When should I add a youthful driver to my insurance?
Throughout the lifetime of raising children we as parents worry about the safety and protection of our children. No matter how old they are we worry. They are as vulnerable as babies and we monitor their every move.
When they begin walking we watch anxiously so they do not take a bad fall. When they begin to ride a bike, start playing sports, spend overnights with friends, we as parents worry. One of the biggest worry for us is when our teenager (no longer a child now) starts driving.
The question we want to address here is when should you add your new driver to your insurance policy?
It makes sense to begin looking at this process before your teen turns 16. Give your trusted advisor a call to let them know that your teen will be getting a license soon. You will want to discuss the cost of adding your teen driver, which car they will be driving, how they will be using the car, and get some information and tips regarding discounts for teen drivers to keep your insurance costs as low as possible.
Most insurance companies will not make a charge for a teen driver during the learner’s permit stage. However they will want to know you have a teen driver. You will want to let your agent know when your teen has obtained their intermediate license to make sure you and they are properly protected.
The following is a summary of Kentucky’s Licensing & State Laws that describe the stages of licensing.
Licensing & State Laws
Kentucky’s multi-stage licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The learner’s permit and intermediate stages are key steps.
At age 16, teens can apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Kentucky. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office with a Social Security card, school attendance form and state-certified copy of the teen’s birth certificate. Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive a learner’s permit.
With a learner’s permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 60 hours, including 10 hours at night, with a parent or a legal guardian, before they’re allowed an intermediate permit.
When teens turn 16 ½, have had a learner’s permit for at least 180 days and have completed 60 hours of practice driving, they can apply for this intermediate permit. Teens must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test and provide proof of having completed the practice driving time on a form signed and dated by a legal guardian.
Teens with intermediate licenses are allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. (Exceptions are granted for school, work and emergencies.) They are also prohibited from driving with more than one non-family member passenger under age 20, unless an adult with a valid license is seated next to them in the vehicle.
Intermediate license holders who are convicted of a moving violation will have to restart the 180-day learner’s permit holding period before regaining their intermediate license. This is the point where you should add your teen to your insurance policy.
At age 17 teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license if they have held an intermediate license for at least six months and have taken a certified driver education course (there are several options offered by the state, community colleges, vocational schools, private driver training schools and more).
Without driver education, teens can get an unrestricted license at age 18. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However parents often find it best to maintain their own rules.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.