How long can a kid stay on their parents' car insurance? | finder.com

How long can a kid stay on their parents’ car insurance?

Wondering how long you can have kids on your car insurance?

If you’re a young adult still on your parents’ car insurance, you might be wondering about getting kicked off the policy. What about if you’re the parent whose child is packing up to head off to college — what then?

You’ll find definite perks to keeping your child on your policy — including cheaper rates that come with insuring a household together. Here’s what to know about growing out of household car insurance, including when kids need to come off and the caveats that come with specific insurers.

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How long can kids stay on their parents’ car insurance?

There’s no specific cutoff age for children to remain on their parents’ car insurance. If the child is considered a dependent, they can stay on a household insurance policy indefinitely.

However, each insurance company interprets “dependent” in slightly different ways. In general, the child needs to live at home either part-time or full-time and drive a car owned by a parent. This means that a college student who comes home for breaks can stay on the policy, and so can any child living at home.

The main factor in determining if a child can be on an insurance policy comes down to who owns the title of the vehicle they’re driving. If the child owns the title of a vehicle outright, then most insurance companies want that vehicle insured independently of a family or household policy.


Do kids need insurance to drive their parents’ car?

Yes. Unlike with occasional drivers, members of a household who intend to drive the family car must be insured under a single household policy. No matter the age of the child, they’d need to be listed as a driver of the vehicle to legally get behind its wheel.


At what age do insurance rates go down?

Insurance rates tend to go down around age 25. Statistically, drivers from 25 to 65 are much less likely to get in an accident than drivers outside of this age range. The specific age that your child’s insurance policy decreases varies by provider, though. So be sure to confirm with your provider when you might see your child’s rates go down.


If a child owns a car outright, can they stay on their parents’ car insurance?

No. Many companies require a child to pick up their own insurance policy for cars they own outright, especially if a parent isn’t listed as an owner on the title. But if your child still lives at home, some insurers could consider your kid’s car a household vehicle, thereby allowing it to be covered under a larger umbrella policy. Confirm with your insurer how it handles this specific situation.


Can a child stay on their parents’ car insurance if they move out?

In general, if parents pay for a child’s housing, food, college expenses or any other costs of living while they’re away, an insurance provider considers them a member of their parents’ household.

But it depends on how the child lists their permanent residence:

  • Your child has their own place. If your kid lists their address as separate from yours, your child needs their own insurance policy to cover the vehicles they drive.
  • Your child comes home for breaks. If your kid is currently in college and still uses your address as their permanent address, they can typically stay on the household policy.

To save money on your policy, look into whether your provider offers occasional driver discounts if your college student doesn’t drive while at school.


Can a child stay on their parents’ car insurance after they marry?

No. Most car insurance companies consider marriage a clear break from any parents. This kind of financial independence will likely require your child to have their own insurance policy, especially if a move out of the family home comes with the marriage.

If your child still lives at home, you might find exceptions. If they’re still a member of the household and frequently drive a vehicle owned by a parent, they might still need to be listed as a driver on your household policy. This doesn’t mean they won’t also have to purchase their own policy, so confirm with your insurer how it handles this situation.


Bottom line

At the end of the day, several factors affect whether a child can remain on a parent’s car insurance policy. Ultimately, every insurance company has its own policies, so check with yours to learn how to keep them on your policy. And compare your car insurance coverage to see if you’re getting the best deal you’re eligible for.

Find the cheapest rates near you

Enter your ZIP code below and click Compare Now to find the best insurance rates near you.

Your information is secure.

Kellye Guinan

Kellye Guinan is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

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