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Car insurance for learner’s permit drivers

How to find car insurance for learners and reduce your premiums.

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Your child has passed their exam for a learner’s permit and is now ready to get behind the wheel. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can help them qualify for cheap learner’s insurance and what you can do to reduce your auto insurance premiums.

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.

1. 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 policy. Once your young driver gets their learner’s permit, let your car insurer know that they will be driving your car.

It’s worth noting that this may not affect the cost of your cover with some insurers, as your learner can only drive when there is an experienced supervising driver in the car. But once they graduate beyond a learner’s permit and can drive on their own, expect the cost of your premiums to increase.

2. Get a standalone policy

A learner driver 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 you’ll typically pay more to go this route, so compare learner’s car insurance quotes from multiple providers before choosing a policy.

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 apply.

What kind of car insurance do learner 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.

The following types of coverage are mandatory across most of Canada:

  • Third-party liability coverage. Provides protection from legal action in the event that you damage someone else’s property or cause injury or death in an at-fault accident.
  • Direct compensation property damage. Provides cover for damage to your vehicle and its contents when you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault.
  • Accident benefits. Provides a cash settlement to cover your healthcare expenses after an accident (such as medical care or lost income).
  • Uninsured motorist coverage. Covers the cost of repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver damages your vehicle. It also provides coverage if you’re involved in a hit-and-run.

But there are also a few other types of auto insurance you may like to consider:

  • Collision coverage. Pays to repair or replace your own vehicle if your learner driver gets into an accident that’s deemed to be their fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage. Covers the cost to replace or repair your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged due to vandalism or weather events (such as hail).
  • All perils coverage. This type of policy combines collision and comprehensive insurance. It 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

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Accident Forgiveness Min. Liability Coverage Discounts Available Online Claims Available Provinces
Surex Auto Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, PEI, Yukon
Submit one application and receive quotes from 10+ insurers. Save up to 25% on your car insurance, plus get access to an insurance advisor.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to use an insurance broker to compare multiple pricing and coverage options.
Onlia Car Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Over $500*
Ontario
Get premium auto insurance coverage with Onlia. Save money on your auto insurance through safe driving discounts and bundling insurance options.

Who it might be good for: Drivers in Ontario looking to save on insurance costs by driving safely.
Aviva Car Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Aviva car insurance offers customizable policies, discounts and optional insurance coverage add-ons. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to customize their auto policy.
Travelers Car Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Travelers auto insurance offers a selection of coverage options for just about any type of vehicle. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to get car, motorcycle, classic car, motorhome or recreational vehicle coverage.
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How much is car insurance for learners?

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 to a family plan and shop around for discounts. The cost of insurance will also vary depending on factors such as where you live and the age of the learner driver.

The type of car you drive will affect the cost of cover as well. For example, a high-powered car will generally cost more to insure than an average family sedan, while newer cars typically cost more to insure than older vehicles. It’s easy to get car insurance quotes online, so compare the cost of cover across a range of providers.

How to save on car insurance for learner drivers

There are plenty of simple things you can do to get cheap car insurance for learners:

  • Shop around. Compare policies and quotes from a range of providers to get cheap learner’s insurance.
  • Choose a higher deductible. You may be able to get cheap learner’s insurance if you sign on to pay a higher deductible in the event of a claim.
  • 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.
  • Take a driving course. Many insurers offer lower premiums to drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course.
  • Drive safely. Stick to the speed limit and obey all road rules so that you don’t commit any traffic infringements. This will help keep your premiums down.
  • Pay annually. Insurance cover is often cheaper if you pay your premium annually rather than once a month.

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.

  • Student discounts. Your teen may be able to get cheap learner’s insurance if they’re a full-time student and maintain good grades.
  • Bundling or multi-vehicle discounts. You could lower your insurance premium by bundling your car insurance with your home or life insurance, or by insuring multiple cars with the same provider.
  • Safety features discount. You may save money if you install special safety features or anti-theft mechanisms in your vehicle.
  • Safe driving habit discount. Some insurers allow you to download an app to track your driving habits. If you can demonstrate that you’re a safe driver, you’ll qualify for a discount.
  • Winter tire discount. In provinces like Ontario and Alberta, you can get a car insurance discount when you install winter tires on your vehicle.

When can a learner driver upgrade to a full licence?

Province or territoryLearner’s permitRestricted licenseFull license
British Columbia1612 months later24 months later, or 18 months with a ICBC-approved driver training course
Alberta1416, and at least 12 months later2 years later
Manitoba16, or 15.5 if enrolled in a MPI’s Driver Z Program9 months later15 months later
Saskatchewan169 months later18 months later
Ontario1612 months, or 8 months with a government-approved driver education course12 months later
Quebec1612 months later2 years later
Newfoundland and Labrador1612 months, or 8 months with a government-approved driver education course12 months later
Nova Scotia1612 months, or 9 months with a government-approved driver education course2 years later
New Brunswick1612 months, or 8 months if you’ve graduated from a recognized licensed driving school2 years later
Prince Edward Island1612 months, or 275 days if enrolled in a certified driver education program2 years later
Yukon1516, after 6 months and 50 hours of driving experience18 months later
Northwest Territories1516, and at least 12 months later12 months later
Nunavut1516 with 4 weeks of driving experienceAfter completion of the road test

Should I stay on my parents’ car insurance policy?

If you live with your parents and regularly drive their vehicle, it generally makes sense to stay on their car insurance policy. There are no restrictions on how long you can stay on their policy, so you can still remain covered while you progress through your province’s graduated licensing system and obtain a full licence. You can also be covered as an occasional driver if you only drive your parents’ car infrequently, such as if you’re a college student who returns home on some weekends and vacations.

But once you get your own car that’s registered in your name, you’ll need to take out a separate policy. When that happens, compare car insurance quotes from a range of providers to find affordable cover that’s right for you.

Bottom line

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 you get a standalone policy as a learner driver. Compare car insurance quotes and cover features before deciding on the best policy.

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