If your child has just passed their driver knowledge test, driving test or hazard perception test, you’ll want to make sure that they’re insured to drive your (or their) car to avoid having to spend a fortune on repair costs if they get into an accident. Car insurance for L and P platers is usually more expensive than it is for fully licensed drivers, so it’s important to compare different car insurance policies to find one that works best for you and your child.
Adding a teen to your policy
The easiest and most affordable way to insure your child is to list them as an additional driver on your existing policy. Given that your child is driving the same car as you, it should be easy to get your insurer to add them to your policy. Just give your insurance provider a quick call to arrange it. Not listing your child on your policy in order to keep premiums down could end up costing you an additional undeclared driver excess fee if your son or daughter gets into an accident.
If your L or P plater will be driving a different car, setting up a new policy is the best option. If you’re considering either changing your existing policy or setting up a new one for your child, it’s important to consider what car insurance features are most important to you. For instance, you might want to make sure any accessories are automatically covered or that the taxi fare to get you home after an accident will be paid for.
What you need to know about excesses
A basic excess will always apply when you make a claim, regardless of whether you or your child are driving. For learner drivers, there will often be a learner driver excess. For both L and P platers, there is a young driver excess for those under 25 and an inexperienced driver excess for those over 25 who don’t yet have their full license.
What affects your premium?
Other than being an L or P plater, general factors will also affect the cost of your car insurance. The excess you choose for your policy will have a big affect on your premiums. The higher the excess, the cheaper your premiums will be. You can also opt for an optional excess, which will also lower your premiums. However, you have to make sure you can afford to pay these excesses if an accident occurs.
Similarly, the sum you choose to insure your car for should strike the right balance. If the amount is too high, you’ll be paying more than you have to. If the sum is too low, you won’t be completely covered in the event of a write-off.
Your address, the risk of theft, the model and age of your car, modifications as well as how secure your car is will also affect your premiums. Consider parking your car in a locked garage rather than on the street, installing a steering wheel immobiliser or using microdot technology. Some insurers will reward these efforts to keep your car secure by lowering your premiums. It’s also probably not the best idea to let your young and excited teen buy a decked-out sports car with a bunch of modifications (even if it’s used) until they’re paying for their own insurance.
Having your newly-driving child behind the wheel doesn’t have to be scary. Once you’ve considered your car insurance options, your L or P plater will be safe and on the road in no time.
Richard Laycock is an Insurance Expert at finder.com.au.