A Guide To Car Insurance for Young Drivers
No one learns how to drive a vehicle by simply reading about it. Like riding a bicycle, driving is one of those skills that demand practice to master fully.
Granted, there’s no threshold for the amount of practice one needs to undertake prior to their test. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that practice is a crucial ingredient of the learning process.
Do You Really Need Learner Insurance?
Of course. All motorists are legally required to have auto insurance, and learner drivers are no exception. When taking lessons with a professional driving school insurance will usually be part of the price you’ll be paying.
But as earlier suggested, sacrificing a bit of your free time to hone your driving skills will significantly boost your chances of passing the test.
The law clearly states that any practice done outside your lessons will require you to get additional insurance.
What Are Your Options?
Traditionally, insuring a learner was as simple as having them become a named driver on someone else’s insurance plan.
While some insurers still allow for such an arrangement, an elevated premium is always applied due to the higher coverage risk presented by the learner.
This is further compounded by the fact that it’s impossible to predict when the latter will pass their test.
If you’re fortunate enough to have your own vehicle, a learner driver insurance own car policy might initially seem like a great deal.
This could however turn out to be more expensive than the arrangement. It thus makes sense to opt for a provisional driver insurance policy.
How Does A Learner Car Insurance Policy Work?
For a if you’re learning to drive, taking the effort to practice whenever an opportunity presents itself will be a smart move on your part.
With a special insurance plan, you’ll be covered use anyone’s car, of course having sought their permission first.
It’s worth noting that this kind of policy is only offered to individuals who are at least 17 years old, and who also hold a valid provisional driving license.
What Type Of Cover Can I get?
Most provisional car insurance policies offer comprehensive cover. This means that if you’re involved in an accident, your insurer will cover the damages sustained by all the parties.
Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of provisional driver insurance plans is that third-party coverage can cost higher than a comprehensive plan.
This is mostly because the latter is considered a less-risky option.
And while regular insurance plans cover both the driver and their car, a provisional plan only covers the former. It’s for this reason that you’ll be allowed to take out one even if you don’t own a vehicle. As for the terms of coverage, take note that:
- All your practice sessions will need to be supervised by a someone who’s over the age of 21 (or 25 in some cases), and who has held a full license for at least 3 years. Speaking of which, the said individual must be licensed to drive the exact kind of vehicle you’ll be learning in.
- You’ll need to display L-plates on the front and back of the vehicle whenever you’re practicing
- Most plans will impose a curfew, usually by specifying that you’ll not be insured to drive between 10.00pm and 6.00am. You may also be required to steer clear of motorways.
- No matter how long you sign up for, passing the test will automatically render your plan void.
- Most provisional car insurance plans will have a maximum value on the car that you can use.
Above all, it should be noted that one must have the right insurance to supervise a learner driver. So be sure to check the terms and conditions of your plan relating to its use in this regard.
Your driving instructor also has the option of taking out a separate policy as well. Remember that the whole point of going to such lengths is to increase your chances of passing the test, and with less professional lessons.
Car insurance for learner drivers also carries other benefits, including:
- The policy is designed to work alongside the main driver’s plan. Because the two are totally independent of each other, the main policyholder doesn’t risk losing their no-claims bonus due to a claim made on the learner’s plan.
- In some cases, you’ll be allowed to start building up a no-claims bonus of your own before you’ve even taken your driving test. This will come in handy when it’s time to apply for a standard policy.
- Learner insurance plans are highly flexible – most insurers offer coverage for 1-12 months, with some even allowing clients to pay by the day.
With such a high degree of flexibility, it shouldn’t prove difficult to find a policy that suits you best. What’s more, it will be possible to take out another policy if it turns out that you will need more practice to pass your test.
How Much Will A Provisional Insurance Plan Cost You?
Insurance costs are always based on risk. Statistics have shown that young drivers are more likely to get into crashes than their older counterparts.
The risk is further elevated by the lack of experience among learners, which means they generally pay more to be insured on a car.
There’s a number of ways through which you could save money on your policy:
- Specifying the kind of vehicle(s) you’ll be using to learn will help in keeping your premiums down. Ideally, you want to go for a small, standard model that falls in insurance group 30. If the car has been modified in any manner whatsoever, make sure to disclose this information when sending your application.
- Consider short-term insurance options: If you won’t be practicing that often, consider opting for a short-term policy instead of an annual one to save money. You can also do this if you’re confident that you’ll be able to pass your test in a short period. As earlier suggested, some insurers offer young drivers the option to choose between 1-28 days when taking out a leaner driver policy. Just be sure to check whether they’ll be any hidden implications for the main policyholder.
- Opting for a larger excess is another great way to get cheap learner driver insurance. The excess is the amount of money that one pays when they make a claim. For this reason, it’s crucial that you balance the need to save on coverage with that of minimizing your exposure.
- Consider taking out a black-box policy: Under this arrangement, the insurer will install a special device in the car to monitor the quality of your driving with regards to speed, how well you follow traffic rules, mileage information, and how long your practice spins are as well.
- Seek help from an expert: Consulting a specialist broker is arguably the best way to find coverage that will suit your needs best. It’s also an effective way to take the headache out of shopping around for the best price. Most importantly, using a broker could see you qualify for special discounts that you’d otherwise not be able to find on your own.
Overall, it’s always a good idea to compare quotes online when shopping for insurance. On most comparison sites, you can get an indicative quote within a few seconds.
Some will only ask you for a couple of basic details, but others will require a little more information before they provide you with a quote.
Just make sure to check the policy documents before buying — car insurance isn’t something you should be making assumptions about.