Do you have to add your teenager to your car insurance in Michigan?

Michigan auto insurance laws for minors

Michigan law requires all drivers (including minors) that own any vehicle that is “driven or moved on a highway” must have a No-Fault auto insurance policy at the minimum levels of $20,000 per person for Bodily Injury, $40,000 per crash for Bodily Injury and $100, for Property damage. (MCL 500.3101(1); 500.3009(1)) This requirement applies whether the vehicle’s owner is a minor or an adult. Under Michigan law, a minor (“a person under the age of 18 years”) cannot purchase a motor vehicle “without the written consent” of a parent or guardian. (MCL 722.1(a); 750.421c)

If the minor is not the owner of the vehicle, then it will depend on whether the minor is driving on a permit or if the minor has a driver’s license. Read the section above to see what the general rule is, and then please double-check with your own car insurance company to make sure your company does not require anything different.

Insurance covers bad driving by teens

If your child is caught driving against his license type restrictions, such as with too many passengers or hours that he is not to be on the road, your car insurance is still intact. If your child receives a ticket for such an offense it may not be counted at all by your insurance company, or counted as a minor violation, which could possibly raise your rates based on your insurer’s surcharge schedule (their internal guidelines that is filed with the states of when to raise rates). 

If your teen was in an accident while driving against a restriction, it should be covered just as if you were in an accident due to breaking a traffic law, such as running a stop sign. That is the good news. Your child driving against restrictions and crashing would show him to be an even greater risk, and you could expect your already high car insurance rates to go up by 20% or more.

If your young driver gets too many tickets or is in too many accidents, then not only may your rates go up, but your car insurance company would likely not renew your policy. Shopping for a new car insurance company may actually help you save in premium costs since each insurer weighs violations, accidents and claims history, as well as age and experience, differently.


Should a teen get his own policy or go on a parent’s policy?

Putting a teen on his own policy is almost always more expensive than adding a teenager to car insurance that is already in place. You have discounts he can’t get, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy (if bundled with auto and home policies), longevity with carrier, homeowner and experience.

Also, if you think allowing your teen to buy his own car and policy will keep you out of being accountable for his actions, think again. When you sign for his license, most states assign you the responsibility for your child as a driver. For example, in Kentucky, the application for drivers under age 18 must be signed by a parent or guardian who agrees he/she is jointly liable with the applicant for any damages.

Can a 17-year-old get their own car insurance? This depends on what state you live in.

Depending on your state’s laws, those under the age of majority, between ages 18 and 21, cannot sign binding contracts. That means your teen will likely need a parent to sign with him on the paperwork to buy a car and a car insurance policy, which is a binding contract.

Insure’s Insight:

For example, in Kentucky, the application for drivers under age 18 must be signed by a parent or guardian who agrees he/she is jointly liable with the applicant for any damages.

Getting your teen his own policy is typically only a good idea if he has already racked up tickets or has been in accidents and is raising the rates on your family policy. Then, it may be time to get him an older car with just liability on his own policy.

How Do I Add My Teen to My Auto Insurance?

When seeking the lowest price on car insurance for a teen driver, start with your current insurance provider. Your insurance agent can suggest ways to reduce your costs while providing the coverage your new driver needs.

Once you know what type of coverage your current company recommends, shop around to see if you can get a lower rate. Be sure to compare the same type and amount of coverage and deductibles from one provider to another.

You can go online to research car insurance and get a quote, either from specific insurance company websites or from a site that compares coverage from several companies at once. An independent agent is another option. Independent agents sell insurance from a variety of insurance carriers, so they can help you compare multiple policies and offer expert advice on ways to save.

Before making a decision, gather quotes from a minimum of three insurance companies. If you find a company that offers a lower rate than your present insurer, don’t make a move until you weigh the cost of switching insurance companies against the savings. For example, if you’re currently bundling your home and auto insurance, you will lose your bundling discount unless you also move your homeowners insurance to the new provider. If your existing insurance company offers accident forgiveness, which usually requires going three to five years without an accident to take effect, you’ll have to start all over with a new provider.

Benefits of adding your child to your car insurance policy

Although you will probably see a premium increase when you add your child to your policy, there are benefits as well. Some common advantages to adding your child as a driver on your auto insurance policy are:

  • Lower premiums for your child: If your teen is 18 or older, they could purchase a policy in their name (assuming they own, lease or finance their own car). However, car insurance for 18-year-olds on their own is generally pretty expensive. If your teen lives with you and if your name is also on their vehicle, they’ll likely save money by staying on your policy.
  • Qualifying for new discounts: There are plenty of car insurance discounts available for teen drivers. You might be able to offset some of the cost of adding your teen driver by taking advantage of good student discounts, distant student discounts and teen driving programs.
  • Simplified policy management: Having your entire household on one policy could make it easier for you to make changes, pay bills and keep track of your insurance documents.
  • Gaining coverage for your teen: Adding your teen driver helps to provide coverage if an accident occurs. If your child is not listed as a driver on your policy but still drives one of your vehicles regularly, coverage could be denied after an accident.

Additionally, adding your teen to your car insurance policy could present a learning opportunity. You could teach your child about car insurance, explain why it is an important purchase and teach them how to pay bills.

Cost of Adding a Teen to Your Insurance

Adding a teenager to your auto insurance policy is very expensive. Your annual premium can easily double when a newly licensed 16-year-old joins the policy, though the cost varies by state and areas within states. Not all policies are the same, however, and the cost might be somewhat less if you don’t have full coverage – a package that includes $100,000 in liability coverage for others injured in an accident with a total payout capped at $300,000 per accident, $100,000 for damage you might cause to another’s property or vehicle and comprehensive to insure against damage to your car.

Though it might be tempting to buy a policy that covers less, it increases your risk if you are in a serious collision. Most state’s have a bare bones requirement and insurers will write policies for smaller amounts of coverage. If you own an older car that has lost much of its value through depreciation, you might consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage and taking the risk of repairing damage on yourself.

If your child routinely earns high grades, you might get a discount. Girls often cost slightly less than boys to insure. The cost usually will drop each time your child celebrates a birthday. But no matter how you cut it, insuring a teenager will greatly increase your auto insurance bill. For example, an analysis of California rates found that drivers pay an average $1,783 a year for full coverage and $5,660 when a teen is added to the policy.

Car Insurance and Accidents

Special Scenarios for Children on Car Insurance Policies

Insurance providers may offer insurance discounts specifically for teen drivers. Adding your 16-year-old to your own policy or getting a separate teen driving policy for them may come with a variety of discounts to lower your rates. These discounts may include driver training, safe driver, teen driver, good student, and student away at school discounts.

Driver Training Discount

Insurance companies may offer driver training discounts for drivers who pass defensive driving or driver’s education courses. Most states require drivers to pass a driver’s education course before they get their driver’s license, and if your teen takes a defensive driving course, you may qualify for a discount if your company provides it.

Safe Driver Discount

Insurers may offer discounts for safe driving. Policyholders whose households go a certain number of years without any violations, accidents, or major claims may qualify for a safe driver discount.

Insurers may also require you to install a telematics device in your car to ensure you are practicing safe driving habits, like wearing seat belts. Some insurance providers also offer an app that you can download to your smart device.

Teen Driver Discount

Some insurers, like Progressive, offer a discount when teens are added to the policy. Some conditions may apply, such as the number of years the parents’ policy has had continuous coverage.

Good Student Discount

Car insurance companies may reward your student’s good grades with a good student discount. Usually, insurers require your child to be a full-time student and maintain a B average. You can present your child’s report card or honor roll certificate to your company for a discount.

Student Away at School Discount

Student away at school discounts may apply if you meet the insurer’s requirements. Usually, the student must be under the age of 25 and go to college 100 miles from home. They must not bring the car with them to their campus but may drive the car on occasion, such as during their breaks.

Other Ways to Save

Other hacks that you can use to lower your car insurance premiums when it’s time to add your child to your car insurance policy include reducing the limits of liability on your car insurance policy and increasing your deductible. Make sure you meet your state’s minimum requirements when reducing your liability. You may also raise your deductible to lower your premiums.

What if the teen driver only has a learner’s permit?

Some car insurance companies will extend insurance coverage to your teen driver while they are driving with a learner’s permit under your supervision. Once they are issued their driver’s license, they will probably need to be added to your car insurance policy to continue coverage.

It’s best to communicate with your company as soon as your child is in a driver’s education course to see when they should be added to your policy.

What happens in the case of divorce?

If you and your spouse divorce, usually the partner who is not the first named insured may have 90 days from the time they leave the household of residence or until the end of the policy to remain covered. The parent with primary custody is usually responsible for maintaining your teen’s coverage, and if you have joint custody, both parents must have them on their policies.

When should your adult son or daughter get their own car insurance policy?

Once your child no longer lives at your residence and needs a car of their own, a separate policy will be required. As long as your child lives in your family home and drives one of the cars on their parents’ policy, it’s unnecessary to remove them from your policy. If possible, leaving them on a combined policy is the easiest way to find the most affordable car insurance.

Clarifying the decision

So when should a parent suggest to a son or daughter that the time has come for them to consider purchasing their own insurance policy? Obviously, this decision depends on many factors, including the child’s driving record, maturity and financial situation, in addition to the parents’ plans for their financial future.

In some cases, such as when a young driver moves to a state that has lower insurance premiums, this decision becomes easier. “My son moved to Texas after college, where car insurance is a lot cheaper than it is in New York,” says Hartwig. “He had a job and could afford his own insurance now.”

Ask an insurance agent

Hartwig further advises including an insurance agent in the conversation. “An agent has the risk and insurance expertise to assist with a talk on the different types of insurance coverages that exist in the market and the importance in shopping for insurance, comparing and contrasting the terms, conditions and costs of different policies,” he says.

Whether you decide it’s time for your child to get their own policy or keep them on yours, Nationwide offers reliable auto insurance coverage with plenty of discounts. Get a free quote today.

How to Add a Teen Driver to your Car Insurance

For parents, it’s important that your teen driver has the proper amount of car insurance coverage before they get behind the wheel. Luckily, adding them to your auto insurance policy is easy. It may also be cheaper than getting them a new policy of their own. Contact a GEICO agent when your teen gets their permit or driver’s license to get a quote for a new driver on your policy.

Compare the Best and Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes for Teenagers

Your car insurance policy’s premiums may change when you add just about anyone to your policy, but when it’s your child, the price increase and the stress of your child driving alone are a double whammy. To ensure that you have the best possible coverage at a price that fits your budget, shop around and compare quotes to find the best car insurance for your family.

Finding the right coverage to protect everyone in your household can feel like a steady climb up a steep hill. By using Insurify to compare quotes, you can breathe easily and feel confident that you are making the best effort and the best possible choice for your family’s needs at the right price. Find the cheapest car insurance quotes with Insurify and start saving today.

Non-owner Car Insurance

Non-owner car insurance is coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but use rental vehicles, ridesharing, and borrowed cars to get around. While it may be tempting to consider non-owner insurance for your teen, parents should be aware that insurance companies won’t write a policy for drivers with access to the family car.

When should your adult son or daughter get their own auto insurance policy?

There is not a required age for when your child has to get their own policy. As long as they are still living with you and you have insurable interest in the vehicle they drive, there is no certain age at which you must remove them from your car insurance policy. However, if your adult child no longer lives with you, they may have to get a separate policy, regardless of their age, unless they qualify for the distant student discount available with some providers.

Here are some other factors that might indicate it is time for your child to get their own policy:

  • They are married or have children of their own.
  • They are the sole owner of the vehicle they drive and do not live in your household.
  • They are financially independent.

If none of the above factors are in play yet, many insurance experts recommend keeping your teen or young adult on your policy. Laura Adams, an insurance expert, adds:

“The problem is, the cost of insurance owned by a teen driver is typically higher than if a teen gets added to a family policy. That’s because young drivers are deemed risky by insurers, and they don’t have as many opportunities to save as older drivers do. For instance, teens have a limited credit history, a short driving history and don’t qualify for typical discounts, such as loyalty, bundling and insuring multiple vehicles.”

How to get auto insurance for teens

New Progressive customers

The best teen car insurance means customized protection. Get a car insurance quote online or call 1-866-749-7436 and we’ll ask the right questions to get your teenager properly covered.

Current Progressive customers

Log in to your policy or call 1-866-749-7436 to add your teenage driver.