How and When to Add Your Child to Your Car Insurance

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Teen driver with driving teacher

The younger you are, the more expensive you can be to insure since you lack experience and are more likely to get into an accident, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Although adding your child to your car insurance could be costly, not insuring them could be financially devastating if they get into an accident without insurance coverage.

Knowing how and when to add your child to your policy can ensure their protection and prepare you for premium changes. This article outlines the pros and cons of adding your child to your policy, what it might cost, and tips for saving money on your car insurance.

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Do You Have to Add Your Child to Your Car Insurance?

Auto insurers typically require you to add all the licensed drivers in your household to your car insurance policy to calculate your insurance rates accurately. Your insurer needs to look at different factors to assess your risk of accidents and filing claims.

Some states and insurers might not ask you to add your child. But if you don’t and they cause an accident, the company could deny your claim — and you’ll be on the hook financially to cover the damages.

That said, if someone regularly drives your car — especially a new driver — adding them to your policy is a good idea. Discussing your options with your insurance agent can help you decide if you need to add them and how (and when) it’ll affect your premiums.

Adding teenage drivers to your auto policy also has benefits and drawbacks. We’ll cover them in the next section.

Pros and Cons of Adding Your Child to Your Auto Policy

Teenager driving a car with parent on the side

Weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if adding your teenager or young adult to your policy is the right choice. It’s also a good idea to involve them in the process so they understand how their driving habits can affect your insurance rates. Encouraging safe driving behavior reduces their likelihood of making a careless — and potentially costly — mistake behind the wheel, according to Triple-I.


  • Adding a new teen driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive, but it’s usually cheaper than getting them a separate policy.
  • A student driver with good grades is typically eligible for a good student discount, which can help lower your auto insurance rates.
  • When you add your child to your car insurance policy, you can ensure they have enough protection.


  • A new driver’s lack of driving experience makes them high-risk in the eyes of the insurance company, which usually means expensive car insurance premiums.
  • Traffic violations and at-fault accidents on their driving record can cause your car insurance rates to go up.
  • You can be financially responsible or face legal issues if your teenage child causes an accident that exceeds your liability limits.

Cost of Adding Your Child to Your Car Insurance

Young drivers have the highest crash rate of all age groups and are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident as adult drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Because young drivers have a greater risk of getting into accidents, they’re more expensive to insure.

Age is also one of the most influential factors on auto insurance premiums. Parents pay an average of $197 more per month when adding a teen to their policy, according to data. But that’s still often cheaper than them getting their own policy.

The table below highlights six top car insurance companies and each company’s average monthly rates before and after adding a child to your policy.

Insurance Company Average Monthly Premium Before Adding Child Average Monthly Premium
After Adding Child
Allstate $135 $317
GEICO $114 $268
Liberty Mutual $188 $441
Nationwide $184 $432
Progressive $147 $345
State Farm $110 $258

State Farm and GEICO offer the lowest average monthly rates before adding a child to your policy, according to our analysis. And both insurers are still the best choice after adding a child to your policy — their average premiums increase by $148 and $154, respectively.

Liberty Mutual and Nationwide — the most expensive in this category — charge an average of $253 and $248 more per month after adding a child. This highlights the importance of comparison shopping to get the best rate.

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How to Add Your Child to Your Auto Policy

Parent lecturing teen driver

If you’re ready to add your child to your auto policy, follow these four simple steps.

Contact your insurance company

Depending on your insurance company, you can add a new driver through your insurer’s website, its mobile app, or by calling or going to your agent’s office in person. You’ll need to provide information about the new driver, including their full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and Social Security number.

Your insurer will also need their car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) if you’re adding another vehicle.

Consider your coverages

If your child causes an accident resulting in injuries and property damage, state-minimum liability coverage is often not enough. In these cases, you’ll be financially liable for what your insurance doesn’t cover and can even be sued by others, according to Triple-I.

Consider protecting your assets with higher limits and even a personal liability umbrella policy. Raising your policy deductible can also help offset the higher costs.

Pay your additional premium

Once you add your child to your policy, you’ll receive a bill for the additional premium cost if you pay your bill in full at each renewal. If you pay it monthly, your remaining monthly bills will increase to cover the additional cost until your policy renews.

Give your teen an insurance card

Almost all states require drivers to have proof of insurance — young drivers are no exception. Make sure your teen has a paper or digital copy of your updated insurance cards in case they get into an accident or a cop pulls them over.

When Your Child Should Get Their Own Car Insurance

You don’t have to remove your child from your car insurance policy by a specific age, but there are scenarios where it makes sense for them to get their own policy:

  • They title and register a vehicle in their own name: Many insurers require the insurance policy to match the registered vehicle owner’s name, even if they aren’t the primary driver.
  • They move out on their own: When your child moves out, it’s time for them to get a policy at their new address, even if it’s with the same insurer. College students who move away for college temporarily but don’t change the address on their license are exceptions.
  • They’re an irresponsible driver: If your child gets too many tickets or accidents on their record, it can drive up your auto insurance premiums significantly or could even cause your insurer to cancel your policy. Changing them to an excluded driver after they get their own policy can protect your premiums.
  • They get married: If your child is a young adult and gets married, it usually means they’re mature enough to get their own insurance policy with their spouse.

How to Lower Your Car Insurance Costs After Adding a Child

Parent lecturing teenage son driving a car

Adding a young driver to your auto insurance can be costly, but these tips can help lower your costs.

Take advantage of discounts

Most insurance companies offer discounts specific to young drivers to help offset the cost of adding them to your policy. For example, if your child is a full-time student with a B average or better in school, they should be eligible for a good student discount.

College students who go to school at least 100 miles away from home are also often eligible for a student-away-at-school discount.

Buy a safe car

An older car will typically be cheaper to insure, but it might lack safety features that can keep your teen safe in an accident. Some new cars might be cheaper to insure than an older one, but it depends on the type of vehicle you buy. Avoid sports cars, which are expensive to insure and increase their chances of getting a ticket or causing an accident.

Consider usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance and telematics programs are worth looking into, depending on your driving habits. These programs track driving habits for all household drivers and can help encourage safer driving and potentially lower premiums.

Pay-per-mile insurance is another option if your teen doesn’t drive much. With this policy, you pay a base rate plus a mileage fee for the miles you drive each month.

Shop around for cheaper insurance

The only way to know if you’re getting the best deal on your insurance coverage is to shop around. Researching and comparing multiple auto insurance companies can help you get the lowest price on the coverage you need to protect your family.

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Adding a Child to Your Car Insurance FAQs

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about adding a child to your car insurance policy.

Can you exclude your child from your car insurance?

It depends on your state. Some states and insurance companies might allow you to exclude your child from your car insurance, especially if they have their own policy. But if you do and they drive your vehicle — even if you give them permission — they won’t have coverage if they get into an accident.

Does a child with a learner’s permit need car insurance?

Yes. Drivers in almost all states need car insurance, even your child with a learner’s permit. Some auto insurance companies will list the child with a permit but only charge a premium for them once they get their license. Check with your insurer to find out when to add your teen to your policy.

Can an insurance company force you to add your child to your policy?

It depends on the insurance company’s rules and your state. If your child doesn’t have their own auto insurance policy and lives with you, your insurer may require you to add them, exclude them, or show proof of insurance with another insurer. If you don’t add them, they might not have coverage if they get into a car accident.

Do you have to list all household members on your car insurance?

Yes, typically. Most car insurance companies require you to list all household drivers with a valid license because they have access to your vehicle. If you don’t and they drive your car and get into an accident, the insurer might deny your claim.


Data scientists at analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article.’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information.

All the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


  1. Insurance Information Institute, “What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?,” Accessed April 3, 2024.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Teen Driving,” Accessed April 3, 2024.

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