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life changes and teen driver insurance

As any experienced driver can tell you, major life changes have a tendency to change your insurance too. Find out how in our answers to these frequently asked questions.

Getting your own car insurance policy

The young driver goes to college

Getting your own car insurance policy

I just turned 16 and bought my first car, and my mom told me to get my own car insurance. Can I do that even though I'm not 18?

That depends on your state's regulations and the insurance company's standards. Many car insurance companies, including Esurance, will sell car insurance policies to licensed minors — but only if your state allows minors to be the sole owner of a car.

However, because teen drivers lack experience behind the wheel, car insurance policies for brand-new drivers tend to be quite costly. It's worth shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes to get the right coverage at the right price.

If your mom changes her mind and wants to add you to her policy, you might want to mention the discounts she could grab (Multi-Car discount!) by adding you.

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My parents plan to kick me off their policy when I graduate college. How can I get a new policy? Will the change affect my rate?

Getting a new car insurance policy for yourself is easy and takes just a few minutes. And when you get a quote from Esurance, you'll be able to see comparison quotes from other leading car insurance companies, too.

When you get your new policy, your rate may be affected since you probably won't qualify for the same discounts your parents do. If your parents own a home, insure multiple vehicles with the same company, and haven't filed a claim for several years, they're getting discounts for all those things. And without those discounts, you're likely to pay more.

Additionally, if you allow your coverage to lapse, you'll most likely have to pay an increased rate down the road. Car insurance companies consider drivers who allow their coverage to lapse a higher risk and price policies accordingly. So try to avoid going even a single day without coverage.

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The young driver goes to college

My son goes to school in another state and does not have a car. Do I have to keep him on my policy?

No. But keep in mind that his future car insurance rates will probably be higher due to the lapse in coverage.

If he comes home for a visit and you're an Esurance policyholder, your Esurance car insurance coverage will cover him for up to 30 days (as long as you give him permission to drive your vehicle). Note that in some states the coverage extended will be limited. If he's staying for the summer, you'll need to add him to your policy temporarily.

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My son/daughter is taking a car with him/her to college. Can I keep him/her on my policy?

Absolutely. Esurance allows policyholders to list full-time college students and their vehicles, even if your bright young scholar is studying in another state. If you're insured with another provider, contact an agent for more info.

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My daughter is home from college for a week. Is she covered if she drives my car but is not on my policy?

It all depends on your policy. Many car insurance policies cover listed drivers and others who have your permission to drive your car. You'll want to check your policy's stipulations before letting her get behind the wheel. If your policy doesn't extend to her and you want her covered to drive your car while she's visiting, call your car insurance company to have her added temporarily.

Esurance policyholders can rest easy: Your daughter will enjoy your coverage when driving your car while she's visiting for up to 30 days.

In some cases, your policy will provide less coverage to unlisted but permitted drivers. States where "permissive drivers" (the actuarial term for people you let drive your car) enjoy reduced coverage include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
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Have another question? Whether you're wondering about how to save on car insurance or are off to college, Esurance experts will be happy to answer all your questions. Just send us an email, ask us on our Facebook Wall, or give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).

This page is intended to provide you with general information about young driver insurance, and to help you understand the various kinds of coverage. It does not describe or refer to any specific policy or coverage. For information about your particular coverages, we encourage you to read your policy contract and consult your insurance representative with any questions.

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