Adding a permit holder to a parent's policy
Obtaining coverage for a permit holder is relatively easy, as the majority of permit drivers should be eligible for coverage under a parent's existing insurance policy. This option is generally considered the most favorable. Not only is coverage generally cheaper under a shared policy, but the permit holder will also benefit from all the same coverages as the rest of the family. Moreover, once your permit driver is added, they'll start building an insurance history, which can be beneficial when they purchase their own policy. Keep in mind that some companies may dictate that the learner must be on the car insurance card.
Purchasing a separate policy
Getting separate coverage for a permit holder is typically more expensive, but in some cases, it's unavoidable. This may be necessary if:
- The permit holder's parent or guardian doesn't have insurance
- The permit holder lives at a different permanent address from their parent or guardian (and isn't attending school)
- The permit holder is an adult
- The permit holder has already purchased their own vehicle
Learn more about car insurance for teens.
How much car insurance does a permit driver need?
Every state sets its own minimum insurance requirements, but the right amount of auto insurance for your permit driver depends on your vehicle and situation. Your liability coverage should be set at limits that can cover your assets if your permit driver is responsible for another driver's injuries or property damage. Also, since new drivers are typically more prone to mishaps than experienced drivers, you may want to add comprehensive and collision coverage to the vehicle being used by your permit driver.
Do you need insurance with a provisional license?
Some states have passed graduated licensing laws that restrict drivers under the age of 18 to a certain number of passengers or driving hours or both. In these states, drivers who have passed the permit phase but haven't yet received their full license are issued a provisional license.
While provisional license holders may not get the same driving privileges as everyone else, they do have the same insurance responsibilities. As soon as your teen receives a license that allows them to drive independently, they must carry auto insurance in all states but New Hampshire (New Hampshire still requires drivers to show financial responsibility if they're liable for injuries or damages resulting from an auto accident).
Can you get insurance on a car with a permit?
If you've only just earned your learner's permit but have already purchased a vehicle of your own, you'll be eligible to purchase your own insurance policy just like any licensed driver.