No, you don't need to get your own car insurance when you turn 26. That's a rule that applies to health insurance. You can actually share car insurance policies at any age. You just need to make sure the drivers and vehicles are properly listed on the policy you're on.
The Affordable Care Act, which regulates health insurance, prompts most people to get on their own health insurance plan when they turn 26. That makes twenty six a birthday that sticks in people's minds when they think about insurance. But, it has nothing at all to do with car insurance. We promise!
Whether you should or shouldn't be on someone else's car insurance policy has more to do with where you live and what cars you drive. Here's a list covering most situations when you're driving for personal use.
When you should consider staying on someone else's car insurance:
- If you don't own a car but have a license, and you live with family members who do own a car. You should be listed on their policy.
- Similarly, if you have roommates who own a car, but you don't. If you ever drive their car (like, in a medical emergency, would you get behind the wheel?), you should usually be listed on their policy.
- If you live away from your family temporarily, like for a work assignment, you should stay on their policy. If you live at school much of the year, there's often a "student away at school" discount available.
- If you have regular access to or regularly drive a car that belongs to someone you don't live with. Like, you drive your grandmother around on her errands in her car on Saturdays - you should be listed as a driver on her policy.
- You and your spouse are separated but not divorced. You may need or want to stay on the same policy until everything is settled. This is a complicated situation - double-check with your agent.
When you should get car insurance of your own:
- You buy a car, and the policy you're listed on is not your spouse's or legal domestic partner's policy
- You move permanently from the household whose policy you're on, you want coverage when you drive, and you're not regularly driving household cars. (A non owner auto policy may be a good option.)
- You want more liability coverage than is offered on the policy you are listed on. You can buy your own liability-only policy, even if you don't own a car. Just be aware that it won't cover you when you are driving a vehicle you have regular access to, like one owned by a member of your household.
- You want to begin building your own insurance history because you are starting to think about buying a car. This can make you eligible for a significant discount on insurance when you do buy a car.
If you drive for business, you should be covered by your employer's commercial auto policy. And if you're self-employed, while there are some limited ways to add business use to a personal policy, you may still need a commercial policy. You should definitely talk to your agent to make sure you are covered.
So, have a happy birthday, sort out your health insurance, and shoot us a text if we can ever help with your car insurance! But, whenever you feel the time is right, here's how to get off your parents policy.