Like all states, Texas requires that all drivers have liability coverage. If a driver still owes money on their vehicle, their lender will require that they purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. Drivers can also choose whether to buy other types of coverage.
If you have a teenage son or daughter who is about to get their driver’s license, you probably have questions about auto insurance. Are they automatically covered under your policy? Or, does your teen have to get their own policy? Do you as a parent have any choice when it comes to insuring your teen driver?
Parents Have Two Options
As a parent of a teen driver, you have two options when it comes to covering your son or daughter: 1) you can add your teen to your auto insurance policy, or 2) you can buy a separate insurance policy for your teen driver. Generally, it’s cheaper to simply add your son or daughter to your existing policy.
It is common for auto insurance companies to require policyholders to put everyone who lives in their household who is of driving age on their policy. You should contact your insurance company right away when your teenager gets their permit or turns 16.
Beware, if you don’t notify your insurance company about your teen driver and they find out later, after the fact, the insurance company will bill you for the premium amount that you should have and would have paid if you had notified them about it. And it gets more serious than that: you may find out that your insurance carrier denies a claim that you have or it may decide not to renew your policy because you withheld information about your teen driver.
“What about when my teen heads off to college?” Some insurance companies require parents to keep their college-age children on their policy, even if they’re away at college. If your child moves to another city for school, notify your insurance company. If your child is driving your vehicle while at school, the insurance company may change the rates since one of the factors that go into rates is where a vehicle is located most of the time.
On the other hand, if your child is living near or on campus and doesn’t have a car, the insurance company may be able to give you a discount. If your child is attending a college that’s not in Texas, our advice is to read up on the state laws to make sure you’re carrying enough liability coverage.