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Provisional Car Insurance for Drivers with Provisional Licenses

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 03/23/2011

What license requires provisional car insurance, what it really is and how can you keep the rates lower for this type of coverage.

Application for a Driver's License

Applying for a provisional driver's license means you are ready to drive alone.

Provisional car insurance is a bit tricky.

Provisional insurance is not an actual insurance policy for a vehicle, it is extra coverage for a new driver that holds what could be considered a “learners license”.

The License that Requires Provisional Car Insurance

Provisional car insurance is for drivers that hold a provisional license.  A provisional license can be held by either a new teen driver or a driver that has had their unrestricted license revoked due to bad driving activity.  Because most provisional licenses are held by new teen drivers, that is the provisional license group we will concentrate on right now.

In the past it used to be that a new driver went straight from a learner’s permit to a driver’s license once they had reached a certain age or successfully completed driver’s education.  Today, a number of states require a new driver to earn a provisional driver’s license.

A provisional license adds a restricted step in between a permit and the freedom of a driver’s license.  It requires that the new driver gain additional experience behind the wheel without having to have a licensed driver in the vehicle like a permit, but with added rules that are not required with a regular driver’s license.  These can include rules such as: a driving curfew, driving during daylight only, or restrictions on who will be allowed to be in the car with the provisional licensed driver.

What Provisional Car Insurance Really Is

As we already discussed, provisional car insurance is not a policy in itself, it is just the insurance coverage that is available for a new driver with a provisional license.  It is needed because the driver with the provisional insurance is an increased risk for your policy and the insurance company wants to make sure that they are collecting the extra premium needed to cover the increased chance that one of your vehicles will now be in a car accident due to this driver.

Not all insurance companies have specific provisional insurance available to add, to find out how your insurance company will handle a new driver with a provisional license in your household contact your insurance agent.

Keeping the Rates Lower for Provisional Car Insurance

Adding a new driver to your insurance policy is expensive whether it is for provisional coverage or as a regular driver.  As new drivers are usually teens here are some tips on how to keep the rates down on your new driver.

  • Make sure that your new driver keeps their grades up to earn a good grade discount.
  • Enroll your new driver in an accredited driving course.
  • Notify your insurance company that your new driver has a provisional license and not a full privilege license.
  • If your insurance company insists on placing the provisional driver as a rated driver on one of your vehicles, have your new driver driving your oldest and least expensive vehicle – if the company will allow it.
  • Check to see if you can cover your new driver with non-owner coverage.  This coverage is for drivers that do not have their own vehicle and rarely drive your vehicle.

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Todd Clay

Todd Clay is a former insurance agent with the largest insurance company in the United States. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Texas. He’s worked in several fields but has specialized in insurance, financial-related information, and technology. He blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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