Do You Need Auto Insurance for a Learner's Permit?

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Do You Need Auto Insurance for a Learner's Permit?
    Do You Need Auto Insurance for a Learner's Permit?
    If you're a brand new driver, you may wonder if you need auto insurance when you have only a learner's permit rather than a driver's license. The ways that you may obtain auto insurance are a little different when you have a learner's permit, but the legal requirement that you be properly insured anytime you drive a car is the same as for all other drivers. Specific requirements vary from state to state, but here are some general rules.
  • Identification

    As a driver, you are always legally responsible for making sure that any car you drive is properly insured according to the requirements in your state, whether you own the car or not. You must carry proof of current insurance coverage in your vehicle at all times. A proof of insurance card showing the policy number and coverage dates will be issued by the insurance provider for each vehicle covered.
  • Potential

    If you live with your parents or legal guardians, or with your spouse or domestic partner, you may be covered under their policy once you receive your learner's permit. Every policy differs, so before driving, always call the insurance provider to verify coverage. The insurance provider will charge more for the policy when you are added as a driver, but some insurers allow a grace period of several months to a year before raising rates.


  • Significance

    When you are living on your own, and have just received your learner's permit, you'll need to buy your own auto insurance policy. Many major insurers offer policies to people with learner's permits, though you'll pay a little bit more than would an experienced driver. Always be upfront with the insurance company about your license status. Omitting the fact that you have a learner's permit could void your coverage.
  • Misconceptions

    When you have another licensed driver accompany you in your vehicle while you drive with your learner's permit, the other driver is not responsible for making sure the vehicle is insured--you are. Also, all auto insurance policies will require that you be in compliance with all laws pertaining to driving with a learner's permit. When you have your learner's permit, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver of majority age in the passenger seat of the car at all times. The licensed driver must not be impaired by alcohol or other substances. In some states, drivers with a learner's permit may drive only during daylight hours.
  • Considerations

    If you attend a driving school, always inquire about the school's insurance coverage and ask for coverage proof before signing a contract, paying money or driving the car. Make certain that both instructor and pupils are covered for both vehicle and property damage, as well as personal injury, regardless of who's at fault for an accident.
  • Warning

    Be cautious when you drive a private vehicle owned by somebody else for purposes of gaining driving experience. The auto insurance policy may not cover you fully while you drive the car. While comprehensive and collision will usually cover damage to the vehicle and other property, the car owner's Personal Injury Protection (PIP) may not cover your injuries, lost wages and other expenses in the event you have an accident. If you have your own auto insurance policy, it will usually cover you while you drive a borrowed vehicle, but you should read your policy for your specific coverage.

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