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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Today’s families are changing; more and more people are living in “blended” situations, with extended families, or with a variety of different people. Your household might include adults, children, step-children and even aunts, uncles or cousins. When it comes to car insurance, some people question whether they have to list everyone in their household on their insurance policy. What if that person never drives your car? What if that person has a terrible driving record? Is there any way to exclude certain people from your insurance policy?
Certainly you have some control over who drives your car, and therefore can be choosy about who you put on your car insurance. You do not have to list co-workers on your car insurance, for example, or people who merely visit your household. These people would probably never drive your car unless it was an emergency situation, and even then the chances are small.
Other Drivers in the Household
Unfortunately, for people who live in your household, you are required to list them when applying for insurance, if they have a drivers’ license. Insurance companies take a dim view of excluding your teenager from your policy, then filing a claim when he backs the car into another vehicle while “just moving them around.” It is also likely that anyone living in your household has access to your car keys, and could use your car even without your permission. In order to be on the safe side, you must list all household members on your policy. In order to fully protect yourself and everyone in your household, you must be honest about the people living with you when talking to an insurance agent.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. In some states, you are legally allowed to “exclude” a driver from your policy for bad driving history. For example, suppose your twenty-year-old son has a DUI and has his license suspended for one year. It is perfectly legitimate in some states to contact your car insurance agent and have your son removed as a driver from your policy. However, a word of caution is in order here: if you remove your son from your policy, and he drives your car and causes an accident, you will be forced into the uncomfortable position of filing theft charges against him in order to be covered by your insurance. If you fail to prosecute a driver who is not allowed to drive your car, most insurance companies will refuse to pay.
In states where you are not legally allowed to exclude a family member from your policy, you can, in many cases, have the person removed if he or she has their own insurance policy. For example, if your twenty-year-old son lives at home, but pays for his own automobile insurance, not only can he be removed from your policy, but his insurance will usually cover him to drive your vehicle – often without any increase in premium to either of you.
Be Honest with your Car Insurance Company
When you apply for car insurance, it is important to be honest with your agent about who lives in your household and may be behind the wheel of your vehicle. Most companies designate a “regular driver” who is the owner of the car or the person who drives it most frequently; other drivers may be listed as “occasional drivers,” such as children who might use their parents’ car only on weekends. By designating drivers in this way, you can curb the cost of insuring everyone in your household, and still provide necessary coverage no matter who drives your vehicle.
To find low prices on car insurance for all the drivers in your home, it pays to do a car insurance quote comparison. You can quickly discover what companies are willing to offer in terms of premiums; some people are very surprised at the price differences among companies who give them quotes. You can easily compare prices and policies and choose the right one to meet your needs, as well as those of your family.