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Car insurance for learner’s permit drivers
Learn how your teen can qualify for cheap learner’s insurance when they’re ready to start driving.
It’s a rite of passage: Your child has passed their exam for a learner’s permit and is now ready to get behind the wheel. Find out how you can help them qualify for cheap learner’s insurance and compare providers to make sure they don’t get stuck paying higher rates than they have to.
What is a learner’s permit?
A learner’s permit allows your teenager to practice driving with a licensed driver in the vehicle. There are usually certain rules and restrictions that learners need to follow that don’t apply to fully licensed drivers. For example, learner’s permit drivers in BC can only drive with a licensed driver over the age of 25 and they mustn’t carry more than two passengers at one time.
In most provinces, there’s a probationary period that your teen will have to go through to obtain a full driver’s licence. It’s important to review the rules for your province before your teen starts driving to avoid voiding your car insurance for learner’s permit drivers. You should also be sure to alert your car insurance provider when your teen starts driving your vehicle.
How can I get car insurance for a learner’s permit driver?
You can get car insurance for learner’s permit drivers in one of two ways.
- Add a new driver to your policy. You can usually get cheap learner’s insurance if you add a student driver to your existing car insurance. Depending on your provider, your insurance may not even change if you list a driver with a learner’s permit on your policy.
- Standalone policies. Your teen can also sign up for a standalone car insurance policy if they have a learner’s licence and meet all the learner’s insurance rules for your province of residence. Just keep in mind that they’ll typically pay more to go this route and they won’t be able to drive without a licensed companion.
No matter which type of car insurance for learner’s permit drivers you choose, make sure to read your policy carefully. It will contain important information about your coverage, as well as any exclusions that may apply.
What kind of car insurance do new drivers need?
Car insurance covers drivers with learner’s permits just like anyone else, so you don’t need special coverage. Instead, you’ll want to decide on the type of coverage you want:
- Third-party liability coverage. Protects your teen from legal action in the event that they damage another vehicle or injure someone in a collision.
- Collision coverage. Pays to repair or replace your own vehicle if your teen gets into an accident that’s deemed to be their fault.
- Property damage liability. Covers damages to someone else’s property in an at-fault accident (such as if your teen hits a fence or a parked car).
- Comprehensive coverage. Gives you money to replace or repair your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged due to vandalism or weather events.
- Accident benefits/bodily insurance. Provides a cash settlement to cover your healthcare expenses after an accident (such as medical care or lost income).
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Covers the cost of repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver damages your vehicle.
- Roadside assistance. Offers free towing and emergency assistance if your car breaks down or you lock yourself out.
- All perils coverage. Includes coverage for most types of damage that can happen to your vehicle (including from accidents, vandalism or weather events).
Compare free car insurance quotes online
How much is car insurance for a teen driver?
Getting car Insurance for learner’s permit drivers can be expensive if you look for a standalone policy. You’ll typically get cheap learner’s insurance if you add your teen onto a family plan and shop around for discounts. Your insurance will also vary by other factors such as which province you live in and how old the learner being insured is.
How much would a standalone policy cost?
To give you an idea of how much you may have to spend on car insurance for learner’s permit drivers, we’ve outlined the average rates for a young male driver living in Ontario below. Keep in mind that Ontario has one of the highest insurance rates in Canada so you may qualify for lower rates if you live in other provinces.
|Age||Average annual rate|
As you can see from this example, you may be able to get cheaper learner’s insurance as you get older. That said, your overall costs will really depend on a number of personal factors such as your gender, car type, driving record, what type of coverage you want and the size of your deductible. The amount you pay may also vary depending on your province.
How to save on car insurance for learner’s permit drivers
You may be able to get cheap learner’s insurance for your teen if you follow these steps:
- Compare several policies. You should aim to compare a couple of providers to get cheap learner’s insurance. That said, if your teen is joining your policy, it will likely make sense to stay with the same provider.
- Avoid standalone policies. Even if you could find an insurance company that offers standalone car insurance for learner’s permit drivers, it’s often cheaper to simply add your teen to your current policy.
- Choose a higher deductible.You may be able to get cheap learner’s insurance if you sign on to pay a higher deductible while your teen is using your vehicle to learn to drive.
- Drive less. If you’re not a frequent driver or your new driver will only be driving occasionally, look into insurers that specialize in low-mileage or pay-as-you-drive policies.
- Ask for discounts. Ask your current car insurance provider how you can get cheap learner’s insurance for your teen. Chances are your child could qualify for discounts if they’re a student or have taken a defensive driving course.
Discounts on car insurance for learner’s permit drivers
You may be able to qualify for cheap learner’s insurance if you tap into the following discounts on car insurance for learner’s permit drivers (which vary by provider).
- Student discounts. Your teen may be able to get cheap learner’s insurance if they’re a student and maintain good grades.
- Online policy discounts. You and your teen may get discounts if you sign up for an insurance policy with an online provider.
- Bundling or multi-vehicle discounts. You could lower your insurance by bundling your car insurance with your home or life insurance.
- Safety features discount. You may save money if you install special safety features or anti-theft mechanisms in your vehicle prior to insuring your teen.
- Safe driving habit discounts. Your teen can download an app to track their safe driving habits or take a defensive driving course to save money.
What requirements will my teen need to meet to get a driver’s licence?
Your child will typically need to log a specific number of driving hours with a learner’s permit before graduating to an intermediate or full licence.
- Learner’s permit. Your teen will need to complete a written test to get their learner’s permit. They may also have to have an eye exam in order to qualify in some provinces.
- Provisional licence. Your child will have to do a road test to qualify for a provisional licence. This will grant them different privileges based on which province you live in.
- Full licence. Once your teen has had their provisional licence for a couple of years, they can usually request an upgrade to a full licence. Depending on which province you live in, this could require another road test.
When can a learning driver upgrade to a full license?
|Province or territory||Learner’s permit||Restricted license||Full license|
|British Columbia||16||12 months later||24 months later, or 18 months with a ICBC-approved driver training course|
|Alberta||14||16, and at least 12 months later||2 years later|
|Manitoba||16, or 15.5 if enrolled in a MPI’s Driver Z Program||9 months later||15 months later|
|Saskatchewan||16||6 months later||12 months later|
|Ontario||16||12 months, or 8 months with a government-approved driver education course||12 months later|
|Quebec||16||12 months later||2 years later|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||16||12 months later||12 months later|
|Nova Scotia||16||12 months later||24 months later|
|New Brunswick||16||12 months, or 8 months with a recognized licensed driving school||Approximately 24 months later|
|Prince Edward Island||16||12 months later||12 months later|
|Yukon||15||16, after 6 months and 50 hours of driving experience||After completion of the road test|
|Northwest Territories||15||16, and at least 12 months later||12 months later|
|Nunavut||15||16 with 4 weeks of driving experience||After completion of the road test|
How can my teen qualify for car insurance for learner’s permit drivers?
Your teen may need to meet the following requirements to get car insurance for learner’s permit drivers in Canada:
- Own a valid Canadian learner’s permit
- Be over the age of 16 for a standalone policy
- Be 14 or over to be added to a family member’s policy
Those supervising learning drivers must also:
- Have had a full licence for a minimum number of years or be at least a certain age, like 25
- Stay in the passenger seat at all times
- Avoid drugs and alcohol while supervising
Don’t want the pressure of teaching? Consider a driving school
Driving schools are designed to help new drivers learn the ropes from an accredited instructor. By completing training, your teen driver can acquire the skills and confidence needed to become a safe and competent driver. A big plus to going to driving school is that young drivers might be accelerated to the next licensing level.
You’ll most likely get a discount on your car insurance for learner’s permit drivers as well.
Find a legitimate driving school by asking about:
- Accreditation. Accredited driving instructors must have passed certain tests and would likely be registered with a college who administers driving instructor certifications.
- Cost. A comprehensive driving school may allow you to bundle multiple lessons beyond simple road knowledge.
- Insurance. Ask whether the school has appropriate car insurance for learner’s permit drivers in place to provide coverage if your learner driver is involved in an accident while in the instructor’s car.
There are two main ways to get car insurance for learner’s permit drivers. You can get cheap learner’s insurance if you add your teen to your policy. You’ll typically pay more if your teen wants a standalone policy. Find out more about where you can find car insurance for learner’s permit drivers and apply for a quote today to start saving.
Frequently asked questions about first time drivers with learner’s permits
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