Learning to drive is an exciting time for teens but often a nerve-wracking experience for adults. While getting all the proper documents and training in order for your child to get a learner’s permit, it can be easy to overlook the details of your insurance policy. When your child has a learning permit, they’re required to have a supervising driver in the car. Does this mean you don’t have to change your insurance policy? Not necessarily. The decisions you make regarding your insurance policy may vary by provider and your personal choices.
Teen Driver’s Learning Permit in Massachusetts
Massachusetts operates on a graduated driving system. This means that your teen must go through a series of restricted license periods before receiving full driving privileges. While most states operate on a graduated system, the laws vary from state to state. For example, some states allow teens to begin driving at age 15 with a learner’s permit, while a driver must be 16 in Massachusetts. It’s important for new Massachusetts residents with teen drivers to learn the driving restrictions immediately. The laws may be more strict than the state where you previously resided. If your 16-year-old recently received her permit, she’ll have to drive under these restrictions in Massachusetts.
- Parents or guardians must complete two hours of driver’s education designed to teach proper supervision of new drivers.
- Teen drivers with a learning permit can only operate a passenger vehicle.
- Teen drivers with a learning permit must always be accompanied by a supervising driver who is over the age of 21 and has a valid license for at least 1 year. The supervising driver must ride in the passenger seat.
- Drivers must log 40 hours of supervised practice before applying for a junior operator’s license.
- All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.
- Teen drivers must hold a learner’s permit for 6 months without any driving infractions before applying for a junior operator’s license.
Insurance for Teen Drivers with a Learner’s Permit
No driver in Massachusetts can legally operate a vehicle without proper insurance. The minimum insurance requirement in Massachusetts is a liability policy that includes:
- Bodily injury protection of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection of $8,000 per person
- Property damage liability of at least $5,000
As an adult driver in Massachusetts, you likely already have this coverage on any vehicles owned by the members of your household. If your teen will be driving a car you already own, this coverage might not need to change. Teen drivers with a permit in Massachusetts aren’t required to get automobile insurance. However, you should never assume this means your child is automatically covered by your policy. When your teen gets his permit, it’s important to notify your insurance agent and discuss any potential changes you would like to consider for your policy. You may be required to list your teen as a driver of your vehicle, or she might need full coverage if she’s the titleholder for her own vehicle.
Insurance Changes to Consider When Your Teen Begins Driving
Experience behind the wheel is the best way to improve any driver’s ability. However, this takes time, which is one reason so many teens are involved in auto accidents. In 2016, 292,742 teenagers in the United States were treated for injuries that occurred in motor vehicle accidents.
Navigating your insurance needs while your family is growing can be difficult, which is why you need an insurance agent you can trust. An experienced insurance agent can help guide you through the process, and provide insurance coverage tailored to your needs. At LoPriore, our motto is insurance that fits your lifestyle. Get in touch for advice about your teen and an instant quote to help you start saving today.
While the state might not require you to make changes to your policy, there are a few changes you may want to consider when your teen gets his learner’s permit.
Adding Additional Coverage
Many teens don’t have their own vehicle when they get their learner’s permit. If you already have multiple cars in your driveway with proper insurance coverage, you may not have considered designating a specific vehicle for your teen. Allowing your teen to drive whatever vehicle is available might seem convenient, but it’s not always the best idea.
Minimum automobile coverage in Massachusetts requires your car to be covered by a liability policy. However, if you’re making payments on a vehicle, you may also be required to have a policy that includes comprehensive or collision insurance. Assigning the car with additional coverage to your teen would mean better coverage in the event of an accident. If you only carry the minimum coverage on all of your vehicles, you may want to choose one car for your teen to drive, and place additional coverage on that specific vehicle.
Adding Your Teen as a Driver on Your Policy
While state law doesn’t require you to add your teen to your policy, there are reasons why you might choose to do so. Insurance companies don’t all operate by the same rules. There might also be certain factors that require your permitted teen to have insurance.
Some insurance companies may require you to list your teen on your insurance as a precaution. Insurers may also have cheaper options for teens with a permit. This would allow your child to gain experience at a cheaper rate.
If your child owns his car, you might be required to list him as the primary driver of his automobile. This means your teen would have the same insurance requirements as a licensed driver. While you could wait to allow your teen to drive his own car, gaining experience under your supervision will allow him to get used to the car before driving alone.
While this option is more expensive, to begin with, it also offers your teen a chance to gain more experience. Insuring a teen driver is always potentially expensive. As she gains experience, her rates will go down. Listing your child on your policy immediately when he begins driving means his rates will drop sooner than a driver who waits to get coverage until acquiring a junior operator’s license.
Insuring your teen driver doesn’t depend entirely on the state requirements. If you have a teen driver who has recently started driving in Massachusetts, contact LoPriore Insurance Agency to learn more about your options for auto insurance coverage. Whether your teen has a learner’s permit or junior operator’s license, you may be interested in changing your coverage for better results.