updated: Jan. 16, 2016 –
The answer to this question depends on the state you live in because in many states it is simply not allowed. The reason is that in certain states, people under the age of 18 are not allowed to sign legally binding documents and this includes contracts for car insurance. In other states, minors are not even legally allowed to own cars.
Generally, in states where minors can have their own automobile insurance, they can only have their own car insurance if one of the parents co-signs every agreement. This makes the adult partly liable for everything and the parent will also have to be present whenever there is an issue related to the insurance policy.
Even if a state allows a person less than 18 years of age to get car insurance, that does not mean that the insurers have to approve them. The companies are free to place age restrictions on their policies however they see fit. Most of them do not want to take on teenage drivers as clients because, statistically speaking, they are the highest-risk drivers on the road.
The reality of these statistics is why some insurers will not allow minors to take out insurance policies at all, while others will ask for incredibly high premiums in order to deter these type of clients.
Is it a Good Idea to get Car Insurance for Minors?
The most common solution for teenage drivers to get insured has always been for their parents to sign them on their own policy. However, this can be a double-edged sword for the adults. On the one hand, the premiums for the minor’s insurance will be much lower. However, if the teen gets into an accident (and there is a good chance of that happening), the parent’s policy will be affected for a long time. If you are a parent with a spotless driving record that benefits from preferential rates from insurers, if possible, it might be worth getting a separate insurance policy for your child just to avoid the risk of losing your “safe driver” status.
You will also need to make sure they are not listed on your insurance policy and make it very clear to them them that under no circumstances are they allowed to drive your car. If they drive your car under these circumstances and get in an accident, your insurance will not be responsible to cover any damages they caused, which could be a financially disaster if it were a serious accident. While it’s true that non-members of your household will be covered by your insurance policy when driving your car, members of your household that are not listed under your insurance policy will not be covered at all.