Do you have to add your child to your insurance policy?

If your child is a licensed driver living at home, you should add them to your car insurance, and adding them to your policy will increase your car insurance rates.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 12, 2022

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Things to Remember...

  • If your teenager is a licensed driver and living in your home, you will need to add them to your policy
  • Adding your child to your car insurance can increase your premium up to 161%, so make sure to shop around and look at our tips for reducing your rates
  • Adding your child to your policy is still more affordable than getting them their own insurance

If your teenager is starting to use the family car, you are probably asking if you have to add your child to your insurance policy. The rules will vary depending on the state you live in and your insurance company, and you might need to add your child to your policy even if they don’t use your vehicle. 

In this article, we’ll explain whether adding a child to car insurance is necessary, as well as what to expect in terms of an insurance rate increase.

Do I have to add my child to my insurance policy?

If your child is a licensed driver and lives in your household, you will need to add them to your auto insurance policy within the legally required time period in your state. If you fail to inform your insurance company that your teenager drives your car, you risk having your policy canceled (and a claim denied, if there is one). 

Driving without insurance is not only illegal but can also have significant financial consequences if your teenager gets into a driving accident. That’s why it’s worth checking your local laws and advising your insurance company before you let your teenager behind the wheel.

Here are some important points to keep in mind: 

  • Your child won’t be able to get their own insurance policy as long as they’re a minor. 
  • Depending on the state and your insurance provider, your child may be able to stay on your policy even when they move out or go to college. 
  • If they own a car in their name, they’ll have to obtain their own policy.

If you and your child’s other parent are not married, both of you might need to add your child to your policies. This will depend on the child’s living arrangements and access to your cars.

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Will adding my child to my car insurance make my premium increase?

Adding your child to your auto insurance policy will most likely make your insurance rates go up significantly. The amount of increase will vary depending on the factors your insurance company uses to assess risk and determine rates. 

Adding a driver under 25 years old to your insurance policy can increase your rate up to 161%.

It’s worth noting that adding your child to your policy is usually more cost-effective than getting them their own policy. Plus, most companies won’t charge you a higher premium as long as your child has a learner’s permit.

What happens to your insurance rates if your child was involved in an accident?

Your premium could increase even more if they receive a traffic ticket or are involved in an accident. 

Also, male drivers are more costly to insure since the number of male driver fatalities is more than double the number of female driver fatalities on a yearly basis.

If this is your situation, we suggest you request and compare offers from several different insurance companies

How can I save money if I have to list my kid on my car insurance?

You should always begin your search for affordable car insurance by shopping around for a better deal. Some insurance companies can offer discounts if your child has no access to your vehicle for a part of the year (for example, while they’re away at college). 

There are many other types of discounts available, such as:

  • Good student discount. This type of discount is available for students having a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Low-mileage discount. You’ll need to allow your insurance company to place a telematics device on your vehicle so that they can track your child’s driving habits.
  • Bundling discount. Your insurance company might offer you a better rate if you insure both your car and your home within one package.

The type of car your child drives will also affect your rates, so getting them a cheaper, used model will reduce your premium. You could also add your teenager as an additional driver to your own car instead of purchasing another vehicle.

Finally, your child can attend a safe driving course to reduce their rates. You can contact the National Safety Council or AAA to obtain the list of driving schools in your state. No matter which discount you receive, adding a child to your car insurance will provide you with peace of mind.

What You Need to Remember About Adding Your Child to Your Car Insurance Policy

As soon as your teenager is eligible to drive, you should ensure that they are properly insured to avoid legal and financial ramifications. Adding your child to your own policy is usually the most cost-effective way, even though it will most likely increase your premium. 

Finally, don’t hesitate to shop around and compare different companies’ offers to get the best deal for your specific circumstances.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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