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How to add drivers to your car insurance policy

Find out who should be on your policy and how it will affect your premium.

Want to cover another driver under your insurance? The process should take no time at all, but adding or removing a driver could affect your insurance rates.

How to add a driver to your car insurance in 5 steps

Adding or removing drivers from your policy is easy with a simple phone call to your insurance company. In many cases, you can also log in to your online account to update this information.

  1. Call your insurance company or log in to your online account
  2. Request to add or remove secondary drivers to your account
  3. Provide the necessary information about the driver, including reason for being added or removed
  4. Ask any questions about insurance rates and available discounts
  5. Request written confirmation as proof for your records or save the updated driver information online

What info do I need to add drivers?

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation
  • Social Security number
  • Length of driving history
  • Recent driving history

How much does it cost to add a driver to car insurance?

You won’t face an extra fee for adding or removing drivers, but you may pay more on your premiums.

How your car insurance rates are affected will depend on the driver. Insurance companies determine rates based on the driver’s age, gender, student status and driving history. In some cases, a good driver may help lower your premium.

Adding a teen driver or driver with multiple accidents or claims will likely raise your premium. Insurance companies deem these drivers a high risk due to driving inexperience or likelihood of filing a claim.

If you have an under-21 driver on your policy, you may be able to reduce your premium by encouraging your teen to get good grades, have a clean driving record and take driver safety courses.

You can also often get a discount if the named driver is away at college. That means it may not be worth removing your student from your policy if they leave home to continue school, especially if they’ll still drive your car on breaks.

Who should be on my car insurance policy?

The main person insuring the car will be the one deciding all secondary drivers. The primary insured is usually the car’s owner or main driver.

As the main policyholder, you can add secondary drivers if they:

  • Are a family member
  • Live at the same home address
  • Use the car regularly

Drivers you may need to add include:

  • Spouse
  • Roommates
  • Teenage drivers
  • Family members living with you

Contact your insurance company if you have a question or special situation. Some insurers may require you to add friends or family members who use your car but don’t live at your address.

You may also be required to list all licensed individuals in your household, even if you don’t intend to let them drive the vehicle regularly.

What if I don’t want someone on my policy?

You might not want to give everyone living in your home permission or coverage to drive your car, especially if they’re a new driver or have a history of getting into accidents.

In that case, ask your insurer about excluding certain drivers from using your car. Otherwise, your insurer might assume that anyone living at or visiting your home has permission to drive your car, and any accident they have in your car would go through your insurance.

What are drivers on my policy covered for?

Car insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. Generally, your policy will maintain the same coverage, no matter which named driver is behind the wheel.

Your liability coverage will still cover medical bills and vehicle damage to the other person involved in an accident, even if the secondary driver was at fault. Your collision coverage would cover your own car’s damages, and you’d file a claim with your insurance as normal.

However, check how your insurance handles coverage for secondary drivers, especially with add-ons like medical payments. Some policies will consider your insurance as the primary coverage until you reach your limits, then use your secondary driver’s insurance to cover expenses past your maximum coverage.

What if someone not on my policy borrows my car?

At times, you might choose to lend your car to a friend, coworker or family member not on your insurance. Generally, your liability and collision coverage will still come into effect in this scenario.

If your friend causes an accident, your insurance would kick in to cover the other driver involved in the accident. Your collision policy should also cover your own vehicle damages.

However, personal injury and medical payments will likely not cover a person who isn’t named on the policy. Your friend’s insurance may cover their own medical expenses and act as secondary insurance if damages go above your policy’s limit.

Be sure to check how your insurance company handles these situations before lending out your vehicle.

What if someone borrows or steals my car without my permission?

You might have to use your car insurance if someone uses your car without your permission.

Say a friend or family member borrows your car without permission and gets in an accident. You’ll probably need proof that you denied permission if you’d prefer they pay for damages through their own insurance.

If a thief steals your car and gets into an accident, you’ll most likely need your insurance to pay for damages unless the thief can be found and made to pay up.

Adding a new driver with their own car

If you’re adding a new car and a new driver to your policy, you may be eligible for bundling discounts. But you’ll need to make sure you’re clear with the insurance as to which driver uses which car.

So if a teenager has a car that they primarily drive, for example, the parent shouldn’t be listed as the primary driver. This practice of listing a false primary driver, also called fronting, can lead to denied claims.

Most insurance companies stick to a general rule of one car per driver in a household. And many will require an explanation if you list yourself as the primary driver on multiple vehicles.

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Bottom line

You should add a driver to your car insurance policy if they drive your car regularly and live at your address. Most of the time secondary drivers involve family members, but roommates and other regular drivers might need your coverage too.

The process of adding or removing these drivers should be easy. When in doubt, call your insurance. Customer service should be happy to answer questions and take care of changing information for you.

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