California requires all drivers to get auto insurance, which will help pay for medical costs and damage if you’re in a crash. As a new teen driver with a learner's permit, you won’t need your own insurance coverage until you start driving without supervision.
Planning Ahead: How Can You Keep Insurance Costs Down?
- Keep your grades up. Most insurers offer a good student discount for teens with a “B” or higher grade average.
- Investigate discounts. Many insurers also offer discounts for teens who complete supplemental driver education or defensive driving courses.
- Don’t get your own car yet. If you won’t be the main driver for any of your family’s vehicles and can be classified as an occasional driver of one car, you could save your family hundreds of dollars.
- Practice, practice practice. Now is the time to drive a lot with your parents under different conditions, so you'll have fewer surprises (and potential crashes) when you're driving solo.
- Partner with your parents. Using a parent-teen driving agreement could help you avoid a crash or ticket that would increase your rates.
Insurance Requirements in California
Once you start driving without supervision, you are required to have insurance at the minimum level of $15,000 per person for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage (15/30/5). Insurance companies in California determine rates based on factors such as your driving record, how long you’ve been a licensed driver, how much you drive, where you live and what you drive.