When should I add my newly licensed teen driver to my Auto Insurance policy?

Having a new teen driver in the house is an exciting time—another driver to run errands or pick up siblings is handy for parents. And the new-found freedom for teens cannot be denied. The first question many of our clients ask is when do I add my teenager to our Auto Insurance policy. The short answer is once they obtain their Probationary Driver’s License. But here are a few tips during this transitional time.

Your teen can be issued a Learner’s Permit at 15 years old if he or she is enrolled in a driver’s education course. At 16, he or she can apply for a learner’s permit without being enrolled in a driver’s education course. We recommend making a copy or snapping a picture of the Learner’s Permit once it is issued. This document uses what will become your child’s Indiana Driver’s License Number (DLN) which is a main component of adding him or her to your policy.

Once your teen has successfully completed an approved driver education program, and is 16-years and 90-days-old, he or she may obtain a Probationary Driver’s License. If your teen did not complete an approved driver education program, he or she must be at least 16-years and 270-days-old (approximately 16 years and nine months) to obtain a probationary driver’s license, if he or she otherwise qualifies.

Once that exciting day arrives and your student has his or her Probationary Driver’s License, call us at St. Joseph Agency at 317-564-4949 with the DLN number and we can add your student to your policy. We will also need the student’s birthdate and identify which car he or she will be driving. At that point, you have a licensed and insured driver in your home!

Do I need an Umbrella?

Imagine your son or daughter’s friends enjoying a pick-up basketball game in your backyard when the old, rusted goal becomes unhinged, drops on a player and injures him or her.

Or, you are in an at-fault auto accident where the other individual is injured.

If any of these injuries far exceed the base limits of your auto or homeowner’s policy, an umbrella policy can cover the claim made against you on behalf of the wronged party. First, your insurance may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement amount exceeds your coverage limits, your umbrella policy will pay once your basic liability limits have been exhausted. It can also protect you from bodily injury liability claims and property damage liability claims. In addition, Umbrella policies provide a broader form of coverage and can help cover legal fees, false arrest, libel and slander. Umbrella insurance can come into play if you are found liable and need to pay damages, or if you are sued and need to pay for your legal defense.

An umbrella policy also helps you protect your assets. Your car, house, investments and retirement accounts, as well as your normal checking and savings accounts and even future income, are all considered assets. If you are sued for a large amount of money and do not have enough liability insurance or an umbrella policy to cover those costs, your assets can be exposed.

People typically choose to buy an umbrella policy because they want to prevent the possibility of financial ruin due to one misstep or unforeseen accident. Coverage for an umbrella policy typically starts in the range of $150-$200 for a $1 million policy.