How Do You Add Children to Your Auto Insurance Policy?
Last Updated on November 30, 2020
Adding children to your auto insurance policy is relatively easy. Contacting your auto insurance company and telling them you want to add your child to your policy will get the job done. However, there are several things to consider and do before taking the final step of adding them.
Determine Legal Responsibility
The first step in adding your child to your auto insurance policy is to determine your legal responsibility. The legal obligations will differ depending on the type of license your child has. If they have a learner’s permit, they will not need to be specifically added to your policy, but when your child gets an unrestricted license, they will need to be added to your policy.
Ensuring your policy covers the state minimum coverage is also a legal responsibility you have when adding your child to your auto insurance policy. New York’s state minimum coverage is liability coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage. This coverage is damage per accident.
Also part of the required state minimum coverage is $50,000 of personal injury protection and $25,000/party or $50,000/accident of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Determining your legal responsibility is the first step in adding your children to your auto insurance policy.
View a table of the current NYS auto insurance requirements below:
|Coverage Type||Minimum Amount Required|
|Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)||$25,000 per person in a single accident
$50,000 for all persons in a single accident
|Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Death Benefits||$50,000 per person killed in a single accident
$100,000 for all persons killed in a single accident
|Property Damage Liability (PDL)||$10,000 for a single accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP) / No-Fault Insurance||$50,000 for a single accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)||$25,000 per person
$50,000 for a single accident
Check with Auto Insurance Company
After you determine your legal responsibility, check with your auto insurance provider to see their process for adding your children to your auto insurance policy. If you don’t notify the insurer to add your child to your policy, your child could be left uninsured. If an accident occurs, he or she will be without coverage. Your insurer may also feel that you misrepresented or withheld information and, therefore, drop your coverage. You will also face penalties and fines from law enforcement.
Checking with your auto insurance company will also help you know if your insurance covers your child who has a learner’s permit. Usually, they would be protected because they are expected to have a licensed driver with them while driving. Some insurance companies will not cover drivers with learner’s permits, however, so checking with your insurance agency first is essential.
When to Add Your Children
When you are talking to your auto insurance company, you should talk to them about when to add your children to your policy. Numerous companies will expect you to add children when they become driving age, regardless of their driving status.
Having uninsured young drivers can be costly, so having a conversation with your insurance provider would be beneficial.
Prepare Yourself for Rate Increase
After you have determined your legal responsibility and talked with your insurance company, you should prepare yourself for the rate increase. Insuring young drivers is quite costly because teenage drivers are considered high risk. The good news is that New York has one of the lowest rate increases for teenage drivers in the country. Be prepared to see a rate increase of about 118%. Insurance companies do offer different ways to help reduce these costs, however.
There are various discounts offered by insurance companies for young drivers. These discounts include good driver, good student, defensive driving, low mileage, parent/child contract, safe vehicle, and family plan discounts. Check with your insurance agency to see if they offer young driver discounts.
Here are a few of the most popular insurance companies that offer discounts for teen drivers: GEICO, Erie, State Farm, Progressive, NYCM, and Allstate.
Another way to get a discount on rates is to keep track of your young drivers. This can be done with a telematics program. A telematics program is often a device provided by the insurance agency inserted into your vehicle that tells the company how the car is being driven. The most common telematics program is Progressive’s “Snapshot” program. The aspect of driving that the device records include speed, braking, engine revving, and other vital factors.
Adding Your Child to Your Policy
Once you have determined your legal responsibilities, checked with, and talked with your insurance company, and prepared yourself for the rate increase, it is time to add your child to your auto insurance policy. Adding him or her can be done in one of two ways.
First, you can call your insurance company or visit your insurance agent and simply tell them you want to add them to your policy. If you’re going to see about qualifying for discounts, be sure to bring whatever paperwork you will need. For example, if your child would qualify for a good student discount, be sure to bring a copy of a report card or transcript. You may also need a copy of their learner’s permit, junior license, or driver’s license.
The other way you can add your child to your insurance policy is to use the insurance company’s website and change your policy from there.
If this is your first time adding your child to your insurance, we suggest you call or visit the agent to ensure you have everything you need to help with an easy transition.
How Long Can They Stay on My Insurance?
Now that you have added your child to your insurance policy, a common question that arises is, “how long can my child stay on my insurance?” The answer is simple, as long as they live in the same house as you, they can be on your insurance. Once they get a place of their own, they will have to get their own insurance policy.
Many parents will allow their children to stay on their insurance until they purchase a car of their own. Keep in mind, it is often illegal for a child to enter into a contract on their own so getting their own insurance policy before they are 18 can be difficult.
Bottom Line on Adding Your Children to Car Insurance
You add your children to your auto insurance policy by contacting your insurance agent. This can be done through an agent, a call, or the website. Be prepared for a rate increase and even shop around a little before adding your child. There may be cheaper insurance out there than what you have. Need help getting quotes? Scroll to the top of the page, enter your zip code, and let us help you find the best insurance for you and your family.