Auto Insurance for a Child of Divorced Parents

Auto insurance for a child of divorced parents is often best secured through 50-50 custody car insurance policies. This arrangement allows your teen to drive the car of either parent. Learn how to save on teen auto insurance.

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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: Jun 6, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • In joint custody arrangements, parents should place their child on at least one of the parents’ auto insurance plans after a divorce
  • 50-50 custody car insurance is available for teenage drivers with parents who share custody
  • Placing your teenage driver on your auto insurance plan is significantly cheaper than your teenager using a coverage plan in their name

When a minor gets their driver’s license, at least one parent must add them to their auto insurance policy. If your teenage driver is a child of divorced parents with joint custody, you will likely have the option to put your child on a 50-50 custody car insurance plan shared between you and your ex-spouse.

Auto insurance for teenage drivers will cost more than auto insurance for adults since young drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious auto accident. However, as a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child is properly insured before they go out onto the road.

50-50 Custody Car Insurance for a Child of Divorced Parents

In most cases, the parents of a teenage driver add the child to their auto insurance coverage plans. If you are divorced, your teenager’s auto insurance coverage depends on you and your ex-spouse’s custody arrangement. Typically, if you are the parent with primary custody, you will add the teen to your car insurance plan.

However, if you share joint custody of your child, you and your former spouse have more options, including 50-50 custody car insurance for your teen. In joint custody arrangements, both parents usually add their child to their car insurance policies, especially if the teenage driver uses a car at both residencies. After your child turns 18, custody rules will no longer apply.

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Auto Insurance Rates for Teenage Drivers

Teenage drivers have some of the most expensive auto insurance rates among motorists. Their auto insurance rates are higher than average due to the heightened risk associated with their age. To illustrate, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that teenagers have a higher rate of fatal accidents because of their lack of experience operating a motorized vehicle.

While adding a teenage driver to your plan, auto insurance companies will typically apply a surcharge to your insurance rates. The surcharge protects your insurance company from any major losses caused by your child.

If your teenage driver causes an accident or gets a ticket, the surcharge is likely to be much higher. Sometimes, this additional cost can remain on your bill for as long as five years. The high cost of insuring a teenager will likely make 50-50 car insurance policies appealing for parents who share custody.

Keeping Your Teenage Driver Safe

You and your ex-spouse may want to share relevant fatality statistics with your teen and lay down ground rules to ensure that your child prioritizes safety while driving. Consider the following driving rules for your teenager:

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never exceed the speed limit
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Follow traffic rules
  • Keep a clean driving record
  • Strive for good grades

The NHTSA recommends setting and following clear consequences for violating these rules.

Auto Insurance Requirements for Teenage Drivers

Even if your child does not have their own car yet, your teen must still be covered under insurance if they are driving. There are some general steps that you should take to ensure that your teen has the proper auto insurance coverage.

You should first contact your auto insurance agent to notify them of an additional driver in your household. Your auto insurance company will then request updated information concerning your teen’s driving status.

If your child ends up purchasing a car in their own name, the auto insurance company must receive notification about this change as soon as possible. If not, your child may not have coverage. If your child is in an accident without coverage, you will likely spend an enormous amount of money and may need to hire a lawyer to mitigate the consequences.

An uninsured accident may also damage your teen’s driving record, leading to higher auto insurance rates for several years. Auto insurance for teens after an accident is almost always expensive.

Should I list a teenage driver as a policyholder?

If avoidable, teen drivers should not be listed as a policyholder on their own policy. In fact, most auto insurance companies will not agree to provide this type of coverage for a teen driver because of their notorious high risk.

Even if your teen can get auto insurance as a policyholder, they will likely be unable to pay for insurance rates by themselves.

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Should I have a multiple vehicle insurance policy?

It is generally cheaper to add a second vehicle to your insurance policy. Some auto insurance companies will offer a discount if you have multiple cars insured under the same insurance plan. If you purchase a new vehicle in your name for your child, the price per vehicle for your auto coverage will likely drop.

In short, listing all vehicles in your household under the same policy is financially wise since separate auto insurance policies cost more without a discount.

How can my teenage driver get a good student discount?

Most auto insurance companies will offer a good student discount. Upon providing proof that your teenager has an exceptionally high grade point average, most insurance companies will offer a student discount in recognition of their responsible behavior. Teen drivers who earn good grades are generally less likely to engage in reckless behavior while on the road.

Joint Custody Car Insurance and Teenage Drivers

As soon as your child starts driving, you must make sure that your teenager is covered on at least your or your ex-spouse’s car insurance plan to avoid expensive costs. Generally, auto insurance coverage for teenagers is impacted by custodial arrangements. If you and your ex-spouse share joint custody, it is possible to arrange a 50-50 custody car insurance plan for your child.

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