Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 26, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • There is no age limit on adult children who are covered by an insurance plan
  • You generally need to live with your parents or be a college student
  • Insurance companies can deny claims if they find that a child was not living at home as stated by the policyholders

When it comes to car insurance, young drivers carry the highest rates.

While this may seem unfair, there are ways to bring the cost of coverage down. In addition to shopping around for more reasonable premiums, you can also talk to your parents about putting you on their insurance plan.

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Young Drivers Cost More to Insure


The insurance companies have sound reasons for charging teenagers and young adults higher premiums. Studies have shown that drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes, and the death rates seem to be on the rise.

Young drivers typically have higher rates because they pose a greater risk due to their inexperience. Older drivers, on the other hand, typically have much lower premiums because they tend to have clean records.

There are instances where it may not pay to attach yourself to your parent’s insurance plan. If you have a new, expensive car that’s solely in your name, then it may be simpler to get your own insurance. Additionally, you should consider your parent’s driving history.

If they’re paying higher rates due to accidents or tickets, then you won’t save by joining their insurance plan.

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Attached Drivers Generally Have Indefinite Coverage

Car insurance providers will generally allow adult children to remain on their parent’s insurance policy. However, the caveat is that you must reside in your parent’s home.

You may need to prove that your parents are listed on the title of your car as coowners. If the vehicle is financed, then one of your parents will have to be on the financing documents as a borrower or cosigner.

Finally, you and your parents will all have to be listed as covered drivers on the insurance policy. If these requirements are met, then you can remain on your parent’s plan and possibly enjoy lower premiums as a result.

It’s possible that the insurance company will force a stop to this arrangement if you get married. However, you can still shop around and look for better rates through another company.

Adult Children Living at Home Must be on Your Policy

In addition to not having an age cutoff for insuring adult children, most companies actually require that any drivers in the house be listed on the policy. This is because insurers believe that adult children living in the home will have access to the parent’s vehicles and may drive them occasionally.

In the event that your car is solely in your own name, then you will not be able to ride on their insurance. The company may even take it a step further and insist that you’re specifically excluded from the policy.

If your parents are required to list you in this manner, then any insurance coverages will not be extended to you if you borrow their car.

It may be possible to find a plan that will allow an adult child to have his or her own insurance without excluding them from the policy of other people in the home.

By shopping around and comparing plans, you can usually find the right type of coverage as well as a price that suits your budget better.

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Insurance Companies Like to be Informed About Teen Drivers

Most companies want to be informed of any changes to their risk level, including new drivers in the household. When you get your temporary license, your parents should notify the insurance company to have you added to the policy.

Some companies are understanding and will still cover new drivers who have not been added to the policy. However, not all companies are this lenient. If you’re involved in an accident without being added to your parent’s policy, then the company can make a couple different choices.

They may:

  • Cover the accident but charge your family for back premiums going to the date your license was issued
  • Forgive the incident and cover the accident
  • Consider the oversight misrepresentation and refuse to cover the accident

Your parents may be worried about the rise in their premiums, but there are some things they can do to keep the levels down. Your good grades may earn you a discount, and you can also take a safe-driving class to keep the premiums a little lower.

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Insurance Considerations for Divorced Parents

If your parents are divorced, then they each will have their own policies. You should be listed with the parent who has primary custody.

If your parents have joint custody, then you may need to be listed on both policies. If you’re only listed under one person, then you should check with the other company to ensure that you’ll still be covered if you drive their car on occasion.

Discounts for Teens


If you’re a student or a teen driver, then there may be additional discounts that can help you and your parents keep the rates down. When you’re added to the insurance policy, be sure to ask about the following discounts:

  • Good student
  • Safe driving classes
  • Monitoring devices
  • Apps that block cell phone use when the car is in motion
  • Speed governors

It All Ends When you Move Out

Unless you’re a college student, you will have to get your own insurance once you move out of your parent’s home. Most insurance companies will not allow you to stay on the insurance plan if you’re working a temporary job out of state or are renting your own apartment.

If you’re involved in an accident and the company discovers that you lied about your residential status, then they can refuse to cover the claim.

The high cost of car insurance can leave a dent in your budget, but you can bring the cost down by going on your parent’s plan. Be upfront with the company about your residency so that you’ll be completely covered in the event of an accident.

Maintain a clean record so that you can get a discounted rate later, and be willing to shop around for more affordable premiums.

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