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Do You Need Insurance with a Learner’s Permit?
It’s a rite of passage. Your teen has obtained his or her learner’s permit and can’t wait to get behind the wheel. You have your own reservations, not the least of which is what this will mean in terms of insurance.

Section 1: What is learner’s permit?
Under Ontario law, a learner’s permit is issued to a young driver between the ages of 15 and 17 in order to allow them to operate a motor vehicle that has an engine that is less than 1,600cc.

This provision is based on the Highway Traffic Act and allows the driver to practice safely in a way that helps them become proficient at operating a motor vehicle. This may be followed by regular motor vehicle training when the driver is 17 and the possession of a full driver’s license is reached.

If a person is not yet a permanent resident of Canada, a learner’s permit, which allows him or her to drive only within his or her own province or territory (not across provincial or territorial borders), is required.

Why do people need insurance with a learner’s permit?
To get around this issue, you need to tell your teen that there may be times when they will need to drive yourself or a family member to a doctor’s appointment, or to get some shopping done, and to make sure that you take a map and, if you need to, a cellphone in case of emergencies.

Driving could also mean that your teen takes you to work or to pick up kids from soccer practice, and that’s why you may need some insurance, too.

Is insurance with a learner’s permit necessary?

Yes. In many states, insurance companies will not renew a driver’s insurance policy until your teen has had an opportunity to pass the learner’s permit test with a safety score of at least 75%.

Also, it will be harder to get the teen or his or her car insured until they have passed the final test.

What are the different types of learner’s permits?
You’ve probably heard of the standard learner’s permit or a learner’s permit in Texas, which you can get at 14. The most common form of learner’s permit is the adult learner permit, or LP. It’s a document that is issued to anyone over 18 who has passed a driver’s education course. The permit authorizes you to drive with supervision by a licensed driver or by a parent or guardian. It does not grant the driver the legal right to operate a motor vehicle.

The highest standard permit is called a full driver’s license and you need to be a licensed driver for a minimum of 1 year to get it. It requires passing a written exam and a driving test. If you’re 18 years or older, you can take a 15-hour class to get a Part III driver’s license, and this can be done before your 21st birthday.

Is it possible for a learner to obtain insurance without a driver’s license?
Not always. As a learner, you will need to have a permit, but not a license. If your teen is 19 or older and has an approved medical waiver, he or she can have an automobile insurance policy without a license.

While it may be possible for your teen to purchase insurance without a license, you and your teen should discuss this possibility. Make sure your teen understands the implications of obtaining an insurance policy without a driver’s license and how this could affect your insurance rates.

What if Your Teen is Passing Their Driving Test at 18?

If your teen passes their driving test at age 18, they have to wait to get a license until age 19. But, for all practical purposes, your teen’s learner’s permit allows them to drive without a license until the day they turn 19.

When considering the questions asked, do your homework to find out all the rules and procedures for your specific state. We all know that some states are more restrictive and have stricter requirements, others are less restrictive and have more lenient requirements. The best thing to do is to ask your agent about the rules and regs in your state.

It’s a rite of passage. Your teen has obtained his or her learner’s permit and can’t wait to get behind the wheel. You have your own reservations, not the least of which is what this will mean in terms of insurance.

When you ask about insurance with a learner’s permit, don’t let any assumptions about coverage creep in. Make sure you are aware of the various types of coverage you need for your teen driving needs.

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