens to their insurance policies.

Do I need to add my child to my car insurance policy?

Whether a child with a learner's permit needs to be added to their parent's car insurance policy depends on each company's specific guidelines. Some insurers have provisions to cover drivers with a learner's permit. Others require anyone of driving age you might be living with, even without a license or permit, to be added as an excluded or included driver.

It’s never a good idea to assume anything about your insurance company. If you or your teen has just received your learner’s permit, make sure you speak to your insurer about your situation. If you assume they’re covered and they’re not, you run the risk of having a claim denied or running into legal issues.

Remember that once your teen gets their full license, they must be added to your car insurance. Drivers under the age of 18 can't typically have their own policy. However, even when teens are finally eligible for their own, it's usually much cheaper to stay on their parents' policy. See the below chart for context on the pros and cons of adding your child to your car insurance policy.

teen drivers

Q: How much does it cost to add a permit driver to my insurance?

A. Most parents won't see a rate increase until their child is fully licensed. Then, parents save an average of $1,910 per year keeping them on the family's policy versus getting them their own.

Pros and cons of adding your child to your car insurance policy
Pros Cons
Relative cost savings. While you'll see a significant increase to your insurance premium, it's likely less than if you were paying for two separate policies. Increased cost compared with when you were just paying for your own. Although, it's still less than if you paid for two separate policies.
Convenience. All policies being under one company can streamline bill payments and policy changes. Your child's driving mistakes can affect your rates. If your child has an accident, it can impact your personal rates for 3-5 years.
Ensured coverage. Assuming your child is covered on your current plan without checking with your insurer can lead to denied claims and other penalties. Potential loss of current discounts. Check with your insurer to see how adding your child will affect your eligibility for various discounts.
Additional discount eligibility. Good student, etc.

Check out our article discussing when children should stay on their parents' car insurance policy for additional information.


Cheap companies for young drivers

As we stated, whether or not you need to be added to your parent’s or significant others' policy will depend on the company and unique situation. Thus, it’s difficult to give car insurance quotes for companies. However, we skipped ahead to the next step of your driving life and created a user profile where a licensed teen was added to their parent’s policy. Here, we can see that, all other metrics constant, GEICO and Progressive were the cheapest companies for families with young drivers. Remember, comparing quotes is the best way to ensure you are getting the lowest price on auto insurance, whether you have a permit or are fully licensed.

Car Insurance Provider Annual Premium
State Farm $5,998
Allstate $4,590
GEICO $1,974
Progressive $2,462
Liberty Mutual $3,352

The Zebra’s auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra’s annual analysis of average car insurance premiums in every U.S. ZIP code. This data comes to us from Quadrant Information Services, which sources the latest approved rate filings across carriers in each state from S&P Global. Quadrant then uses an internal QA process to validate the information and build reports before the data is queried and analyzed by The Zebra.

Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To provide insight to consumers on how specific personal factors (like age, location and coverage level) can affect your premium, this base profile is then adjusted for different factors commonly used by insurance companies. For more information, see our full data methodology.


Discounts for drivers with permits

While young drivers may face higher rates overall, there are ways to save money on your insurance policy. Have a look at the following discounts that can help you save money on your insurance rates.

student
Good student discount

Being a student with good grades can oftentimes lead to reduced rates. This is often stipulated at a B average or above.

driver
Safe driver discount

Safe driving and keeping a clean driving record can often save you money. 

driving course
Take a driving course

 Taking a course — like drivers ed — can lower your auto insurance rates in many cases.


Drivers permit insurance considerations

You should consider our data as a starting point and not a strict rule. While insurance companies use driving age and years of experience as major rating factors, every company will view you differently and thus charge you differently.

It's important you be upfront about your or your child's learner permit status. Most auto insurance companies allow first-time drivers with permits to be added to the plan of a parent or significant other. Once they become a licensed driver, however, it's likely that rates will go up.

Whether you are a permit driver or have a full license, your best bet for finding an affordable policy is to regularly shop around for car insurance quotes. The Zebra can help you find a car insurance policy that is right for you and your family's needs.

Compare insurance rates quickly and easily.

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Find car insurance in your state with a learner's permit


Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can get car insurance with just a learner's permit or provisional license. All drivers, including those learning to drive, are required to have the minimum insurance coverage mandated by their state. If you're under 18, you will need to be added to your parent's or legal guardian's policy.

GEICO and Progressive have the lowest average rates for parents adding teens to their insurance policies. However, it's important to note that the rates may vary depending on individual circumstances and location. Compare quotes from multiple insurers to find the best coverage rate for your specific situation.

Some companies cover permit drivers under their parent's auto policy for no extra charge. However, once your teen gets their full license, they must be added to your car insurance. If they're over 18, you can get them their own policy, it's just more expensive. Always confirm coverage for permit drivers with your insurer. Otherwise, you risk significant legal and financial consequences

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.