Wondering how long can you stay on your parents’ car insurance policy? The short answer is: as long as you live with them. However, the short answer doesn’t explain the full picture.
This article will describe how auto insurance coverage works for dependents and offer advice on insurance for teens and young adults.
If you’re ready to get off your parents’ car insurance policy and start your own policy, the most important thing you can do is compare your options. Car insurance is a major purchase, and coverage isn’t always straightforward. We’ll make a few recommendations for the best car insurance companies below.
In this article:
- Overview About Staying On Your Parents’ Car Insurance
- How Long Can You Be On Your Parent's Auto Insurance Policy?
- Pros And Cons Of Staying On Your Parents’ Car Insurance
- How To Reduce Insurance Rates For Teens On Their Parents' Car Insurance
- Our Recommendations For Purchasing Your Own Car Insurance
- FAQ: Staying On Your Parents' Car Insurance
Overview About Staying On Your Parents’ Car Insurance
You don’t “stay on” your parent’s car insurance the same way you “stay on” their health insurance. Car insurance coverage is tied to vehicles and not individuals. Every policy has a named policyholder, but accidents are usually covered no matter who is driving.
Generally, everyone who drives a car with the owner’s permission is covered by the auto insurance policy registered to that vehicle. Insurance companies often require notification about who is living in the same household as the policyholder. All of these people are potential drivers. A child of driving age that is living at home is sure to be included in the policy, as are spouses and any other dependents.
How Long Can You Be On Your Parent's Auto Insurance Policy?
You can stay on your parents’ auto insurance plan indefinitely. There is no age cutoff, as long as you live at the same address. If you have your own car, that vehicle needs its own insurance policy or needs to be listed on your parents’ policy. The policyholder for any particular vehicle usually needs to be the person named on the title. This doesn’t matter if you are 16 and living at home or 26 and on your own.
College students who live at home during the summers or go to school full-time usually remain on their parents’ insurance policies. Kids are only ever “off” their parents’ policies after they leave the nest for good. If you move out or choose to no longer be included on your parents' car insurance policy, simply notify your insurance company.
If you are a parent, you may be able to exclude a child from your policy (and reduce your premium), by contacting your auto insurance company and assuring them that the child no longer lives with you. To do so, you might need to prove that your child has their own primary residence depending on their age.
Pros And Cons Of Staying On Your Parents’ Car Insurance
Individual policies for drivers under 25 years old can be very pricey. This is because these relatively new drivers looking for car insurance haven’t yet established a driving record. If you can, staying on your parents’ car insurance policy will help you save money.
Once a child has their own vehicle, they may need to have their own auto insurance policy.
Insurance will cover any accidents that may occur while the child is driving.
Premiums are higher when young drivers are named on policies.
|It is usually cheaper to have a child covered under a parent’s policy than it is to purchase the child an individual policy.|
How To Reduce Insurance Rates For Teens On Their Parents' Car Insurance
Teens are expensive to insure, especially teen boys. This is because teens, as a population, more often engage in reckless driving behavior. While they have faster reflexes than their adult counterparts, teens are less experienced and generally have poorer risk-assessment skills.
There are ways to reduce your teen's car insurance costs, and certain providers offer more discount options than others. If you have State Farm auto insurance, there’s a program called Steer Clear® that teaches teens safe driving practices and monitors driving behavior. It is available for drivers under 25 and will reduce insurance premiums for those that use it. Read more in our State Farm insurance review.
There are some discounts commonly available to teen drivers, like good student discounts, though availability varies among states and providers. Ask your provider if any of these options are available to you.
Good student discount
Students with good grades may be eligible for discounts. Geico offers premium reductions for students with a B average or higher.
Student away at school discount
Your car insurance company may offer a discount if your child is attending college. This discount applies during the months that your child lives away and doesn’t have access to your car.
Safe driving discount
Many providers have apps that monitor your driving and reduce rates for driving safely.
Low mileage discount
If your teen doesn’t drive often (say just to school and back), they may be eligible for a low mileage discount.
Ask your car insurance provider what other options you have for reducing premiums for teen drivers.
Our Recommendations For Purchasing Your Own Car Insurance
If you’ve decided you need to purchase your own insurance as a young driver, the best first step is to compare rates. Car insurance prices depend on many factors including your age and driving history, so the best company for one person isn’t the best company for everyone. Get started by using our quote comparison tool or calling (844) 246-8209.
#1 Geico Insurance: Best Overall
We recommend Geico auto insurance as a top choice for teenage drivers in our Geico auto insurance review. Geico has a long list of discounts that can apply to teens, including:
- Good student discount
- Good driver discount
- Air bag discount
- Seat belt use discount
- Defensive driving discount
- Membership discount
- Alumni discount
- DriveEasy app
Geico isn’t just inexpensive – it’s a full service provider offering many coverage options. You can purchase add-ons like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. Additionally, AM Best gives Geico a financial strength rating of A++, the highest possible score, so you know Geico can payout on claims. We rate Geico at 4.5 out of 5.0 stars and recommend it for anyone, not just teens.
#2 USAA Insurance: Best For Military
In our USAA auto insurance review, we found this provider to also be a good choice for teenagers that qualify. The insurer offers discounts such as:
- Good student discount
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Safe driving discount
- Driver training discount
USAA is only available to military service members and their families, so it may not be an option for you. If it is, we highly recommend it, as USAA has some of the lowest premiums and best customer satisfaction reviews. It’s the only provider that we give 5.0 stars. J.D. Power also rates USAA highly for claims servicing, and AM Best gives USAA an A++ for financial strength.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Read our other insurance articles:
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- Best New Car Warranty
- How Often Do You Pay Car Insurance?
- I Hit A Parked Car, Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?
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- N.Y. DMV Insurance Lapse