Even though car insurance is required in most states, insurance companies are reluctant to open an auto insurance policy for drivers who only hold a learner's permit. This does not excuse the vehicle from being insured, but put restrictions on who can open the initial policy.
Insurance regulations are different from one state to the next, but most insurance providers will insist on writing policies only for fully licensed drivers. An exception to this is the situation where the holder of a learner's permit is about to secure a full license. In this situation, it may be possible to get a policy as long as the full license is acquired within a set period of time, usually 30 days.
In most states, a person holding a learner's permit must have a licensed driver in the vehicle with them, and may be restricted from driving at night or under other conditions. Because this is the law, insurance companies will want to a licensed driver listed on policies they write, even if it is only in a secondary position.
Insurance for young drivers can be very expensive. One way to save on insurance costs is for young drivers to get listed on their parent or legal guardian's policy instead. This will still result in higher insurance rates, but generally much cheaper than if the young driver were to secure an auto insurance of their own.