Can You Get Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

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You have to walk before you can run, and you have to get a learner’s permit before you can drive on your own. A learner’s permit allows you to drive only when there’s an adult with a driver’s license in the car with you. 

Since you can’t drive alone with a permit, do you need your own car insurance policy? Is it even possible to get your own policy, since most learning drivers are under 18 years old? Is there a special type of car insurance for learner’s permit drivers? Here, we’ll answer all your questions about learner’s permit insurance.  

Can You Buy Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you can buy your own auto insurance policy if you have a learner’s permit, but there are a few complications. Getting standalone car insurance for minors with a permit is especially tricky because many insurance companies won’t sell a standalone policy to anyone under the age of 18. An insurance policy is a legal agreement that must be signed by an adult. 

You probably won’t be able to get insurance with a large, well-known insurer if you’re under 18 or don’t have a driver’s license, but you may be able to find a small or local insurance company that can sell you a policy. Even then, some insurers will only let you get insurance with a permit if you’ll get your full driver’s license within 30 to 45 days of buying the policy. 

The next obstacle is the cost. Auto insurance for permit drivers – especially teenagers – is extremely expensive. 

Instead of buying your own policy, you’re better off getting a member of your household to add you to their existing auto insurance policy. This can be your parent, another legal guardian, a roommate, or anyone else who lives with you. 

But there are some wrinkles when it comes to being added to someone else’s insurance, too. For starters, if someone else is going to insure you as a driver, they have to own the car you’ll be driving. They can only insure a car under their name if their name is also on the title. So, if you own your own car under your own name, you won’t be able to add that car to someone else’s insurance. 

And again, the cost can be an issue. When someone adds a new driver (especially a teenager) to their car insurance policy, their rates will go way up – sometimes by a few hundred dollars per month. Still, it would likely be cheaper than buying a standalone policy as a permit driver.

Do You Need Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

Now you know that you can get car insurance with a learner’s permit, but the bigger question is, do you need to? Lucky for your wallet (or your parents’ wallet), the answer is usually no. If you’re driving someone else’s car, as most learner drivers do, that car should already be covered by an insurance policy. You don’t need your own policy in addition to that. 

Teenage learner drivers in their parents’ car, for instance, don’t need their own insurance. However, there are a few cases when a learner’s permit driver needs their own insurance, such as:

  • You live alone: As a rule, you cannot be added to someone else’s car insurance unless you live at the same address as them. If you live on your own and you drive your own car, you’ll have no choice but to get your own insurance policy. 
  • You own your own car: Here, we’re not talking about if your parents buy a car for you to drive. We’re talking about if your name is the one on the title of the car. The name on a car’s insurance policy has to be the same as the name on the title, so you would have to insure your car in your own name if you legally own it. 

These scenarios are pretty rare since permit drivers aren’t allowed to drive without someone else in the car. Most of the time, you won’t need to worry about getting your own car insurance as long as you don’t have a full driver’s license and you’re driving a vehicle that’s already insured.

Are Permit Drivers Covered by My Insurance Automatically?

Most car insurance policies automatically cover learner’s permit drivers. So, if your child or friend with a learner’s permit is using your car to learn how to drive, you probably don’t have to add them to your policy as a listed driver. However, every insurance policy is unique. It’s a good idea to check with your insurer first to make sure you’re covered. 

As soon as that person gets their full driver’s license, though, you’ll have to add them to your policy if they drive your car regularly. Otherwise, if they get into an accident in your car, your insurance may not pay for the damages. 

How to Get Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit 

If you’re in a situation where you need to get your own car insurance with a learner’s permit, the best advice we can give you is to shop around. Get as many quotes from as many different providers as possible so you can find the most affordable policy. Keep in mind that even cheap car insurance for learner drivers is more expensive than an experienced driver’s policy. 

Since your options are limited when it comes to providers, you might need to enlist the help of an independent insurance agent to help you find insurance companies that accept permits. If at all possible, asking someone else to add you to their auto policy is the smartest option. 

Can You Buy a Car With a Permit?

Yes, you can buy a car with a permit. A driver’s license isn’t required to purchase a vehicle if you’re paying for it yourself (as opposed to getting a loan). The trouble is that in some states, you can’t register a vehicle with just a permit. And you won’t be able to drive your new car off the lot without registering it first. 

How Much is Car Insurance With a Permit?

If you manage to purchase, register, and insure your car with just a permit, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars more than an experienced driver would for the same amount of coverage. If someone else is adding you to their policy, they should expect their rates to increase by something like $100-$200 per month. 

The cost of insurance varies from state to state and from person to person. The only way to get an accurate picture of how much a policy would cost for you is to get a quote from an insurance agent or provider (preferably multiple quotes so you can compare).  

How to Find the Best Insurance for Permit Drivers 

Whether you’re shopping for a standalone student driver insurance policy or you’re planning to add your teenage child to your existing car insurance, it’s important to make sure you’ve got adequate coverage. Remember that cheapest doesn’t mean best. 

Since learning drivers are more likely to get in an accident, you’ll probably want full-coverage car insurance that covers damage to your car, damage to other people’s property, and medical bills for anyone that gets hurt as a result of an accident. 

Clovered can help you find a car insurance policy that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford. With our online quoting tool, you can compare policies from different insurance providers in just a few minutes.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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