For those who are curious, yes, you do need car insurance for a learner’s permit. However, meeting this requirement is much easier than you may realize. We will discuss the requirements for car insurance when you have a learner’s permit, as well as other requirements to be aware of.
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Do You Need Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?
Yes, you need to have auto insurance if you are driving with a learner’s permit. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car must have insurance.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to get your own car insurance policy in order to get auto insurance for a learning driver. In most cases, learners and teens can share a policy with their parents or significant other. This method works as long as the learner is driving the insured policy owner´s car.
The only exception will be if the person with the learner’s permit has his or her own car. In that case, there’s a need for a separate policy. This is because insurance companies require a separate policy for each car. In this case, it may be possible to bundle insurance policies under a multi-car policy. The caveat is that you would likely need to add the policyholder to your car’s title in order for this option to work.
It’s important to note here that you cannot just assume that someone with a learner’s permit will automatically be covered by your existing insurance policy. You need to contact your insurance company to let the company know and to verify coverage.
It is also worth mentioning that some states only require teens to get learner’s permits before applying for a driver’s license. Others require any new driver to get a learner’s permit, even if they are an adult. If you are a new driver, it is always important to confirm which category your state falls into so you do not face unexpected legal consequences.
Should You Get Car Insurance With Only a Permit?
We already established that you should get car insurance with only a permit. It is legally required, and you could face fines or other consequences if you drive without your state’s minimum coverage.
If you can do so, it is best for you to be added to another person’s policy. The most common method for doing this is for parents to add their teen to their policy. With adults, it is more common for a significant other to add the new driver to their existing policy.
Learners also have to get their own insurance policy if their parents or guardians don’t have insurance. In this case, there is no existing policy to be part of.
Finally, if the permit holder and the policyholder live at different addresses, they cannot share a policy. The only exception for this is usually students who are attending school.
Learner’s Permit Car Insurance Scenarios
Although other scenarios can apply, there are two main situations when it comes to getting a learner’s permit and an insurance policy to go with it.
The first situation would be a new teen driver whose parents already have a car and an insurance policy. In this case, the parents simply call the insurance company or insurance agent and let them know that they want to add a learner to their existing policy.
Depending on your insurance company and policy, you may notice an increase in insurance premiums right away. Some companies increase the rate when you add a learner to a parent’s policy, while others wait to increase the rate until the learner gets their license.
The other situation would be an adult who lives alone and wants to start driving. Depending on where you live, you may be able to just take a driver’s education course and then take the test to get your driver’s license. You will typically need to get a separate learner’s permit insurance policy. As each state´s requirements vary a bit, you should check your state’s laws regarding requirements for adult learners.
The good news is that adults with a driver´s permit will find it much easier to find their own insurance policy than a teen permit driver. More good news for adult learners is that insurance premiums tend to decrease as you get older. This is because teen drivers are classified as high-risk due to their age and lack of experience in driving, among other factors.
Graduated Licensing Laws
Young drivers and parents of teen drivers should keep graduated licensing laws in mind when getting a permit or a driver’s license. This term refers to the fact that most states limit the driving privileges and responsibilities of drivers based on their age. With graduated licensing laws, there may be restrictions to the times of day you can drive without an adult or to the number of passengers allowed in the car. These apply even after you are no longer a permit driver.
When looking at graduated licensing laws, remember that a learner’s permit is the first step to getting a license. It typically requires you to pass a written test. With a learner’s permit, your driving privileges are restricted, and you can only drive with an adult in the car.
To get a restricted license or a full license, you will need to pass a driving test. With a full license, you have to follow all of the driving laws and regulations, but will have no additional restrictions. With a restricted license, you may have limits on when you can drive or on how many passengers you can have in the car without a licensed driver also in the car. In most cases, young drivers will start with a restricted license after passing the driving test. Once they reach a certain age, they will then get their full license.
For example, consider California’s graduated licensing laws. With a learner’s permit, you can only drive with an adult driver who is at least 25 years old.
In the first year after getting a license in California, you cannot have passengers under 20 years old in the car (unless someone older than 25 or a legal guardian is also in the car). You also cannot drive between the hours of 11 pm and 5 pm. These provisions last for a year or until you are 18 years old.
North Carolina has similar restrictions. Permit drivers need to be with an adult who has had their license for at least five years. After passing a driver’s test, teens get a limited provisional license. This license requires supervision between 9 pm and 5 am. There also can’t be anyone under 21 in the car without supervision unless they are from the driver’s household. After at least six months with the provisional license, teens can apply for a full provisional license.
Why Should You Compare Car Insurance Quotes for Learner’s Permits?
As with shopping for any other type of auto insurance coverage, you should compare car insurance rates for learner’s permits. This is because different insurers will charge different amounts. Comparing the offerings lets you get the best rate and coverage. Be sure to look for driver discounts as well, such as those available for taking a defensive driving course or for getting good grades in school.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Based on our research, we suggest getting insurance from GEICO, USAA, or State Farm. You can use our convenient quote box to compare rates from your local providers and find the best deals for you. All you need to get started is your zip code.
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GEICO: Best Overall
Our team awarded GEICO a 9.1 out of 10.0 overall rating. This reflects a 9.0 for coverage, cost, and customer experience and a 9.5 for industry reputation.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA earned an overall rating of 8.9 out of 10.0. This indicates a rating of 9.0 for industry reputation, cost, and customer experience, and an 8.5 for coverage.
State Farm: Best Student Discounts
State Farm earned an 8.5 overall rating. This includes a 9.5 for industry reputation, an 8.5 for customer experience, and an 8.0 for cost and coverage.
FAQ: Learner’s Permit Car Insurance
Do learners need car insurance?
Yes, you need car insurance with a learner’s permit.
Does my child need car insurance with a permit?
Yes, your child needs car insurance with a permit, but you can typically add them to your policy.
Do you need car insurance when you have a learner’s permit in California?
Yes, all states require insurance with a learner’s permit, including California.
Do you need insurance with a learner’s permit in Texas?
All states require insurance with a learner’s permit, including Texas.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.