Adding teenager to car insurance

13 minute read Published on Oct 14, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

A happy teenage girl looking back while fastening the car seatbelt

It may seem like a fever dream, but your teenager is practically old enough to drive, and they're ready to get behind the wheel. So, what does that mean for your car insurance? We can all agree that the objective is to get your teen to drive responsibly. While your insurance premium may increase, the good news is that BrokerLink is here to provide you with the best advice out there for insurance for your teen driver.

How to insure a teen driver

Your teen is probably itching to get out on the open road as soon as possible. Here are some things you’ll need to think about first:

Check your current auto insurance policy

Typically, your policy will automatically cover your teen at no cost while driving with a learner’s permit. Check with your insurance broker to be sure.

Reach out to your insurance provider

Once your teen is licensed to drive alone, you need to contact your insurance company. Let them know that your child needs coverage, and have the teen added to your policy. Your broker will go over all your options and let you know how much it will cost to insure your teen. They may also suggest purchasing young driver insurance if they will be operating their own vehicle.

Compare rates offered by insurance companies

Ask your insurance broker to compare rates from different companies. Rates for teens vary from company to company, so consider different options.

Work together with your teenager

Include your teen in the insurance process. This will help them understand what is involved and the responsibility associated with getting insurance.

Saving money on teen car insurance rates in Canada

While adding your teen to your insurance policy will most likely cause your rates to increase, there are a few ways you can save on car insurance so your teen can prepare to hit the road without feeling the pinch of your wallet. Here's a closer look:

Compare rates to get the cheapest car insurance for your teen driver

Insurance companies across Canada offer numerous types of auto insurance to drivers, and because of this, you can use that to your advantage. Instead of going with the first plan you come across, consider working with an insurance broker.

Brokers, unlike agents, don't work with a specific insurance provider. Rather, they work independently, which means they have access to numerous policies from a variety of different companies across Canada. This means that you'll be able to shop around for the best available deals and potentially save on your auto insurance for your teen.

Encourage your teen to practice good driving habits

Teen drivers have a higher collision rate, so instilling good driving habits in your teen before they get behind the wheel is imperative. Statistically, young drivers do not consider driving 10 km/h to 20 km/h above the speed limit to be dangerous.

Teach your teen about the common causes of accidents, such as distracted driving, driving impaired, speeding and impulsiveness, so they can handle their frustrations when driving. Kids can pick up driving habits from watching their parents! Always set a good example by showing courtesy to those you share the road with and obeying the rules of the road.

Enrol your teen in driving school

In some provinces in Canada, completing a government-approved driving education course can help you save money on your insurance. It can also give you the skills needed to get your full licence. Check out your province’s Ministry of Transportation website to find out what courses are available for your teen.

Factors that determine teen insurance premiums

New driver insurance premiums are far more expensive than those of drivers who have over 10 years of experience. However, insurers take numerous different variables into account when calculating their premiums. Here is a closer look at some factors that will affect how much your teen needs to pay:

  • Their history of driving
  • How often do they drive the vehicle
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Car make and model
  • Credit background
  • What kind of insurance do you require
  • Whether or not you’re purchasing coverage under parents insurance

When does my teen need car insurance?

When a kid first gets behind the wheel, they usually need auto insurance in Canada, like they do anywhere else. Depending on the province or territory where you live however, different regulations may apply for when your teen requires auto insurance. Teenage driver's insurance is normally necessary in the following common scenarios:

Getting a driver's licence

In order for your teenager to legally operate a vehicle, they will usually require auto insurance when they receive a driver's licence, whether it be a graduated licence, or a full driver's licence. In Canada, drivers are legally required to carry insurance. However, unless they are driving their own car, they can typically be put onto your insurance as an occasional driver.

Purchasing a vehicle

Auto insurance is required to cover a vehicle that your teen intends to buy in their name or jointly with you. It's crucial to have adequate insurance coverage, even if your teen will be using a family automobile even though they don't own one.

Using or borrowing someone else's car

Your teenager may still require insurance if they occasionally use or borrow a family member's or friend's car because they will be driving it.

To find out the precise rules and regulations pertaining to youth drivers in your area, it's essential to contact insurance companies and your particular province or territory government. It's important to abide by the local laws as they may vary from province to province regarding automobile insurance requirements and rules.

What happens if I don’t add my teenager to my car insurance?

When your teenager is driving your car after they receive their licence, and you don't have them on your policy, there can be serious consequences. All licensed drivers, including your teen, who reside in your home must be listed on your auto insurance policy by law if they are getting behind the wheel. If you choose not to include your teen on your auto insurance, the following could occur:

Invalidated coverage

If you do not include all licensed drivers in your family, your insurance policy may be deemed invalid, and your coverage may be terminated. This implies that in the event of an accident, you can be held financially liable for the damages if your insurance company rejects your claim.

Premium increase

Your insurance provider may raise your rates considerably or may cancel your coverage entirely if they find that you have been purposefully hiding information about who is driving your vehicles. The total number of drivers and their driving histories are used by insurance companies to determine risk, and leaving out a young driver may be regarded as a fraud.

Legal repercussions

Driving without insurance is illegal. There may be legal repercussions if you neglect to include your teen on your insurance policy. If you break insurance laws, you can face fines, penalties, or even a lawsuit.

Liability for damages

You may be held personally responsible for any losses or injuries your teen causes while operating your uninsured car. Legal repercussions and high financial costs may follow this.

It's essential to communicate openly with your insurance provider and add your teenager to your policy when they become a licensed driver. While adding a teenager to your policy often leads to higher premiums due to the increased risk associated with young, inexperienced drivers, it's a legal requirement, and it ensures that you have the necessary coverage in case of an accident.

Remember, any accident affects your car insurance. Therefore, it’s better to have the proper protection in place in case anything goes wrong when they are driving.

What is the difference between primary and secondary drivers?

In the context of auto insurance, the phrases "primary" and "secondary drivers" characterize the various roles people may play when operating a specific vehicle. The distinction between primary and secondary drivers is as follows:

Primary driver

When someone utilizes a car for everyday use, they are considered the primary driver.

Owners of the car are usually the primary drivers, but non-owners who use the car the most frequently might also be considered primary drivers.

To calculate the insurance rate for the car, insurance companies consider the attributes of the primary driver, including age, location, and driving history.

Secondary driver

A secondary driver is a person who does not use their automobile as their primary mode of transportation, although they may occasionally use it. They are also referred to as occasional or supplementary drivers.

Family members, friends, or others who might occasionally need to operate the car can serve as secondary drivers.

Insurance firms may also take the traits and driving record of the secondary driver into account when determining the insurance premium.

For insurance purposes, the principal and secondary driver designations are crucial since they aid in the insurer's evaluation of the risk attached to a certain vehicle. The driving records, age, and other characteristics of the primary and secondary drivers affect insurance rates.

For instance, the insurance premium may be greater if the primary driver of a car is a young, inexperienced driver because of the increased risk. Conversely, insurance rates may decrease if a more responsible and experienced driver is named the primary driver.

How much does your insurance go up when you add a teenage driver?

In Canada, the price of adding a young driver to your policy might differ greatly depending on several variables. When you add a young driver to your policy, the following general variables may impact how much your insurance premiums may increase:

Age and experience

Insurance rates are often higher for drivers who are younger and have less experience. For instance, insurance for a 16-year-old with a learner's permit will probably cost more than that of an 18-year-old with a full licence. It also depends on how old you are as a driver, just because you wait until you are 25 to get your licence does not mean that your rates will be lower than that of a brand new 16 year old driver.


The province or territory in which you live has a big influence on insurance costs. While some areas may have rates that are governed by government agencies, like British Columbia, others may have more insurance options that can yield less expensive results.

Type of vehicle

Another important consideration is the kind of vehicle your adolescent will be using. High-performance and sports cars typically have higher insurance premiums than older vehicles.

Driving History

If you have a clean driving record with no accidents or careless driving tickets, you may qualify for lower rates to begin with, which gives you more of a chance of paying a lower premium regardless.

Coverage options

The level of car coverage you choose and any additional coverage options such as comprehensive and collision will impact the cost.


Some car insurance providers offer discounts for good students, safe driving courses, and multiple auto insurance policies bundling with home insurance, for example. Taking advantage of these available discounts can help lower the premium increase.


Raising your deductible can lower your premiums, but it also means you'll pay more out of pocket in case of an accident that is caused by either you or your teenager.

Should I buy separate car insurance for my teenager?

Depending on your unique situation and the laws and regulations in your area, you may need to decide whether to get your teen's auto insurance separately or add it to your current family policy. When choosing this choice, keep the following things in mind:

Learner's permit vs. full licence

Your teenager may not require separate insurance coverage while they are learning to drive if they have a learner's permit. When practicing with a licensed adult driver, they are usually covered by your current insurance. When they do, however, earn their driver's license and begin driving on their own, you will need to either add them to your insurance or get them on their own.


It may be less expensive to add a teen to your current insurance policy than to buy a new one. For young motorists, family policies frequently offer cheaper rates than solo policies. Multi-driver households may qualify for discounts from insurance carriers.

Coverage needs

Think about the total coverage requirements for your household. When a teen drives a family vehicle, you might want to make sure they are covered before adding them to your policy or getting them their own policy.

Shared vehicle

It might make sense to have a separate insurance plan for your teen's automobile, even though they are still listed on your family policy for other vehicles, if they are the primary driver of that particular vehicle, like their own car.

Although adding a teenager to your policy can result in higher rates because of the greater risk involved with young, novice drivers, doing so is frequently the most sensible and economical course of action. Ultimately, however, the choice should be made with your family's insurance requirements and budget in mind.

As such, we suggest reaching out to your insurance provider directly to speak with them about the options available to you and the associated costs.

Buying a vehicle for your teen

Once your teen has some driving experience under their belt, you might want to think about buying them a vehicle. If so, here are a few things to consider:

Look for a car with built-in safety features. Some features like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices can get you a lower insurance rate. And, of course, more safety features will keep your teen safe on the road.

Consider a used vehicle. Your teen has their whole life to buy their dream car! Starting with a cheaper used vehicle will help offset the costs of higher insurance premiums.

Talk to an insurance broker. Insurance brokers have years of experience finding insurance for families and their new drivers. Consulting with a broker means you’ll be able to get expert advice and make a choice that makes sense for you and your family.

What are the benefits of adding my teen to my car insurance?

Including your teen on your auto insurance policy has the following advantages:

Legal compliance

Since most provinces and territories require that all authorized household members be mentioned in the policy, it guarantees adherence to the law.

Constant coverage

Your teen's driving privileges are protected when using family cars, offering financial security in the event of an accident.

Reduced rates

Family insurance can help you save money on premiums because they frequently have cheaper rates than individual policies for young drivers.


It lets you keep an eye on your adolescent's driving behaviours and offers advice to encourage safe driving.

Seamless coverage

Having a single policy that covers all of the family's vehicles makes managing insurance easier.

Get a competitive insurance quote with BrokerLink

Driving is a big responsibility. As a parent, you should make sure your teen understands all the risks and responsibilities associated with driving. Include your teen in the insurance process so they understand what is covered and what they should do if they are involved in an accident.

Get in touch with a BrokerLink insurance advisor by giving us a call, visiting one of our community branches in person, or getting a quote online and a call at a later date!

Get an auto insurance quote [phone]

Adding teenager to car insurance FAQs

Do I have to add my child to my car insurance in Ontario?

If your child is a licensed driver and resides in your home in Ontario, you are usually obligated to include them in your policy. Even if they don't own the car, the law requires that every licensed driver be named on the insurance policy for any vehicle they are allowed access to. If you don't, there can be legal repercussions, and your insurance coverage might be cancelled in the event of an accident. To guarantee adequate coverage and legal compliance, be open and truthful with the insurance company.

What is the cheapest auto insurance for new drivers?

The cheapest auto insurance for new drivers can vary dramatically between each teenager, given their unique circumstances. In general, it is advised that newly licensed drivers examine insurance quotes from several companies in order to identify the most affordable choice. Insurance prices can also be decreased by enrolling in driver's education programs, keeping a spotless driving history, and taking advantage of discounts for good students.

How much is insurance for a 16-year-old in Alberta?

Alberta does not have a set average pricing for new drivers purchasing auto insurance. When calculating a driver's insurance quote, car insurance companies in Alberta analyze several different aspects. That being said, new drivers can anticipate paying somewhere between $1,500 and $7,000 per year for auto insurance coverage.

Can teen drivers save on insurance through telematics programs?

Yes, telematic programs can lower insurance costs for young drivers. Telematics programs monitor driving behaviours, such as speed, braking, and general driving behaviour, by placing a device in the car or by employing a smartphone app. Teens can lower their insurance costs by exhibiting safe driving behaviours, such as refraining from speeding and abrupt braking. For young drivers, these programs are especially helpful in demonstrating their safe driving practices and lowering the higher insurance rates that come with being a younger and less experienced driver.

What is the minimum age for driving in Ontario?

The legal driving age is 16 in Ontario. At this age, individuals can apply for a Class G1 license, which is the first step in the graduated licensing system. Following successful completion of the necessary exams and gainful driving experience, students can advance to the Class G2 license and, ultimately, the full Class G licence, which grants them unlimited driving privileges.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.