Will My Insurance Pay For an Accident My Teen Has in My Car?
Teenage drivers are notorious for being a bit reckless behind the wheel, and, unfortunately, this makes them more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. Teens who borrow their parents' cars will only be covered for an accident if the auto insurance company is aware that the teen will be operating the vehicle, if any premium due for coverage is paid, and if the teen has explicit permission to drive the car.
Coverage for All Members of a Household
Car insurance companies often require policyholders to list all licensed drivers in the household. This is done so that the insurer knows of any other motorist who may have regular access to the insured vehicle. This will likely cause a premium increase since it means the carrier will actually be insuring more people than just the principal policyholders. In Missouri, for example, auto insurance policies are required to cover licensed family household members unless they are specifically excluded. This is the case with many other states as well.
If the teenager will be driving, the extra premium dollars could be well worth avoiding the cost of an uncovered accident, and the fact that your teen will be getting behind the wheel may be a good reason to increase coverage limits.
Teens who are included on their parents' auto insurance are covered only up to the limits purchased and stated on the parents' policies. If the child of a policyholder is a minor and causes injuries or damages that exceed the amount of the coverages bought, the parents could be responsible for paying the remaining money due to the other party, since minors are considered the responsibility of their guardians until they reach the legal age of adulthood.
Excluding Teens from Policies
Parents also have the option to exclude a child from a policy, but this means that there will be absolutely no protection if the teen were to be involved in a car accident, unless they had their own coverage.
Excluding a young driver may save money for teens and parents, but it also means that under no circumstance will the teenagers be insured to drive under the policy. If the teenager causes injuries or property damage, the legal guardians may be held accountable for the expenses resulting from an auto accident.
Another option that might be available to help offset the cost of insuring a youth would be to exclude them from a specific auto rather than the whole policy. If dad drives a high-performance car and mom drives a station wagon, excluding the child from coverages for dad's vehicle could lower the premium to a much more affordable level.
Possible Troubles with Adding a Teen to a Policy
A number of adults who are married with children are covered by auto insurance companies who specialize in preferred risk, which means that they aim to insure motorists who have a clean driving record and a lower chance of filing a claim. Unfortunately, these carriers don't target teens or look to provide car insurance for a 16 year old and are likely to charge a much higher rate to cover the children of policyholders.