Parents always worry about their children. When the children become teenagers, though, those worries are amplified significantly due to the fact that many will become drivers.
Parents won’t always be able to protect their children, of course, but they’re certainly going to do the best they can do to so at all times. One way that they do this when their teenagers start driving is by helping them obtain car insurance.
In Michigan, as in many other states around the country, teenagers are required to carry car insurance, even if they only have a learner’s permit. Many parents often wonder what type of insurance they are required to carry for their teenage drivers and what choices they have in the matter.
Below is a guide that will help parents of current and future teenagers understand what kind of insurance they should get for them.
Laws Surrounding Teen Drivers in Michigan
Michigan has what’s called a Graduated Driver Licensing System. It’s in place to teach teenagers how to drive properly by increasing their legal privileges to drive on a slow and methodical basis. This is done to reduce the number of accidents that occur that involve teen drivers.
In Michigan, teenagers are able to begin the first segment of the process of obtaining their driver’s license when they turn 14 years and eight months old. During this part of the process, they can receive classroom instruction, instruction behind the wheel and observation time in what’s known as a training vehicle.
Once they complete this level, the teenager is able to apply with the Secretary of State for their level one driver’s license. This allows them to drive as long as a parent or an adult who is at least 21 years old is in the car with them.
Following this, they need to log at least 50 hours of driving that’s supervised as well as six hours of instruction in the classroom. They’ll then receive a certificate that proves they completed this step.
After six months of having the certificate, teenagers can apply to take the state-administered test of their driving skills.
Their final level three license is obtained after six months following the certificate, if they’re at least 17 years of age and have gone 12 months in a row without a license suspension, accident, moving violation or any other violation of the restrictions of the graduated license program.
Laws Surrounding Insurance for Teenage Drivers
Each individual insurance company may have its own rules and regulations when it comes to adding teenagers to auto insurance policies. That’s why it’s always best to contact your insurance company directly early in the process to make sure you are up to speed on all the details.
That being said, most insurance companies will not require teens to be specifically named on a parent’s policy — or have their own policy — while they still have their learner’s permit. In most cases, they will be covered under the parents’ no-fault insurance policy coverage limits.
Once a teenager does receive his or her full license, they will need to either be a named driver on an existing auto insurance policy — if they’re driving a parent’s car — or be the named insured if they’re driving a separate vehicle.
Why Notification is Important
Parents might question why they have to notify their insurance company if their teenager isn’t required to be on the insurance policy when they only have their learner’s permit. The answer is quite simple, actually: If the insurance company doesn’t know about your teenager driver, their medical bills may not be covered if they get into an accident.
In addition, if your teenager driver was not at fault at all for the accident and they suffered a serious injury, they may lose the right to sue the other at-fault driver if the insurance company wasn’t made aware that they were driving beforehand.
This is why it’s much better for parents to talk with their insurance company in advance of their teenager getting behind the wheel — even if it’s only to do their required “behind the wheel” hours.
A common reason that parents hold off on notifying their insurance is the fear that their policy’s premium will rise substantially. This is a fear that’s rooted in some truth, as the average monthly premium for a 16-year-old driver in Michigan is $542, according to Wallet Hub.
That being said, the consequences for not doing so could be far more expensive than the increased premium.
In addition to the legal dangers listed above, parents could have their own auto insurance policy cancelled by their insurance company if they fail to notify them of their teenager driver.
Other Things to Consider
Another reason to contact your auto insurance company when your teenager begins driving is to discuss whether you have sufficient auto insurance for your family’s needs. It’s possible that before your teenager started driving, you were just fine with a lower level of car insurance.
Now that they are driving, though, you may decide that a higher level of coverage is necessary to protect you and your loved ones.
Work with a Trusted Auto Insurance Provider
Being a parent of a teenager is challenging enough. Figuring out what do to about car insurance once they get behind the wheel only adds to those challenges.
That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted auto insurance company that has your best interests in mind. At Signature Insurance, we have been providing excellent auto insurance coverage for teenage drivers and their families in Michigan for years.
Our team of experts helps walk you through everything you need to know about insuring your teenage driver on the road, as well as the options for how you can better protect your family in the most affordable way.
Contact us today to learn more about your car insurance options and to get a free quote.
Get insurance today!
At Signature Insurance we want to help you understand your insurance coverage options so you make the best decision.
Contact us at (586) 274-9600 and we’ll be happy to get quote for you from many of the top auto insurance companies or home insurance companies in Metro Detroit.