Car Insurance with Kids

How should you handle car insurance for a new teen driver or a child not living at home?
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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

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Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

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Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

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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Monthly and annual rates for teens

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Gender Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
Male $445 $5,340
Female $395 $4,738

Source: The Zebra

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.

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool for home and auto insurance rates utilizes the latest ZIP code-level rate filings from across the U.S., sourced from Quadrant Information Services and S&P Global. These filings, typically updated annually or biennially by insurers, are verified through Quadrant’s QA process and then integrated into The Zebra’s estimator.

The displayed rates are based on a dynamic home and auto profile designed to reflect the content of the page. This profile is tailored to match specific factors such as age, location, and coverage level, which are adjusted based on the page content to show how these variables can impact premiums.

For a comprehensive understanding, see our detailed methodology.


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.

Insurance rates by company for 17-year-old

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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

Source: The Zebra

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.

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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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.
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