If your child gets a learners permit do you have to add them to your policy?

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If your child gets a learners permit do you have to add them to your policy?

Answer from a General Agent

Yes, A Drivers or Learners “Permit” is permission to drive and therefore a temporary license with certain restrictions. If your child is driving your vehicle then the child must have the coverage required by your states law. A Drivers Permit comes with all the responsibilities of anyone who operates a motor vehicle on public roads, including financial responsibility. When you purchased your auto policy, part of the language of the insuring contract requires that you notify the insurer within 30 days of any change in risk factors associated with your policy. Failure to add a new driver to your policy, especially a minor child, can consititute material misrepresentation of the risk assumed by your insurer when they issued your policy and can result in a denial of any coverage in the event of a loss.


It looks like there are two questions here, but really they fall under the same answer.

One, if your kid is excluded from driving one of your vehicles, it’s pretty much a “done deal.” By that, it means that anytime he drives one of your vehicles — even if it’s just to park the car — he would be excluded. Your insurance company wouldn’t pay for any damages he caused if he had an accident (though sometimes they will pay the damages to your own vehicle under your first-party coverage).

If he’s just gotten a learner’s permit, and you plan on letting him drive (even with you in the car), the exclusion would still apply. You can argue with your carrier until you’re blue in the face, but if the exclusion still exists, they won’t cover damages he causes while driving.

Your best bet: Remove the exclusion and, as your carrier suggests, add your kid on as an occasional driver. A lot of companies don’t even offer the “occasional driver” provision, so you’re probably going to save money that way. However, once your kid gets his actual license, and starts driving regularly, he needs to be added on as a regular driver.

Hope that answers your question. I couldn’t tell from your question, but it seems like your carrier is requiring your kid be added as an occasional driver because he’s gotten a learner’s permit. This is a reasonable expectation in my book, because your carrier would naturally expect the kid to drive with a learner’s permit.


In the state of California, this depends on your carrier. Many carriers require that the child be added as a driver as soon as he/she gets the permit. Others state that the child does not have to be added to the policy until he/she gets a license.


Don’t even think of calling Geico, they will automatically add your child to the policy and you HAVE to pay for it or sign an exclusion, just for asking.

As far as I understand, your insurance agency has to cover anything that happens while your child is driving and you are beside him/her.

Then, after he or she obtains his/her license, then go and make sure they are insured.

Good luck!


Your insurance contract likely has wording that says you have an obligation to report changes such as this. It is the same language that makes it mandatory to report accidents. A lot of companies dont start charging for the child until they get a regular or graduated license, however.

Posted by admin   @   29 November 2008 0 comments
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