When your life changes, your auto insurance policy might need to change, too. Any time someone starts driving your car regularly, whether that’s a new roommate, a partner, or a family member, you can add them to your policy. In fact, your insurance provider might require it. So, how do you know if you need to add someone? And how does adding a driver to your car insurance work? Don’t worry – it’s pretty simple.
Who should I add to my car insurance?
Insurance companies want all regular drivers of a car they insure to be on that car’s policy – so add anyone who drives your car frequently to your policy. If they cause an accident while driving your car, you’ll know your insurance will cover the damages. Most insurance companies also require you to add any drivers with the same permanent address to your policy, though if they truly never your car, you may not need to pay for coverage for them.
So, who can you add?
Romantic partner or spouse
If you’re in a long-term relationship, chances are high that your partner drives your car often. In that case, you should add them to your policy. Same goes if you live with your partner. If you’re married and live with your spouse, your insurer will likely require you to be on the same policy.
Housemate or roommate
You can add any driver with the same address as you to your policy. If you live together and also share a car, you both need to be on that car’s policy. You and your roommate(s) could save money by sharing an auto insurance policy. Long-term houseguests (anyone staying with you longer than a month) who drive your car should join your policy, too.
A family member
If you have a teenager in the house who just got their license, you need to add them to your policy. Some states require you to add your teen to your policy when they get their learner’s permit.
If your kid is away at college but shares a permanent address with you and drives your car when they’re on break, they still need to be on your insurance policy. If your child studies at a college more than 100 miles away, they might qualify for a student away from home discount.
If your parent or another family member has the same address as you and drives your car, you should add them to your policy, too.
Anyone else who borrows your car regularly
To protect you financially, add anyone who uses your car a lot to your policy. That could be your friend who’s always borrowing your car, a neighbor you let use your car for errands every week, or a babysitter who uses your car to drive your kids around.
Can I add a driver to my insurance if they don’t live with me?
Yes, you can add a driver to your auto insurance policy even if they don’t live with you! You can add a new driver to your policy no matter where they live, so long as they have a valid license or permit.
Does adding a driver affect auto insurance rates?
Adding a new driver is likely to change your car insurance premiums. However, adding a new driver to your car insurance policy isn’t like adding another person to your health insurance – it doesn’t necessarily make the cost go up. The effect of a new driver on your policy depends on how the insurance company assesses them.
Factors that could make a new driver raise your rates include:
- They are under 25 or inexperienced
- Their insurance history has a lot of claims
- Their driving record has accidents or traffic violations in the past seven years
But you might see some savings from adding a new driver if:
- They are a high school or college student who earns good grades
- They are a mature driver
- They have a minimal claims history
- They’ve never had an accident
Will the person I add to my car insurance policy be able to make changes to the policy?
Generally, no, unless you choose to and your insurance company allows a second person to make policy changes.
You can add two types of drivers to an auto insurance policy: a named driver and an additional driver.
In this case, you’re the named driver. The named driver is the one who owns the insurance policy and owns or leases the car it covers. They pay premiums and get checks for claims filed on the policy. And they get to make changes to the policy.
An additional driver is anyone else included in an auto insurance policy. They’re not responsible for the policy, but the policy covers them. If they get into an accident while driving a car that’s on the policy, the insurance company is more likely to cover them.
More than one person can be a named driver, though this may be limited to your spouse. If you and your spouse want joint responsibility for your car insurance, you can both be named drivers. Say your teen daughter gets her license. You’d want to add her as an additional driver so your policy covers her, but she doesn’t have to get involved with the administrative details.
How do I add an additional driver to my auto insurance policy?
Adding a driver to your policy is easy, and you can do it anytime. You don’t need to wait for a qualifying life change like you would to add someone to your health insurance.
There are a few ways to add someone to your policy. You could:
- Call your insurance provider and talk to an agent
- Log into your insurance provider’s website
- Use your insurance provider’s mobile app
You’ll need to provide information about the new driver to your insurance company. Depending on your relationship, you might want to have them with you so they can enter sensitive information like their Social Security number. Don’t forget to ask your agent about discounts that might apply to the driver you’re adding to the policy.
Once you’ve notified your insurance company of the additional driver, they’ll add the driver to your policy. Then, they’ll let you know they approved the new driver and send you an updated policy. This is when you’ll find out whether your premium changed.
Once your company approves the new driver, the driver will be covered when they drive your car. Maybe you should go on a road trip together!