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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Yes! If your boyfriend is a licensed driver and has your permission to use your car, he generally would be covered under your auto insurance. He should also be of legal age, as special rules apply to underage drivers in many states.
Auto insurance policies generally cover the named insured and is issued in the name of the vehicle owner, who is usually listed as the principal driver. Other licensed drivers who use the vehicle on a casual or occasional basis should also be covered. However, some state laws and auto insurance companies do have different policies so before handing over the keys to your boyfriend call your car insurance company to make sure.
Will my boyfriend still be covered if we live together?
Yes, as long as his use of your vehicle is only occasional. However, if he uses your car on a regular basis, the insurance company would expect you to add him as an additional insured on your policy.
It is important to remember that if your boyfriend or any other driver of your vehicle lives at your address, it could call into question how often that person really does use your car. Of course, this would only be questioned should the other person have an accident while driving your vehicle and you file a claim.
The same holds true if your boyfriend or any other person is in fact the principal driver of a vehicle that you own and insure. This should be reported to the insurance company who will certainly adjust your coverage and premium rates.
Be aware that rates may reflect the driving record and insurability of the second driver, as well as the policyholder or primary driver. Before determining rates and issuing a policy, the insurance company will review all drivers listed on the application.
What if my boyfriend gets a traffic ticket or some other moving violation?
The good news is that the driver of the vehicle is responsible for any violations while he or she is driving the car. This even extends to fix-it tickets and equipment violations, such as a blown tail light or an expired registration or inspection. You as owner may be at fault for not repairing a vehicle or sending in the registration on a timely basis, but the driver is expected to be aware of the vehicle’s condition before taking it on the road. Remember, ignorance of a situation is not a legal excuse!
What’s the bad news?
The bad news is that if your boyfriend or another driver has an accident while driving your car it may very well negatively affect your insurance rates. No matter who is fault, if a claim is filed on your auto insurance policy then he only person who gets a higher bill is you.
Will my rates always go up if my car is involved in an accident?
No! Accidents, which are not your fault, will not cause your insurance premiums to increase. However, your insurance company is within its rights to ask you to increase your deductibles or coverage amounts if your vehicle has frequently been involved in no-fault accidents.
Many auto insurers offer accident forgiveness for minor accidents involving less than $1,000 in damages or even for a more costly accident, if there have been no other occurrences over a specified period. Accident forgiveness may be included free of charge in some policies, while other insurance companies may charge extra for this coverage.
Is it expensive to add drivers to auto policies?
Not usually, depending on the age and driving record of the person in question. In fact, there may be no additional charge for an adult with an excellent credit history and clean driving record.
Is my credit history important when applying for car insurance?
Yes, your credit history, good or bad, can have an effect on your car insurance rates! Statistics have shown that individuals with poor credit are more likely to be involved in accidents and file insurance claims. Some car insurance companies are known to charge poor credit risks as much as two or three times as much as they charge customers with flawless credit!
What other factors are considered when setting my auto insurance rates?
Auto insurers base premiums on a variety of factors and some even take a customer’s occupation and level of education into account when setting rates. While it may not seem fair that a grocery clerk with a high school diploma pays more for auto coverage than a corporate executive with an MBA, car insurance companies defend their policies by pointing out that insurance is all about risk, and studies do show correlations of risk between careers.
How much of an increase in premiums can I expect?
Adding your boyfriend (or another adult driver) to your policy will probably result in only a nominal increase in your annual premiums and may not increase your insurance costs at all. Adding a new driver however, especially a teen driver will increase your premiums dramatically! Young drivers are expensive to insurance and adding one to your policy can increase premiums by up to 50% or more.
Rates gradually decrease when a driver reaches age 25 and continue until middle age, when auto insurance rates are generally at their lowest. However, older drivers past age 65 will most likely see increases in their car insurance rates.