Do You Need Car Insurance with Learner’s Licence?

January 27, 2023

The Motors Vehicle Act 1988 mandates all car owners to have at least a third-party car insurance policy to be able to drive their cars on Indian roads. While a third-party cover will protect you against penalties and third-party liabilities, it will not help you much in case of own damage. Now, does that not sound like a risky proposition, especially for a learner’s driving licence holder?

Even the most experienced drivers face the risk of unexpected road mishaps while driving on the road. In case of an accident, imagine not getting any financial support to cover the repair cost for your vehicle. Your third-party cover will cover third-party liabilities, but you will have to shell out money from your pocket to fix your car. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get own damage coverage along with third-party insurance or go for comprehensive car insurance. This will ensure your own damage is taken care of as much as third-party liabilities and a new driver can drive the car stress free.

Let us look at what it means to have a learner’s driving permit or licence, and why is it even more important for a new driver with a learner’s licence to have car insurance. 

What is a learner’s licence?

Simply put, a learner’s licence is a temporary driving licence. This temporary driving licence is valid for six months from the date of issuance. A learner’s licence is typically designed and issued to new drivers who have just learnt to drive a car or are in the process of doing so. A learner’s licence holder must have a capital ‘L’ displayed in red on a white background on the front and rear windshield for other drivers and commuters to know that the driver is not a seasoned driver.

Why does a driver with a learner’s licence need car insurance?

You may think that if a driver drives with an ‘L’ on their car, it is already informing the people around that he/she is an amateur driver. The consequent risks are evident and known to all. What is the need for car insurance then? The answer lies in the question itself; the risk is even higher when the vehicle is handled by an amateur or experienced driver. In fact, it is riskier not only for others on the road but for the inexperienced driver as well as their car. In addition, insurance is mandated by law. So, being caught without one can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment.  

You need car insurance if:

  • You are the owner of the car and its primary driver
  • The car is bought for one of your family members who will be the primary driver
  • Your learner’s licence is soon to be replaced with a permanent driving licence
  • Your car is a vintage car or a collectable

How to get car insurance with a learner’s licence?

There are two major legal obligations in terms of driving a car—one, you must have a driving licence, and two, you have to have at least a third-party car insurance policy to drive on Indian roads. 

Now, the learner’s licence is a temporary permit. However, if you own a car and you have a learner’s driving license, you can still apply for car insurance. That is because the legal mandate of having car insurance applies to the ownership of the car and not to the driving licence of the driver. So, even if you are yet to get your permanent driving licence, you can still apply for car insurance online

Having said that, you must know only a few insurance providers offer car insurance to drivers with a learner’s licence. Also, the premium for car insurance based on a learner’s permit would be invariably high than for a regular car insurance plan. This is because insurers try to cover themselves against the risk of your inexperienced driving. For them, you are a risky policyholder. But that should not dissuade you from investing in a robust car insurance plan. 

You must get comprehensive car insurance even if it is costlier compared to that for an experienced driver. This is because you need good coverage at least until you are more confident about your driving skills. Once, you become a seasoned driver, you can step down to third-party insurance as mandated by law.When buying car insurance, look for policies online, compare coverage and cost, and choose the policy that best fits your needs and budget. You may use a car insurance calculator to calculate the premium amount before making the payment. Just feed in all the relevant details in the online car insurance calculator and it will show you the applicable premium amount. Buying car insurance online is much easier and lesser time-consuming than going offline way.

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