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Getting Car Insurance with Kids: A Guide

 

Deciding what to do with your insurance policy when you have kids seems simple but can get complicated. Let’s explore the ins and outs of car insurance with kids, including the best companies for kids.


Adding kids to your car insurance policy: is it required?

 

It depends on your state and your car insurance company. If your child has a driver's license and uses your vehicle, they should be added to the insurance policy. If they have a learner's permit, they may not need to be listed on the policy. Most states extend policy coverage to a young driver with a learner’s permit. This may vary based on the age of the driver and your location. Check your policy documentation for verification.

If your insurance company requires you to list your son or daughter on your policy but they won’t be using one of your vehicles, you can list them as an "excluded driver" within most car insurance policies. An excluded driver is someone in a household that isn’t allowed to use the insured vehicle. The benefit of designating a child as an excluded driver is the avoidance of the expensive premiums that come with insuring a young driver. See the table below for typical monthly and annual rates for young drivers aged 16 through 19.

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Gender Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
Male $445 $5,340
Female $395 $4,738
Updated: 09/29/22.

Car insurance companies strive to understand the risks they face. They want anyone with a driver's license to be listed on the policy, even if they won't drive the listed vehicle often.

If you want your child to use your vehicle and carry adequate coverage in the event they're involved in an accident, add them to your policy. Most car insurance companies require anyone who uses the vehicle more than 12 times a year — this may vary by insurance policy — to be added as a covered driver.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Should your child have their own car insurance policy?

 

Getting car insurance for your teen driver will likely be expensive. Insurance companies see young drivers as risk-takers behind the wheel, assessing higher premiums to cover that perceived risk. If you’re worried about the price or having your teen driver’s claims on your insurance record, you might consider getting them their own policy. Unfortunately, affordable teen car insurance policies can be hard to come by.

Insurance companies don’t like to issue two policies to a single listed residence. The easiest way to go about securing two car insurance policies for one household is to speak with an insurance agent, as regulations will be company-specific.

insurance policy

When should you remove your child from your car insurance policy?

 

There isn’t a set age at which a child must be removed from their parents' insurance policy. Purchasing car insurance is usually something that occurs alongside another life event. If your son or daughter moves out of the house and drives a vehicle at their new residence regularly, they should acquire their own car insurance policy.

Because car insurance is priced by ZIP code, their full-time residence should be listed on the policy.


What’s the cheapest insurance for teen drivers?

 

Because car insurance is priced on an individual level, this is a difficult question to answer. However, we created a profile and surveyed some top insurance companies to see which one was the cheapest for teenage drivers.

See below for the cheapest car insurance companies for a 17-year-old driver.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $3,973
GEICO $4,361
Nationwide $5,125
State Farm $5,323
Farmers $7,435
Allstate $7,737
Progressive $8,250
Updated: 09/29/22.

The above data reflects a general profile (methodology) and won’t necessarily fit you. Use it as a jumping-off point and begin your search with USAA or GEICO, but don’t end it there. Comparing real car insurance quotes based on your unique driving profile every six months is the best way to make sure you find a cheap rate. 

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Car insurance for kids: FAQ and resources

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding car insurance and kids.

Can I pay for my child's car insurance policy if I’m not listed on it? Chevron down icon

Most car insurance companies will allow a separate party to be listed as a payee, as long as the individual consents.

Can my child be listed on an insurance policy if I (the parent) legally own their vehicle? Chevron down icon

If you own the vehicle and the title is in your name, but your child is the primary driver, then the child would have the insurance policy in their name and at their listed address. You would be listed as an “additional interest.” Additional interests can be banks, lenders, or in this case, the owner of the vehicle. If the vehicle were totaled or damaged, the claim payout would go to the additional interest.

How does car insurance for teens work if the child uses the vehicle only occasionally? Chevron down icon

If your child is an infrequent user of the vehicle — less than 12 times per year — they can be covered under the “permissive use” section of an insurance policy. We strongly recommend checking your policy prior to make sure you have this coverage (it’s not always standard).

When do car insurance rates drop for teenagers? Chevron down icon

This varies by individual circumstances. Auto insurance rates for young female drivers tend to decline at 19 years old. Male drivers might not see their rates decline until the age of 21. This is contingent on the young driver's driving record — any accidents, tickets, or citations will lead to rate increases.

My child has a learner's permit. Do they need to be listed on my car insurance? Chevron down icon

Most states don’t require a young driver with a learner’s permit to be added to a parent's policy. When the young driver is fully licensed, you should add them to the policy.

Is it cheaper to have a child get their own car insurance or keep them on their parents' policy? Chevron down icon

Generally, it is much cheaper to keep your teen driver on a shared family policy, instead of getting them their own policy. Increasing the average age of the insured drivers on the policy helps push down rates by decreasing the total amount of risk insured by the underwriter.

RECENT QUESTIONS

How long do I have to pay for damage without insurance?

In most states, including California, you have up to three years to request damages for an auto accident. They also may be able to claim the accident on your brother's insurance since it is his car.
Aug 22, 2018 Modesto, CA

My son has moved out on bad terms. Should I still keep him on my insurance?

If your son's vehicle is registered in your name, I would keep it insured. Florida will suspend the license of the registered person if a vehicle isn't insured.
Sep 15, 2019 Orlando, FL

Can my adult children who don't live with me be on my car insurance policy?

Although you are all living in the same state, insurance is rated at the zip code level. So, in this scenario, they would need their own policies.
Jan 24, 2018 Montgomery Village, Maryland

If my sister was involved in an accident while driving my car, should I file a claim?

I would definitely recommend letting her pay out of pocket so you can avoid the claim. If you do end up having to file a claim with your company the accident should be on her driving report since she was behind the wheel.
Nov 24, 2016 Poughkeepsie, NY

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

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 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.