There is nothing more exciting in the life of a teenager then getting behind the wheel for the first time to try out their learner’s permit. As a parent, however, there is no greater time of anxiety. As a parent or guardian, you want to protect your child and make sure they are safe. Sometimes, in all that worry, parents forget about protecting themselves.
Sure, while you are still in the car and somewhat in control while your teen is learning to drive, the wheel is in their hands, even if you are riding along as the voice of reason. Teenagers simply don’t have the experience or the attention to detail that adults do, which can make them slightly more impulsive and less focused. This can lead to some poor decisions or mistakes that are made because of a lack of experience.
Teenagers Are High-Risk Drivers
If you have a teen driver, insuring them can be expensive. A high risk to the insurance company, teen drivers are usually insured at higher rates because insurance carriers know there is a higher chance of teens being in an accident. If your teen is behind the wheel with either their license or their learner’s permit, they generally have to have insurance of their own even though they are still learning.
If you are going to let your teen drive your car or if they live with you, they have to be specifically named on your driver’s insurance policy. Otherwise, it can lead to your financial ruin if they are in an accident and found to be at fault. If you don’t specifically add your teen to your insurance policy, then the insurance company may deny your claim, which can cause serious trouble if they are found to be at fault for an accident.
Missouri is a comparative at-fault state, which means that one party can be solely responsible for an accident or that multiple drivers are found negligent and share the blame. Whoever is found negligent in an accident is liable for paying for any resulting injuries and damages. If this is a minor that you are responsible for, that liability will fall to you.
Cover Yourself by Covering Them
While you hope your teen will be safe and it is entirely possible that they will become a mature driver without ever having an accident, there is always the possibility of something happening. So before you hand over your keys, even if you intend to sit in the passenger’s seat, you have to have your teenager added to your car insurance.