by Amanda Prischak on May 1, 2017
ERIE requires new teen drivers to be added to a parent or guardian’s auto policy or take out their own policy once they get their license. If your teen driver only has a learner’s permit, he or she is automatically covered under your policy—so no need to touch base with your ERIE Agent just yet.
Add to my policy or get their own?
Deciding whether to add newly licensed drivers to your existing auto policy or have them take out their own policy comes down to the car they’re using.
If they’re using your car, they will be covered under your policy the same way you are. This means they get policy benefits like Feature 15, which never allows your policy to be surcharged for an at-fault accident after your auto policy has been in force for 15 years. The only things your teen driver won’t have are certain rights like the ability to modify deductibles and other coverages—those are reserved for the main policyholder.
You’ll want to take out a policy in your teen driver’s name if he or she holds the car title. If you buy your teen driver a car and you hold the title, you can still add the young driver to your policy. This is usually a less expensive option since your teen benefits from your driving record.
No matter how you choose to insure your teen driver, it’s important to do it as soon as he or she is licensed. Every driver in your house needs protection—and that’s especially true with inexperienced teen drivers. ERIE also aims to assess a fair and accurate premium based on all the drivers in your house, and that’s impossible to
do when drivers aren’t properly disclosed.
If a new teen driver isn’t added to a policy and gets in an accident, ERIE typically covers the claim. However, you may be charged back premium from the time when the teen driver became licensed and should have been added to the policy up to the present time.
Keeping costs in check
Teen drivers are typically more expensive to insure because they lack a solid driving record and get into more accidents on average than more experienced drivers. That said, there are a few ways to keep car premiums for new teen drivers under control.
• Choosing ERIE Rate Lock®: With this optional feature, your low, locked-in premium will never change—even if you submit a claim—until you add or remove a vehicle or driver, or change your primary residence.1
• Changing your deductibles: You can choose to have different collision and comprehensive deductibles for your teen driver than for yourself under the same policy. Choosing a higher deductible typically lowers the premium.
• Taking an accident prevention course: ERIE offers a discount to teen drivers who complete certain accident prevention programs. Many states only let insurers offer discounts for certain approved programs, so talk with your ERIE Agent before enrolling your teen in a course to make sure it’s discount eligible.
• Maintaining a clean driving record: ERIE has a youthful driver discount for teens who maintain a clean driving record and who meet a few other requirements. Your ERIE Agent can tell you more about it.
As a parent or guardian, you play a big role in helping your teen drive responsibly. Take the time to talk with your teen about the importance of driving safely and avoiding distracted driving.