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Car insurance for learner drivers

Car insurance for learner drivers

As a learner driver, it’s important to make sure you’re insured - even if it’s through someone else’s policy. Driving an uninsured vehicle is against the law, and there are serious consequences if you get into an accident. Did you know that your parents' car insurance policy can cover you?  Many comprehensive and third-party insurance packages cover learner drivers. 

You may find that adding yourself as a learner driver to a parent’s policy is easier than getting a new policy with a learner’s permit. You may only have to pay an additional age excess fee if you file a claim. To cover you, parents or guardians may have to pay a slightly higher premium. But, if you are the registered owner of the vehicle, you may need to be insured individually. 

Does my car insurance cover a learner driver?

If you are a car owner wanting to add a learner driver to your insurance, you can contact your insurance provider for specific details. Learner drivers are generally covered to drive your car under supervision and do not need to be listed separately on your insurance. Even if they aren't named, some insurance policies say they cover anyone driving your car. You may not need to include them if they are the registered owner of the car. 

What’s the cost of adding a learner driver to an insurance policy?

It is always worth checking if a learner driver is covered by your insurance policy before they drive. Many insurance companies can easily add a learner to your insurance for an additional fee. Adding a learner driver can cost anywhere between $500-700, depending on the policy. This is additional to the basic excess amount that has to be paid. A car insurance excess is an amount to be paid towards a claim for your vehicle's loss or damage. The cost of adding a learner driver to an insurance policy that already exists is often lower than applying for separate insurance. Getting a quote from your insurer for adding a learner to your policy can help you understand the level of coverage. You may also use comparison tools to understand rates from various insurers and then choose the one that you feel provides the best protection at the best price.

Insurance for learners who own their car

If you own your car as a learner and will be the primary supervised driver, you usually need your own policy. When learning to drive, car insurance costs may be lower if the vehicle is a low-priced, well-known brand known for its safety. It can also help persuade insurers to charge a reduced rate if the car is always stored in a secure area and is not prone to theft. You can also enrol in a defensive driving course, which may get you a discount from the insurance company. 

Accepting a greater excess might also reduce the cost of auto insurance. If you submit a claim for damages in a car accident, the bigger the excess, the cheaper the premium you'll pay. This may be in addition to your standard excess. There is an age excess if you are under the age of 25, regardless of whether or not you are a trainee driver.

A comprehensive policy offers the most coverage, including coverage for damage to your car as well as liability for damage to other people's property, including their own. If your car has a low market value, a Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire and Theft policy may be sufficient. It comes down to what works for you, but when it comes to insurance, it’s always worth shopping around and reading the fine print to check what’s covered. 

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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