Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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You may be covered by a family member’s auto insurance when driving their car, but you need to confirm that with that person’s car insurance company and policy.

Car insurance typically travels with the car and not the insured, but some policies have exclusionary provisions that could negate the policy regardless. If you have your own auto insurance it will most likely cover you per your own policy, but every insurance policy is different.

Read on to learn when family member’s are and are not covered under an auto insurance policy and then enter your zip code above to compare free insurance quotes!

Auto Insurance Exclusions

Since every auto insurance policy is written differently, it is a good idea to review yours so that you know what kind of coverage you have, what your limits are, and who is actually covered by the premiums you pay. From time to time, such as annually, you should review your declarations page again just to be sure you don’t need to make any changes to the policy.

Most auto insurance policies include all licensed adults over the age of 27 automatically. This means that if your spouse or adult child is at least the age that is listed for inclusion then they will be covered by your insurance policy. By contrast, that means that young drivers under the specified age limit are automatically excluded from the policy.

In either case, it is a good idea to specifically list family members from your household on your policy. This is because the automatic inclusion provision is really intended for occasional drivers and not routine drivers, so you really should specify anyone who may drive your car more than once in a great while.

For an example of the above in action, take a married couple by the name of Tom and Sue, both people in their thirties. Tom owns a car and has an auto insurance policy under his name. Sue has a driver’s license but no personal car or any auto insurance of her own. Even though Tom does not list Sue directly on his policy, he believes she is covered under the provision that allows any adult over the age of twenty-five to drive his car and be protected by the insurance policy.

Sue gets a job working from home three evenings a week and uses Tom’s car to get back and forth from work. After following this arrangement for a year, Sue gets into an accident where she is held at fault. They may get lucky and their insurance company will pay benefits based on Tom’s policy, but there is a good chance that the company will fight the claim instead, especially if there is great cost involved.

Since Sue was working routinely up to and at the time of the accident, it is easy for the auto insurance company to prove that Sue was a regular driver of the vehicle. As such, they may use a fine print clause in the contract that further defines the provision of who is included and who is excluded on the policy. Typically, this provision is geared to cover occasional drivers and not routine drivers, negating Sue on the policy and leaving Tom and Sue responsible for the financial losses of the accident.

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Adding Family Members to Your Auto Insurance

As explained above, if there is a family member that has access to your car and drives it more than sporadically, it is a good idea to add him to your policy. Provided the person is of an age that exceeds the insurance exclusion provision, has a valid driver’s license, and a normal MVR (Motor Vehicle Report) there should be no additional cost to your car insurance premium.

On the other hand, young drivers who are in your household will undoubtedly raise your rate once they are added to the policy. This is because they are considered inexperienced and are a higher risk group to insure. Without insurance, however, you cannot let your child drive your car or any other for that matter.

Since most auto insurance policies exclude young drivers under a certain age, he will most likely not be covered by anybody’s policy regardless of the car he is driving. Since he is in a high risk group and an uninsured accident can be financially devastating, as soon as your child gets his learner’s permit you need to add him to your auto insurance policy.

Finding Out if You are Insured

There are several ways of determining the insurance coverage you have on your auto and who the drivers are that are covered. The best place to confirm the details is on your declarations page of your policy, since that is ultimately the document that will be used as a determining factor in a court of law. Of course, your insurance agent should also be able to assist you.

Your declarations page states the type of auto insurance coverage you have, the limits you purchased, and the names of all drivers stated on the policy. Be sure all driving household family members are physically named on the policy. If not, call your insurance agent and request each one to be added.

Depending on an individual’s driving record, it is possible for your insurance premiums to go up when someone is added to your policy. This is most definitely the case when the family member getting added is a young driver. In order to keep your premiums low when adding additional parties to your policy, it is a good idea to shop around and request quotes from several different car insurance carriers.

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