Congratulations! Your teen or young adult has just become a Florida driver!
Both your life and your young driver’s life just got easier. And in some ways, more complicated. Be sure your young driver has the resources they need to stay safe and legal on the road.
Unique Restrictions & Requirements
Florida’s three-tiered licensing process for underaged drivers comes with unique restrictions and requirements.
At 15, a teenager is eligible for a learner’s permit. After a year of holding a permit, a Florida driver can apply for an intermediate license.
At this point, you can add a first-time driver to a parent or guardian’s car insurance policy, or they can take out their own policy. Your new driver can stay on your policy as long as they share your residential address, no matter their age.
Always Insure Your Driver
State insurance law requires licensed Florida drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and $10,000 Property Damage Liability coverage.
Driving without insurance is illegal and could result in a considerable fine. In addition to a fine, an uninsured driver will have their license, vehicle tag and registration suspended. When an uninsured driver causes an accident, they will pay all damages out-of-pocket. Lawsuits can be brought against the uninsured driver to collect damages. Additionally, parents or guardians of underage, uninsured drivers could be included in any lawsuits.
Even if your child is over 18, a parent or guardian may still be sued if they still have legal custody of the child, or the vehicle involved in the accident is registered in the parent’s name.
Should I Add My Under-Age Driver To My Insurance Policy?
It is usually more affordable to add your underage driver to your auto insurance policy rather than take out a separate, individual policy. And if a driver is under 18, an adult would still have to co-sign on an individual policy. You can expect your premiums to increase (possibly double) when you add a very young driver or inexperienced driver. New drivers mean more risk, and more risk means higher premiums.
Legal Minimum Coverage
If a driver is making car payments, they may be required to have greater than legal-minimum coverage by the agent securing the loan.
Florida has one of the lowest minimum car insurance requirements of any state and it is the only state (other than New Hampshire) that doesn’t require a driver to carry Bodily Injury Liability insurance (BI). It would be easy to cap out of Florida’s required coverage of $10,000 property damage liability (PD) and $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) very quickly.
PD Liability covers damage to the other driver’s car in an at-fault accident. If this damage exceeds your policy limit, you may be sued and personally held responsible for the damages. If the driver is under 18, the parent or guardian may be sued and held responsible for the damages.
PIP pays 80% of medical bills, and up to 60% of lost wages, up to the limit of your policy. This type of insurance covers the insured, regardless of who was at-fault.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Florida only requires BI for insured drivers with DUI convictions. BI covers the other party, should a driver injure them in an at-fault accident. Without BI, the at-fault driver can be sued to collect compensation. If the at-fault driver is under 18, their parents or guardians may be sued. Without BI, the driver and the driver’s family are risking personal assets.
Offsetting Higher Premiums
At Farm Bureau Insurance, we offer multi-car discounts for cars insured under the same policy. We also offer good student driver discounts, if your high school or college student driver maintains a B average. Additionally, we offer premium discounts for successful completion of a drivers education course.
A young driver’s vehicle choice can also raise or lower premiums. A less valuable car costs less to insure. However, the safety features included in newer cars, such as a back-up camera or automatic braking, may also lower premiums.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I choose not to add my teen driver to my policy and they are involved in an accident in my car?
If you let another driver use your car, even rarely, you need to add that driver to your policy. Your insurance company can refuse to pay any claim if an unlisted young driver gets into an accident in your vehicle. If your insurance company does pay the claim, they may collect back-payments from you for the length of time that the driver has been licensed. These back payments represent the premiums you would have paid on that driver, had you added them to your policy.
- What If my teen’s parents don’t live in the same household?
If parents or guardians have joint custody of a young driver, and the driver will be using both of their cars, the driver should be added to both parents’ policies. Otherwise, the young driver should be added to the policy of the parent who has sole custody.
- What if my student driver is away at college?
If your child is attending college over 100 miles away and won’t have a car at school, your premiums may go down. You should alert your agent to the change but leave your student on your policy if they plan to drive during breaks.
Talk to a Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to about your new driver
Insuring a new driver can be confusing, which is why our agents are happy to answer all of your questions. Contact a Farm Bureau Insurance agent in Florida today.