Is it a bad idea to not add a child to my auto insurance policy?

If you want lower auto insurance rates, it is not bad if your child isn't on your auto insurance. Adding a teenage driver will typically increase your rates, but you do not always need to add your child to your policy. If your children no longer live at home or have their own insurance policies, they can simply borrow your car if they come to visit without being named on your policy.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

Full Bio →

Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Can't-Miss Facts

  • Adding young, inexperienced drivers to your policy could increase your rates
  • Any person who regularly uses your car should be added to your policy
  • If your child does not drive or has their own insurance, they do not need to be added to your policy

Can someone drive my car if they are not on my insurance? If I want affordable auto insurance, is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance policy?

These are common questions parents ask when their children start to drive or college-age children come home to visit. While auto insurance rates for teenagers can be particularly expensive, it is better to be sure that everyone who is driving your car is insured.

Before adding your children to your auto policy, there are a few factors that you should consider. For example, if your child is away at college or has moved out, they may not need to be named on your policy.

Keep reading to learn more about if it is bad if your child isn’t on your auto insurance. Ready to buy auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code above to start comparing free auto insurance quotes for teen drivers on your policy today.

How much does it cost to add your child to your auto insurance policy?

If I want cheaper auto insurance rates, is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance? That depends on the age of your young driver and their driving record.

Unfortunately, adding a teenage driver typically means that your rates will go up. Younger, inexperienced drivers have a high chance of getting into an accident and, therefore, are more expensive to insure.

On the other hand, if your college graduate daughter who has never had an accident and has excellent credit were to move back home while she looks for work, you could see an improvement to your rates or only a minor increase.

How can drivers lower their auto insurance rates after adding children to their policy?

Drivers who add teen drivers or an older child with a bad driving history should always be on the lookout for the opportunity to ask about auto insurance discounts.

Students who have good grades can get a good student discount, and young drivers who complete a defensive driving course can qualify for safe driving discounts that help lower rates.

Take a look at this list of discounts available from several insurance companies and see how you could shave as much as 30% off of your insurance:

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company and Discount Amount
Discounts21st Century Discount AmountAAA Discount AmountAllstate Discount AmountAmerican Family Discount AmountAmeriprise Discount AmountAmica Discount AmountCountry Financial Discount AmountEsurance Discount AmountFarmers Discount AmountGeico Discount AmountLiberty Mutual Discount AmountMetLife Discount AmountNationwide Discount AmountProgressive Discount AmountSafe Auto Discount AmountSafeco Discount AmountState Farm Discount AmountThe General Discount AmountThe Hanover Discount AmountThe Hartford Discount AmountTravelers Discount AmountUSAA Discount Amount
Adaptive Cruise Control and/or Headlights----------5%--------3%--
Anti-lock Brakes--10%-3%5%-5%-5%5%5%5%-5%-5%8%5%3%--
Anti-Theft--10%-3%25%10%25%-25%20% off of comprehensive portion of policy.10% -- this discount factors in features such as VIN etching and vehicle recovery;
one anti-theft discount applies.
25%; combined with vehicle recovery discount.---15% discount off of comprehensive coverage; higher discount with "engine cut-off."8%; one total anti-theft discount applies; if vehicle recovery, a higher discount applies.5%3%--
Claim Free--35%----25%-26% for going five years without an accident.Awarded "accident free" on account for lower rating.20% if claim/violation free:
"Superior Driver"
3+ yrs=12%
5+ yrs 20%
save $50 each claim-free year up to $250 (off deductible).
10%-10% if you go six months without filing a claim;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
20% "Safeco Safety Rewards" if you have no at-fault accidents in the last 36 months,
no more than 1 point on your license, and
no DUI in the last ten years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
15%; must have State Farm for at least three consecutive years without an accident.-15%-23%; must be accident and violation free to get the "Safe Driver" discount listed below;
must be accident and violation free to qualify:
23% - 5 years
10% - 3 years;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
12%; "Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12%, depending on driving record;
12% is for being accident and violation free for five years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
Not available in HI.
Continuous Coverage-----3%-------No gaps or cancellations;
discount depends on how long you have been consistently insured.
10% for going six or more months with no more than a 30-day coverage gap.7% if you have been with Safeco or previous provider for one year or longer; five or more years gets you the highest discount.--10%; discount applies at each renewal.-15%-
Daytime Running Lights--2%------1%5%5%5%-5%---5%3%--
Defensive Driver5%-10%10%-5%5%10%--10%7%5%10%10%5%5%8%5%10%10%3%
Distant Student--35%---------10%--15%--5%3%7%-
Driver's Ed--10%--5%10%---10%10%-10%10%5%15%8%5%3%8%3%
Driving Device/App--20%40%---25%--30%15%40%20%-30%50%--10%30%5%
Early Signing--10%---10%10%---15%8%--8%----10%12%
Electronic Stability Control--2%--5%----5%-----------
Emergency Deployment---------25%------------
Engaged Couple------10%---------------
Family Legacy-----5%---------------10%
Family Plan------25%-----25%------5%--
Farm Vehicle--10%-------------------
Fast 5-------5%--------------
Federal Employee---------8%10%-----------
Forward Collision Warning-----8%----5%--------3%--
Full Payment--10%--4%-10%--$5---5%15%-8%15%20%7.5%-
Further Education-------15%--10%-15%---------
Good Credit------------"Financial Stability"
gets you a lower rate. You must also have stable residence.
Good Student--20%--10%25%10%-15%22.5%15%10%-10%15%25%8%5%3%8%3%
Green Vehicle--10%-----5%-10%--------3%10%-
Lane Departure Warning-------------Safety features get automatic discounts applied when VIN entered in system. --------
Low Mileage-----10%-15%-------20%30%-----
Military Garaging---------------------15%
Multiple Drivers-------------------5%--
Multiple Policies--10%--15%25%--10%20%10%10%12%-15%17%15%10%20%13%-
Multiple Vehicles-----15%15%--25%10%-20%10%15%15%20%15%5%5%8%-
New Address----------5%-----------
New Customer/New Plan-----------10%--10%-------
New Graduate----------5%-----------
Newer Vehicle--30%---10%---------40%--3%10%12%
Newly Licensed----------5%-----------
Occasional Operator---------------------Discount based on operator's individual driving record.
On Time Payments--5%-----------------15%-
Online Shopper-------11%-----7%--------
Paperless Documents- -10%--2%------5%$50-`-------
Paperless/Auto Billing-5%--2%-----25%$30-$410%$28%2%$53%3%
Passive Restraint--30%30%3%30%-33%-40%-5%20%-5%2%40%8%5%3%--
Recent Retiree----------4%--------3%--
Roadside Assistance-------5%--------------
Safe Driver--45%--15%-40%15%-12%35%31%10%20%15%---23%12%
Seat Belt Use---------15%------------
Senior Driver--10%--------10%-----5%5%---
Stable Residence-------------------5%--
Students and Alumni-------15%--10%-7%---------
Switching Provider-------5%--10%10%--10%--5%5%---
Utility Vehicle--15%-------------------
Vehicle Recovery--10%-5%10%-25%-25%35%10%25%---5%8%-3%--
VIN Etching----------5%10%----------
Young Driver------10%--------------$75

Compare RatesStart Now →

Of course, if you think your rates are still too high even after having every applicable discount applied to your policy, you may want to consider shopping online for new auto insurance.

Before you ask, “If I get auto insurance quotes, is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance?” remember — you only need to add drivers to your policy if they are licensed and regularly use your vehicle.

So if you have a child in college several states over who doesn’t drive a car, you won’t have to share their information on any quotes you fill out online.

Of course, if you like your insurance company, you could always help your child find inexpensive insurance for themselves like pay-per-mile insurance, as long as they are not a minor.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I want to buy auto insurance, is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance?

If you have young drivers at home, you may find yourself asking, “If I want to find a new auto insurance company, is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance?” The answer to that depends on a lot of personal factors.

If your child is still under eighteen years old, they will be unable to purchase their own insurance policy and must be added to yours if they have a license and drive your car.

However, when you have a child who doesn’t live at home anymore, you can start looking for new insurance without naming them as a driver on your policy. Further, auto insurance for a child not living at home is not necessary if your child doesn’t drive or has their own auto insurance policy.

Can your son drive your car if he is not insured? Not legally. If he does not have his own insurance or he is not named on your policy, then he cannot legally drive your car. If he has his own insurance coverage or a non-owner policy, then he can still drive your vehicle from time to time.

For example, if your son comes to visit for a holiday, he can borrow your car as long as he has insurance. Your insurance will protect your vehicle through the permissive use clause.

Before you add all of your offspring to your insurance, you should review who actually needs to be listed on your policy because, depending on their driving record and other factors, adding young people to your policy could increase your rates.

Is it a bad idea if my child isn’t on my auto insurance?

It is best to add a child to your insurance if they have a license and regularly drive your car. If they live far from home and don’t drive, you do not need to add them to your insurance.

Adding extra drivers, especially young ones, can be expensive, but it is in everyone’s best interest to have them on your policy if needed so that you know your family is protected at all times.

Is it bad if my child isn’t on my auto insurance? Find out here. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing free auto insurance quotes for multiple drivers from companies in your neighborhood.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption