There are many questions that potential insurers may ask when you are shopping for car insurance. One of these questions is about who will drive the vehicle while it is insured. While this may seem like a straight-forward answer to some, the question is designed for insurers to properly evaluate your risk and calculate how much insurance you need.
As the policyholder, you will automatically be listed as a driver on the auto insurance policy. However, family members in your household can also be placed on your policy whether they will borrow the vehicle part-time or not. This is so insurance providers can see your risk level.
When it comes to insurance, risk refers to how likely you are to file a claim on your policy. Policies with more drivers tend to cost more, as multiple drivers mean a higher risk of an accident. In fact, nearly every factor influencing your car insurance rates directly ties back to your risk level.
Who Can I Add to My Car Insurance Policy?
You may be able to add anyone with a driver’s license in your household on your car insurance policy. For example, if your child just received their driver’s license, you may be able to add them to your insurance policy. Just keep in mind that a teenager’s age and lack of experience generally means significantly higher insurance premiums.
There are exceptions, however. Some insurers may refuse to allow you to add certain people to your car insurance policy and instead list them as “excluded drivers.” Excluded drivers are those who are not covered under your car insurance policy even with permission. If you allow an excluded driver to operate your vehicle, that driver will not be covered by your policy in case of an accident. Excluded drivers are usually those with a significantly poor driving record or low credit score. These drivers are considered too high risk to insure, thus insurance companies may only insure you with the requirement that certain drivers be excluded.
You generally may not add drivers who are not part of your household, as well. If you and your romantic partner share a vehicle but do not live together, for example, they may not be listed on your car insurance policy. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be covered, however.
A personal auto insurance policy is designed to cover essentially anyone given permission to operate the vehicle, aside from excluded drivers. You do not have to inform your insurer of every single person who borrows your car. Instead, they only need to know about other frequent drivers and those you want to name on your policy.
What Happens When You Name Someone on Your Car Insurance Policy?
When you name someone else as a driver on your auto insurance policy, the other named driver should have as much coverage as you do while operating the insured vehicle. There are downsides too, unfortunately. When you add another driver to your auto insurance policy, every factor that influences your rates will apply from this driver, as well. For example, if you add a younger driver with a poor driving record,you could see your car insurance premiums rise by a significant amount. On the other hand, adding a driver with a better record and score may actually work to save you money.
Take these facts into careful consideration before adding other drivers to your policy. While it is important to do so when necessary, it is not always required.
What Happens if You Lie About Another Driver?
Say you forget to mention that someone else has been borrowing your vehicle and that driver causes an accident. Will they still be covered under your car insurance policy?
In short, it’s possible but not guaranteed. Failing to disclose information like this can be known as “soft fraud.” If you do not tell your insurer that someone else has been using your vehicle, you could face a denied claim and even, in severe cases, a canceled policy. It is always better to be honest with your insurer. Just because you don’t file a claim does not mean that your insurer won’t know about an accident, especially if medical bills and a police report are involved.
Be sure to speak with your insurance agent and loved ones about the right way to insure others on your policy.
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