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Can you add a driver to your car insurance?

The lowdown...
  • Adding a driver to your car insurance can be a necessity, but it all depends on your situation
  • If this added driver operates your vehicle often, then it is a good idea to add them to your insurance policy
  • Additionally, if this driver is a member of your household, your insurance company may require you to add them
  • Before adding a driver to your insurance it’s important to research their previous driving record and their insurance or claim history
  • Also, it’s a good idea to research any state-specific limitations or exclusions that your policy terms state before adding another driver

Making the decision to add a driver to your insurance policy is something to think over carefully before proceeding. However, there are scenarios that may require you to add another driver to your policy.

There are different factors that you may need to take into consideration, such as the following:

  • their driving record
  • their claim history
  • how often they operate your vehicle

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How often does this driver use your car?

When considering the addition of a new driver, you should look at how often this driver is using your car. When there is another driver operating your vehicle, it is normally the vehicle’s primary insurance that covers any potential loss.

If the driver carries a different insurance policy, your provider may still be expected to cover the loss.

When trying to determine if you should add this driver, your policy terms may stipulate when a driver should be added.

An example of this would be a close friend or relative that lives nearby and operates your car at least once a week.

If this is the scenario, then your insurance company may stipulate that this driver should be listed on your policy. If this driver is not listed and ends up being involved in a loss, then your insurance company may be unwilling to cover any reported claims.

What are this driver’s previous driving record and insurance history?

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When you add a new driver to your policy, you are also adding their driving record and their insurance history to what your provider will consider.

Your insurance company will take this driver’s driving record into account when calculating your new premium, and they will review the driver’s previous insurance history and claim history as well.

If you add a driver that has a history of traffic violations or other driving incidents, this can lead to an increase in your premium amount.

Also, if the information reviewed is severe enough, your provider may decide to cancel or non-renew your coverage.

If you are concerned about how adding a driver to your insurance policy will affect your premium or your coverage, speak to them before completing the addition.

If your current provider is unable to add this driver or wants to adjust your premium in a way you cannot accept, you may want to consider looking for a different insurance company to meet your needs.

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What is this driver’s housing situation?

The driver’s living situation may figure in when determining if you should add them to your car insurance.

Your insurance provider will often look at the drivers living in the household when deciding what to charge for a premium, the coverage they want to extend, and if they should keep your policy active.

For instance, if the person you have considered adding to your policy lives with you, your insurance company may assume they operate your vehicle occasionally. This may be enough for them to require the driver to be added to your policy.

The exception to this may be if the potential driver can provide proof that they have their own insurance; traditionally through a signed affidavit from that driver’s insurance.

When you are getting a coverage quote or making policy changes, it’s crucial that you are honest and upfront with your provider.

If there is a claim situation that occurs, and your provider discovers false or incorrect information was provided to them, your claim may end up being voided. This may even fall under the umbrella of insurance fraud, which may result in additional, more serious consequences.

Are there state-specific restrictions or exclusions you need to consider?

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Each state operates with federally mandated insurance requirements in place as well as their own, state-specific regulations or state-specific exclusions. These may limit who can operate your car; normally, listed drivers are the only ones allowed to use a vehicle.

If you have a driver in your household that uses your car but has not been listed on your policy, then any claims they may file could be invalid. If this occurs, you could be liable for any property damage or bodily injuries that occur.

Adding a driver to your insurance coverage may be required depending on what your current situation is.

However, it is important to consider the following:

  • any requirements that your insurance provider has
  • the driver’s previous insurance history and driving record
  • any limits or exclusions listed in your policy terms

If you have more questions about adding a driver to your policy, your coverage in general, or other questions that your provider cannot answer, you may have another option.

Your state’s Department of Insurance may be able to provide additional insight and information that your current or potential insurance company is not able to.

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