It’s an exciting experience for teenagers and a nightmare for parents, but once your child gets their learner driver’s licence and can’t wait to get behind the wheel, you’ll need to have a think about your car insurance policy and what it will mean for the cost of your premium. That’s why we’ve developed this guide, to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions by parents when it comes to making sure your child is covered in their new found freedom.
Will my child automatically be covered under my policy?
This will depend on your car insurance provider. The easiest way to check is to call your provider or read through your PDS to find out if they need to be listed in your policy. Some will automatically cover learner drivers on their parent’s policy, as long as you have your full licence and are instructing the learner driver in the passenger seat.
How do I add a learner driver to my policy?
While many car insurance policies don't require you to list a learner driver on your policy at all, if you do need to add them then this can generally be done in two ways:
- Online through your provider’s website
- Directly over the phone
Keep in mind that once you add another driver to your insurance policy, not only could your premium increase, if you have comprehensive car insurance, you may also have to pay an additional excess for claims if they have an accident while driving. These may be:
- Learner driver excess - An excess charged for claims where your car is being driven by a learner.
- Young driver excess - Excess that is charged for claims involving a driver who is under 25.
- Inexperienced driver excess -This type of excess is charged for drivers who haven't held their licence for a specific period of time.
- Undeclared driver excess - If you decide not to list a learner driver under your policy, you could be charged an undeclared driver excess if they are involved in an accident.
Can an L-Plater have a car insurance policy registered under their own vehicle?
Yes, learner drivers are able to be registered and insured under their own vehicle. If a learner driver is the registered owner of a car then it will likely be mandated that they're listed. But it’s important to remember that they won’t be able to drive on their own until they get their P-plates.
What could void my car insurance when a learner driver is driving and is involved in an incident?
While fully licensed drivers must follow the standard road rules, learner drivers have more driving restrictions.
Some of the learner road rule violations that may void your car insurance include:
- Having alcohol or illegal substances in their system
- Driving without supervision or unsuitable supervision (another learner driver, a driver who only has their provisional licence (P1 or P2) or a disqualified driver)
- Exceeding the permitted speed limit
- Using a tow bar
- Using their mobile phone in any way, including hands free
There are also a number of requirements that supervising drivers must meet when supervising a learner. These include:
- Holding a full Australian drivers licence
- Adhering to blood alcohol content (BAC) limits (for example, supervising drivers in New South Wales must have a BAC under 0.05).
Should my child still stay under my policy once they get their P-plates?
If your child is going to be driving your car when they are on their P-plates then it is a good idea to have them covered under your policy. Keep in mind this could cause higher premiums, or if your child is involved in an incident you might have to pay a ‘young driver excess’ which will be higher than the excess you would need to pay if you were in an accident.
If your child has their own car, it is a good idea to get it insured in their name so that they can start building up a no-claims bonus.
To find out more about P-plater car insurance, you can check out our guide here.