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Can your car insurance be raised just for having a teen in the house?


Question: If your teenager has no interest in driving, do you still have to add him to your policy and will the insurance company still raise your rates for having a teen in the household?

Answer:  State laws and car insurance companies’ guidelines vary; however, just having a teenager in your household doesn’t normally raise your car insurance rates.

That said, not being interested in driving and not being licensed are seen very differently by car insurance companies.

If your teenager is licensed but doesn’t drive much, then he would need to be listed on your car insurance policy as a licensed household member and rated. It may be possible, however, to exclude your teen from the policy so you wouldn’t have to pay for him at this time (if state laws and your insurer allow exclusions).

If someone is excluded from your car insurance but does drive your vehicle, there would be no insurance coverage extended. So, if your son did drive and have an accident in your car while excluded, you and your son would be left to pay personally for any damages he caused.

Now, if your teen has never been licensed, then usually you don’t have to add him as a driver on your policy, but it’s possible your car insurance company may still require that you list him as a household member.

Most car insurance carriers will request that you disclose all regular operators of your vehicle and all household residents of a certain age (usually 15 or older), whether licensed or not.

If your car insurance company requires that you list your teenager on the policy, but he hasn’t received a permit or license yet, he normally can be marked as unlicensed.

If your teen is unlicensed, he also should be unrated by the auto insurance company, meaning he wouldn't affect your auto insurance rates.

In states that allow insurers to exclude or not rate a person, excluded typically means the driver has or had a license, but the policyholder doesn’t want the person on the policy and doesn’t allow them to drive the insured car.

Unrated usually then means that the person has never been licensed, is disabled and can’t driver or in some cases, the person was licensed but turned in his license and is no longer driving.

Since rules vary, you need to speak to your car insurance company to see if your son must be listed at this time, even just to be excluded or left unrated until he does get the desire to drive.

When your teen does drive, your rates will rise, and that is a good time to do comparison shopping to find out if you can save money with a different car insurance company. See "What a teen driver does to your insurance."

More articles from Penny Gusner

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