Eventually, the time comes for your chicks to leave the nest. When children leave home, it often goes through several phases. Kids turn 18, graduate from high school, and may go off to college, but their parents are still providing support in many ways. At what age does a child need his or her own auto insurance policy? That depends on where your child is living and whether he or she has possession of one of your autos or is still your dependent.
Your child continues to live in your household
In most cases this is an easy answer, they can remain on your auto policy if they reside in your household no matter their age. Where it can get a bit tricky is if they drive an auto titled only to them and not the actual policyholder. Some carriers provide coverages to any listed auto on the policy, no matter ownership while some carriers exclude autos not titles to the policyholder. There can also be a gap for newly acquired autos if your child purchases an auto strictly in their name. It is important to tell your agent how your auto is titled and discourse any auto prior to purchase by your child.
Your child moves out of your household
In the situation they have a job, signed a lease or moved out of state it is usually cut and dry that they need to purchase their own insurance coverages. Below are some examples of our top situations of questions on coverages.
Your child goes to college
A child going off to college may reside for the greater part of the year in a dorm, or a fraternity or sorority house, or share an apartment or house off-campus with other students. But your home is still your child’s permanent residence while he or she is attending college, and that qualifies your child to remain on your car insurance policy.
Your child joins the military
When your child joins the military and reports for active duty, they are no longer considered a member of your household and would not be covered by your auto insurance. They will need to obtain auto insurance in the state or country where they are stationed. They will also need to update their coverages when the change duty stations or return home after completing their service.
Your child moves out and takes an auto titled to you
Your child moves out of the household and takes the car you gave them on their 16th birthday. With some carriers you can update the garaging address of that auto and keep it on your policy. There are some coverage gaps that come along with this that make this less than ideal. You would want to talk with your agent and weigh out the risks of taking this route.
Be safe, check with your agent
When your child moves out of your household you should contact your agent for clarification of coverages. Not all insurance carriers provide or extend coverages in the same way. It is best to know what your carrier requires you to do when your child leaves the nest.