Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • A learner driver is a teen who has their learner’s permit and has permission to drive under adult supervision
  • A learner driver is only required to have insurance if they are the registered owner of a vehicle
  • Even though a learner doesn’t have their license, it is important for them to drive a car that’s insured

Driving is one of the many skills in life that you can’t acquire until you’re given the opportunity to practice.

It’s hands-on training behind the wheel that will really help you assess if you’re ready to drive on your own.

Since practicing is part of the learning process for a new driver they’ll have to have access to a car. There’s always a risk of accident, but the risk of a learner driver having an accident is higher than average.

However, with the right vehicle and the right teacher, a new driver can become a skilled driver quickly. To compare car insurance quotes, simply enter your zip code above!

Learner Drivers Must Drive an Insured Car

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One of the great things about hiring a driver’s education teacher to instruct your teen how to drive is that you don’t get stuck in the car the first time they start the engine.

For teens, learning how to drive can be exciting and a little scary. For their parents, teaching a teen to drive can be terrifying.

Another benefit of paying for the optional driver’s education is that learner drivers can drive someone else’s vehicle.

Even better, the training company has a special insurance policy in place that will pay for damages if there’s an accident.

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Can you let a learner driver operate your car?

It’s great that the burden of buying coverage lies in the driver’s education company, but that doesn’t mean your teen won’t start learning in your car as well.

As soon as they get a little more comfortable, it might be time to develop more skills outside of the practical training sessions, which is where you’ll have to start worrying about how your coverage works.

If you have a standard auto policy on your personal vehicle, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to let a learner driver operate your car.

With most drivers, you must list them on your policy when they live in the home and don’t have their own coverage. With learners, it’s a bit different.

Why would insurance companies provide learners with automatic coverage?

It seems like an insurance company would jump at the opportunity to make more money by charging you to add a learner driver to your policy.

While no company is going to cover someone for free, there’s no need to add a driver in the household until they have their unrestricted license.

As risky as young learning drivers are, they aren’t as risky as teens who are already licensed. The reason for this is because drivers who have their learner’s permit must be supervised by an adult 25 and older at all times.

Are there qualifications for automatic coverage?

You can’t just try and cover your kids, your nieces, and your neighbor’s kids all under your policy while they are learning.

It might be a nice extension of coverage, but there are some requirements that must be met.

Here’s what most companies will require for coverage to extend:

  • The driver must live in your home
  • The driver must be your dependent
  • The driver must have their state-issued learner’s permit
  • The driver must be accompanied by you or another adult on the policy while driving
  • The driver must be operating a covered car listed on your insurance

It might be a nice extension of coverage, but there are some requirements that must be met.

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Notify Your Insurance Company When a Teen is Learning to Drive

Some insurance companies have more lenient rules than others.

You should always call your carrier and let them know when your teen is about to go to the DMV to test for their permit.

When you tell the insurer that your teen will soon be licensed, the agent you speak with should tell you the process of adding the driver.

If they need to be added right away, you should ask how much it will cost you. There are carriers that will charge a fixed fee to extend coverage to learners until they are licensed.

What do you need to add a driver to the policy?

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Some people would classify a young adult who’s licensed but still learning as a learner driver. If this is what you mean by the term, you do need to add the driver to your policy.

Anyone who resides in your home who has a license and doesn’t have their own insurance should be rated on your policy.

Here’s what you will need to request the addition:

  • Full name of the driver
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and issuing state
  • Date the license was issued
  • Tickets and accidents in the last 3 years
  • Grades and school transcripts

You may not have to add a learner to your policy, but it’s best to check first. Call your agent and ask how permitted drivers and newly licensed drivers are covered.

Be sure to provide all of their information if they need to be added. If you’re not happy with the new premium, get instant quotes to compare your rates to the rates elsewhere.

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