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When Do My Kids Need Their Own Car Insurance Policy?

Young adult in a car

Eventually, the time comes for chicks to leave the nest. When children leave home, it often goes through several phases. Kids turn 18, graduate from high school, and may go off to college, but their parents are still providing support in many ways. At what age does a child need his or her own auto insurance policy? That depends on where your child is living and whether he or she is still your dependent.

How Long Can Children Stay On Their Parents’ Auto Insurance?

There is no set age or time limit dictating how long your child can remain on your car insurance. As long as he or she is a dependent, your child can remain on your policy. The requirements may vary from provider to provider, but, generally, the rules are:

  • Your child must reside at your home address, either full or part-time.
  • Your child must drive a vehicle you own.

A child going off to college may reside for the greater part of the year in a dorm, or a fraternity or sorority house, or share an apartment or house off-campus with other students. But your home is still your child’s permanent residence while he or she is attending college, and that qualifies your child to remain on your car insurance policy.

Benefits Of Having Your Child On Your Auto Insurance Policy

Putting your teen or young adult driver on your auto insurance policy is a wise move for several reasons:

  • It ensures that he or she has legally required coverage.
  • It protects your child and your property in case of a crash.
  • It can save you money, as your provider will likely give you a discount for adding another driver to your policy.
  • It gives you the ease of managing all your family’s auto insurance coverage in one policy.

If you allow your child to drive any of your vehicles, he or she will need to be covered under your insurance. All residents of a household who are operating the same vehicle must be covered under a single auto insurance policy. As long as your child is a permanent resident of your household and you own the vehicle, in order to to legally drive it, he or she will need to be listed as a driver on your insurance policy for that vehicle.

When Does Your Child Need Independent Auto Insurance Coverage?

  • If your son or daughter owns the title of the vehicle being driven, your insurance company may want him or her to purchase a separate policy.
  • When your child is no longer a resident of your household, he or she will need separate car insurance. This applies to permanent residency only, not to a temporary residence while your child is attending college.
  • If your daughter or son gets married, most auto insurance providers will require a separate policy. Insurance companies typically consider marriage as a separation from the family unit. Your child and son- or daughter-in-law can share a car insurance policy, but you will not be able to cover them under your policy.

If it is time for your child to purchase a separate auto insurance policy, we can help. We can assist you with the changes to your existing policy and help your child find the right car insurance coverage for the best available rates.