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Young Drivers

person buckling their seatbelt

As a teenager approaches driving age, it’s important to be educated about insurance requirements. If you’re a parent, make sure you know all the facts regarding training, licensing and insurance requirements to help keep everyone safe and be fully covered.

Driver’s Ed vs. Driver’s Training

Driver’s Ed includes both classroom and online courses that are taught by high schools, colleges and other companies. While requirements vary by state, most programs cover topics like traffic laws, proper spacing while driving and understanding traffic signs. Additionally, some courses combine instructional videos with classroom training and supervised driving. Some states require proof of completing a Driver’s Ed course before applying for a driver’s license. Check with your state’s department of motor vehicles.

Driver’s Training is in-car instruction with a licensed instructor. There are no “classroom” sessions. Instead, the car serves as the classroom and the driver trains on real road conditions. Young drivers take the wheel, while the instructor sits in the passenger seat and supervises.

Regardless of which program you select, in most cases a new driver will be required to log additional hours outside of class with another licensed driver. Typically these hours must be logged before applying for a license. Your state’s local DMV office can provide more details.

Graduated Driver Licensing Program

New Jersey has a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, which is a three-phase process. Under the learner’s permit phase, a driver is required to practice driving for at least six months with an adult driver before being eligible for a probationary license. Under the probationary license phase, a driver is required to practice unsupervised driving for at least one year before obtaining a basic driver’s license.

When Should I Add My Teen to My Insurance Policy?

Obviously, you will want to have them protected when he or she is out on the road. If they are driving for the first time in New Jersey, they will need to complete the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. Once they have passed a vision test at your local motor vehicle agency and have obtained his or her learner’s permit, you should notify your insurance carrier to let them know you have a teen driver with a learner’s permit. 

The impact of My Teenager having a Learner’s Permit vs a License?

Most insurance companies will make a distinction between a learner’s permit and a probationary driver’s license and will not require you to officially add your child as a driver on your policy until he or she acquires their probationary license. However, whether they have a learner’s permit, or a probationary driver’s license, it’s a best practice to contact your insurance carrier to inform them of your new teen driver.

What Is the Cost of Adding My Teen Driver to My Car Insurance Policy?

You need to be prepared for a bump in what you’re currently paying for car insurance. The rise in the price you pay for coverage is directly related to the increased risk of having your child on your policy. Of course, there are multiple factors that will determine your rate such as where you live, your child’s age, gender and the type of vehicle they will be driving.

Is Car Insurance Required with a Driver’s Permit? As a new, unlicensed driver with only a permit, you will be covered under the car insurance policy of the registered vehicle owner (your parent, for instance.) When you obtain your probationary driver’s license, you will absolutely need to be covered as a rated driver on your own or on your parents’ car insurance policy.

Understanding the Cost of Car Insurance for Teen Drivers. If you are a new teen driver, there is no question about the higher cost of auto insurance for young drivers. Teen drivers should be sure to take a “safety-first” approach EVERY time you get behind the wheel. Pay attention to road signs, traffic lights and other motorists. Your parents are counting on you to be safe on the road and so is every other driver out there.

When should students stay on a parent’s policy?

The following are reasons you should keep your college student on your own auto insurance policy:

  • Your child still lives in your home
  • Your policy protects your non-driving student
  • You own the car your college student drives

When should students get their own policy?

If you own your own car, you need to have your own auto insurance policy. Owning your own car means that vehicle is titled in your name, and it’s your responsibility to insure your vehicle.

Once your teen has a probationary driver’s license, you will need to add them to the family policy or get a separate one. Often it is more cost effective to add the teen to your auto insurance policy, however, incidents that occur on it may cause your rate to increase.

Adding your teen to your policy or having your teen purchase his or her own car insurance is a personal decision. Of course, we’re happy to offer advice based on your unique needs. Call 855-993-4470, get your free quote online, or find an agent to see how Plymouth Rock in New Jersey can help with auto advice for younger drivers.

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