Insurance companies typically require that all licensed drivers in a household be listed on the auto insurance policy except unlicensed teenagers or younger members under 14.
You should have a comprehensive auto policy to cover everyone who drives in your household, including those who don’t live with you but drive your car occasionally. This could include roommates, spouses, live-in nannies, older licensed children and other family members.
Everyone in your household should be listed on your car insurance policy other than unlicensed children. You need to disclose all household members when applying for car insurance
Most people have no idea who needs to be listed on their policy. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about listing drivers on your policy. We explain who needs to be listed so you can make the best decision for your family.
Not every person in your household needs to be listed on your auto insurance policy, but that typically only includes unlicensed or younger members of the house, under the age of 14. Otherwise, a policy should cover everyone who drives in your household, including those outside your household who frequently use your vehicles.
Do all household members need to be on car insurance?
All household members should be known to the car insurance company but do not necessarily have to be listed as covered drivers depending upon the situation. For instance, if you have a son who is 16 but is not yet licensed and he doesn’t drive, they may require that you list him on the policy but will not rate him until he is licensed.
Most car insurance companies require policyholders to list all licensed drivers in their household on their auto insurance policy. If anyone in the family has an accident while driving your car, your insurance will help pay for damages, as long as your policy covers them.
In some cases, you may be able to exclude certain drivers, but this typically only applies to people who don’t live with you, such as a grown child who has moved out of your home. If you exclude someone from your policy and get into an accident while driving your car, your insurance company may refuse to cover the claim.
So, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution and list all licensed drivers on your auto insurance policy.
Who needs to be listed on my car insurance policy?
When you purchase car insurance, you will need to list anyone in your household who has access to your car. Insurance companies use this information to analyze the risk and determine your yearly insurance premium.
Insurers generally expect the following people to be listed as drivers on the car insurance policy:
- Significant others.
- Friends, neighbors, or live-in nannies who borrow your car on occasion.
- Older licensed children.
- Other family members who live with you
If your roommate uses your car often, it’s good to list them on your car insurance. It will help cover the repair cost and medical bills if they ever meet with an accident while driving your car.
However, if your roommate does not drive your car, you don’t need to have them listed on your policy. Although most insurers insist on including all the licensed drivers who live with you, you can check with your insurance company.
Do I have to add my child to my car insurance?
If your child lives with you and is a licensed driver, they need to be listed on your policy in order for you to be adequately covered. If your child has already moved out of your residence, you do not have to list them on your policy but they would have to get their own car insurance policy.
In the event that your child gets into an accident in your car and you fail to disclose to your auto insurance company that there are children in your household, it is possible that you may be denied coverage due to misrepresentation.
If your children do not live with you but still occasionally drive your vehicles, you will need to inform your car insurance company. Your insurer then may or may not require you to have them as occasional drivers on your car insurance policy. It depends upon the insurer’s internal guidelines.
Do all drivers in a household have to be insured?
No, only those who expect to drive and be covered in an accident must be insured. Your insurance company will ask about everyone of driving age in the household. If anyone is not on your policy, they will not be covered. Furthermore, car insurance companies want to know if they could potentially drive your car.
Why do insurance companies ask about all household members?
Car insurance companies ask about all household members because they want to know if someone could potentially drive your car. Without having the information about all household members and the cars they drive, the insurance company cannot correctly calculate the risk and charge them for the insurance policy.
Your car insurance premium does not necessarily go up when you list household members on the policy. You can disclose your teenager to the insurer, but it will not affect your premiums until they get a driver’s license. If your older licensed children live with you and have their own insurance policy, they will have to show proof of that coverage to your insurance company.
Typically, there is no effect on your premiums when household members are just listed on your policy.
Teenagers may be disclosed to your insurer, but they won’t have an impact on your premiums until they obtain a license. In the event that you live with a licensed driver who has a car insurance policy, your company may ask to see proof of coverage.
Does the policyholder have to be the main driver?
Insurance companies require the policyholder to be the main driver of the insured vehicle. Insurers base the premiums on the policyholder’s driving history, credit score, and vehicle’s make and model. It’s illegal for someone other than the main driver to be the policyholder, which is known as fronting.
If you let someone who doesn’t live with you use your car regularly, they’ll need to be listed as an insured driver on your car insurance policy. Failing to add them to the policy could result in severe financial consequences. If they ever get involved in an accident, the insurer may refuse to cover the damage, and you’ll have to pay for the repairs out of pocket.
Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?
State laws vary, so make sure to notify your car insurance company that you have a young driver, but there are a few general guidelines:
- All licensed drivers in a household need to be added to a policy. If not, your insurer may not cover an accident or other claim.
- Some states allow car insurance companies to require you to list teens with driving permits – even those who are not yet licensed – on your insurance policy: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
- Most states will not allow teens younger than the age of majority – when states grant young people the rights and responsibilities of an adult – to title a car in their own names.
- Even if your state has no age restrictions on titling a car, teen drivers younger than 18 are unlikely to find insurance on their own. It’s a contract, and teens are not old enough to sign one. That means that you would have to also sign the teen liability insurance policy if your child is younger than 18.
How much does it cost to add a teenager to your car insurance policy?
If you add a teenager to your car insurance policy, you can expect to pay an average annual rate of $4,144 with a 16-year-old, $3,985 for a 17-year-old, $3,718 for an 18-year-old and $3,343 for a 19-year-old, according to 2022 CarInsurance.com data.
“Teenage drivers are inexperienced drivers who are less aware of their surroundings and have a tendency to drive too fast and less responsibly, which makes it more likely that they will have a claim,” says Ben Galbreath, producer and independent insurance agent with Wallace & Turner Insurance in Springfield, Ohio.
Does your spouse have to be on your auto insurance policy?
State laws differ, but most insurance companies require policyholders to list all licensed household members on their policy since these people will normally have access to your vehicles.
In some states, if you don’t tell your insurance company about all of the drivers in your household, it can be deemed misrepresentation, which is a form of fraud. But married couples may have several options for covering or excluding their spouse, depending on his or her driving and credit record.
Can married couples have separate car insurance?
Typically, before a couple gets married, they usually have separate car insurance policies if they both have their own cars and live in different places. They may be able to continue keeping separate policies after they’re married, but they’ll usually need to be listed on each other’s policies after they move in together.
It’s usually cheaper for spouses to come together and be covered under one policy after they’re married.
Insurers generally charge lower premiums for married couples than they do for individual drivers, and you may get additional car insurance discounts for insuring more than one car and driver on the same policy.
If both partners have clean driving records, the savings can be significant. Married couples with clean records on the same policy typically pay about 4% to 10% less than safe, single drivers.
But there are some situations where adding your spouse to your coverage can raise your rates, such as if your spouse has a poor driving record or low credit score. In that case, you may want to exclude your husband or wife from your coverage – but only if your spouse never plans to drive your car.
Excluding your spouse from your car insurance
Auto insurance companies typically consider all licensed drivers in a household when calculating rates, and a spouse with a poor driving or credit record can boost your rates – or make it difficult to get coverage at all, depending on the severity of their record.
Insurance companies determine premiums based on various rating factors, with a major one being your motor vehicle record.
If the insurer finds that a driver on your policy has multiple traffic violations, then it’s going to boost your rates. If any of the violations are major offenses, such as reckless driving or DUI, then that will make the rates go even higher.
If you don’t want your spouse’s poor record to affect your rates, you may want to consider an option such as a named-driver exclusion, if state laws and your insurance company’s guidelines allow.
This is an endorsement to your policy that says your spouse won’t be covered when driving your car.
In that case, your spouse won’t be covered by your car insurance policy, which will leave them uninsured if they drive your vehicle. So, if you and your spouse do plan to drive each other’s cars occasionally, you can still keep separate policies but will need to add the other person on the other policy.
AUTHORS: Shivani Gite – Contributing Researcher, Kimberly Lankford – Contributing Researcher