Does a Person Need Auto Insurance When They Have a Learner's Permit?

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Does a Person Need Auto Insurance When They Have a Learner's Permit?
    Does a Person Need Auto Insurance When They Have a Learner's Permit?
    Auto insurance is required by law for all drivers. But if you have just gotten your learner's permit, you may be unsure what kind of insurance coverage you need and how to get it. Auto insurance requirements vary from state to state, but in all cases it is meant to protect you, other drivers and bystanders from major expenses that might be caused by an accident. It will also save you from legal penalties that result from driving uninsured.
  • Responsibility

    When you operate a motor vehicle, you are legally responsible for making sure that the vehicle is properly insured. This is true whether you have a learner's permit or a full privilege driver's license, and whether you are a minor or of majority age. You are also responsible for knowing the coverage your or your parent's policy affords you, and whether it covers you in a vehicle owned by someone else. You must carry proof of current insurance anytime you drive a car.
  • Time Frame

    If you are a minor child and still residing with your legal guardians, you may automatically be covered by their auto insurance policy. Typically, the insurer will be aware of all dependents living in the household and their birthdays. But while the insurer may know when you are old enough to obtain a learner's permit, your parents should contact the insurance company to make sure you are covered. At that point, you become a driver in the household, and your parents' insurance rates may be raised accordingly, though some insurance companies will allow a period of up to one year of coverage before raising rates.

  • Options

    If you are of majority age and have a learner's permit, you are responsible for obtaining your own insurance policy for vehicles that you own, and making sure that any car you drive is adequately insured. However, If you are married, you may be covered under your spouse's policy while you have your learner's permit, but you must not assume you are covered. Always check with the insurer before driving.
  • Potential

    Many insurance carriers offer auto insurance for drivers with a learner's permit, but usually you must be of majority age to purchase your own policy. You will almost always pay a higher rate since you are not an experienced driver. When shopping for your insurance policy, be upfront with the insurer about your license status. Omitting the fact that you have a learner's permit could result in voiding of your coverage.
  • Considerations

    No matter your age and whether or not you own the vehicle you are driving, the insurance policy that covers the car will require you to be in compliance with your local laws pertaining to learner's permits. That means a licensed driver who is not in any way impaired must accompany you in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Other restrictions may also apply to your learner's permit.
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