Ordinarily, when a teen receives his or her driver’s license, s/he will often be added to the parent’s car insurance policy. But what happens if a teen’s parents are divorced? Use this helpful advice when adding your teen to you and your former spouse’s car insurance policy.

Remember, parents must include new drivers or newly-added vehicles to their insurance policy within 30 days. If a teen car accident occurs, and you have not added your newly licensed driver to your policy, you may not be covered. Check with your car insurance company for more details.

About car insurance companies

Depending on your state, car insurance companies have various policies for adding new individuals to an existing insurance policy. For teenage drivers, most insurance companies consider where the teen spends most of his or her time when determining which parent will be the primary insurance carrier.

Adding a teen to a car insurance policy

Here are useful points to consider when adding your teenage driver to your car insurance policy.

  • Equal custody. For parents who share equal custody, both may need to add their teenage driver to their policies. However, if you have limited custody—for instance, summers only—ask your insurance company if you can arrange for car insurance to be active during that period only.
  • Avoid possible liabilities. Almost every state requires drivers to carry insurance, even teens and those with learning permits. For teens that may be included in your former spouses’ insurance, make sure you know the details of coverage. For instance, will your spouse’s insurance cover your teen if s/he is involved in a car accident while driving your car? Be sure you know the parameters of your spouse’s insurance coverage before you allow your teenager to drive your vehicle.

Establishing good driving habits for your teen driver

The benefit of establishing good driving habits means cheaper insurance in the future, but most importantly, it keeps your teen safe on the road. Remember, teenage car accidents are the leading cause of death for those between 16 to 19 years old, and per mile driven, teenagers are four times more likely to get into an automobile accident than more experienced motorists—these statistics according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Use these tips to instill safe driving habits today.

1.      No cell phone use while driving.

2.      Allow your teen to drive with other teen passengers only if you’re in the vehicle as well.

3.      Minimize freeway and/or highway driving.

4.      Encourage an “open communication” policy with your teen driver. If s/he ever feels unable to drive – no matter what the situation – invite him or her to call you at any time for a ride.

5.      Absolutely always require seat belt use!

San Diego teenage car accidents: maximize your insurance settlement

If your teen driver has been involved in a car accident, San Diego personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines can maximize your insurance settlement. Don’t speak to the insurance company until your speak to us—call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or email us now for a free and confidential legal evaluation.

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