Driving a car is a dream for many young people. That is why when they finally get a driver’s license, teens get very excited. But without their own wheels, what happens? They usually take their parents’ car for a spin instead. This is all well and good, for the most part. After all, we all remember the feeling of that first solo drive without mum or dad telling us what to do. For parents of new drivers, however, this can also be stressful. Teens and new drivers have a higher risk of getting in an accident. And if you do not know your child’s coverage, that can be even more stressful. On the other hand, if you learn the scope of your coverage, you can let your child go with peace of mind.
Do I Have to Add My Child to My Car Insurance?
Does your child have a driver’s license? Do they live in your household? If you answered “yes” to both these questions, then your child should be on your policy. It is important that you declare this to your insurer. This also applies to other drivers in your household. For example, if your spouse drives, they must be on your policy too. This is because insurance companies like to know all the possible drivers of a car. The number of drivers increases the risk of getting in an accident. Other members of your household may rarely drive your car, but it still puts your car at risk.
What happens if your child and spouse have cars of their own? You must still declare them for your policy. Because you live under one roof, the possibility of them borrowing your car is always there. They must include you in their own insurance too. On the other hand, you can sign a driver exclusion form to exclude them from your car insurance. Fewer drivers mean lower premiums. However, this means that whenever they use your car, your insurance is not in effect.
Can My Child Drive My Car If They Are Not Insured?
Anyone can drive your car, but there are different consequences depending on the driver. Let us look at different scenarios. Let us say your child has no insurance, does not live with you, but borrows your car for a day. In this instance, they have your insurance coverage. This is because when you lend your car, you are also lending your car insurance. If in that time they get in an accident, however, your premium can increase.
Another scenario is if your child borrows your car and lives in the same house. If you signed a driver exclusion form, then it is illegal for them to drive your car at all. This is because when they drive, your insurance does not apply anymore. In other words, when they drive, your car does not have coverage. Of course, it may still be tempting to let them drive anyway. Just remember that in an accident, you may end up paying for everything and your child may be sued. Whether these risks are worth the risk, is up to you.
Can Someone Else Drive My Car Under My Insurance?
There is always some confusion about whether car insurance is for the driver or for the car. Technically, car insurance is for the car. As such, even with your own car insurance, if you drive an uninsured vehicle, then you may not have coverage. Likewise, if somebody with no insurance drives your insured car, then they have coverage. This is applicable to people who do not live with you. Because they will only borrow your car for a few hours at most, there is no additional risk.
People who live with you can also drive your car. This time, though, there are consequences. Drivers in your household must be named in your policy. This is because insurance companies assume that they will borrow your car from time to time. The more they drive your car, the higher the risks. Therefore, insurers also increase your premium. If you do not want your premium affected, you can opt to exclude these drivers from your policy.
What Happens If Someone Gets In An Accident In My Car?
Two things can happen if your child gets in an accident in your car. If they have coverage under your insurance, then there is nothing to worry about. The insurance company then takes care of the rest. You may have to shell out for your deductibles, but that is that. However, if you excluded them from your coverage, it is a whole other story. If your child is found at fault, you may have to shoulder all costs. This means you have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket. In addition, your child can face legal action against them.
On the other hand, maybe your child does not live with you. Maybe they just borrowed your car while they were visiting. If this is the case and they get in an accident, you should have nothing to worry about as well. Your insurance coverage stays intact even when you drive. This is because they are technically also borrowing your car insurance. There may still be some consequences when this happens, of course. If you make a claim after this accident, then your premium will also rise when you renew. The same goes for other short-time borrowers of your car.
When it comes to children, safety is a top priority. This is why it is best to include them in your insurance once they get their driver’s license and they live with you. This way, they have full coverage every time they use your car. This may result in higher premiums, but it is worth it just for the peace of mind. To include them in your insurance, simply tell your insurance broker about your child. The insurance broker can make the adjustments from there.
If you do not declare your child or exclude them from your policy, they may be at risk. It is important to note that your car insurance does not extend to your child in these situations. As such, they have no protection if they get in an accident. Not only will you be responsible for fixing all the damages, but your child can also be sued.