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How to Add a Driver to Your Car Insurance

Learn how to add another driver to your car insurance if someone else will have access to your vehicle. Find out if other coverage options exist.

If you drive a car, you should have car insurance. Insurance protects you if you get in an accident and get hurt, covering repair bills and medical bills.

It can also cover you if you’re found at fault for the accident and need to pay for someone else’s healthcare of car repairs.

Many families only own one car, even if there are multiple drivers in the family.

Some people also share cars.

In some cases, it can make sense to add another person your insurance policy to save money and keep both of you and your car protected.

Who Can You Add to Your Car Insurance?

While it varies by jurisdiction and insurer, in general, you can add anyone who lives in your home or who is an immediate family member to your car insurance policy.

This includes children who are away from home attending school.

Most insurers also let you add other people who regularly drive your vehicle.

Most policies don’t limit the number of people included in your policy, but you need to be able to provide a reason for listing them as a driver on your policy.

When Does it Make Sense to Add Someone to Your Car Insurance?

There are a few situations where it makes sense to add someone to your car insurance policy.

When required

One is when your insurer requires that the person appears on your policy.

If you’re married and share a vehicle with your spouse, they must be on the policy.

Others share the car

Similarly, other people in your household that share the car should be included.

You should also try to include anyone that drives your car regularly. If you regularly lend your car to a friend or relative, you should include them in your insurance.

Possible savings

Finally, you can sometimes save money by adding another person to your policy.

If you have a child away at college, it might cost them more to buy their insurance than it would cost to add them to your policy.

You can add them to your policy and have them pay for their share, resulting in an overall lower cost of coverage.

When Doesn’t It Make Sense to Add Someone to Your Car Insurance?

If someone already has their own car insurance, you probably don’t need to add them as a driver on your policy.

Their insurance policy should have them covered in most situations.

Rare occasions of shared use

Similarly, if you only let a friend or relative drive your car on rare occasions, most insurance policies account for that with permissive use coverage.

Check with your insurer about its policies on permissive use but lending your car to a friend to run an errand typically won’t be a problem.

Separate coverage is cheaper

Finally, if it’s cheaper to get coverage separately, there’s no reason to spend more by adding someone to your insurance policy.

You can get separate plans and spend less overall.

What Does it Cost?

How much it costs to add someone to your insurance policy varies with many factors.

You’ll probably wind up paying more for insurance but in some cases, your monthly premium could even go down.

Factors

Car insurance is complex and affected by many variables, including:

  • The model of the car
  • The car’s features
  • The number of people on the policy
  • The covered drivers’ age
  • The covered drivers’ gender
  • The covered drivers’ marital status
  • The covered drivers’ driving record.

In general, it costs less to insure older people who have good driving records.

Adding a young driver, especially a teenager, or someone with a history of accidents, could cause a large spike in your monthly premium.

For example, insurance for a 2010 Honda CRV for a 27-year-old male living in Massachusetts costs $101.67 per month through Geico. Adding a 16-year-old male driver increases the premium to $190.50 per month.

How to Add Someone to Your Car Insurance

The process for adding someone to your car insurance varies slightly from insurer to insurer.

The first thing to do:

Reach out to your insurance agent about adding someone to your policy.

Some insurers let you do this from their website, making the process slightly easier.

You’ll need to provide some information about the person you’re adding to the policy, typically including:

  • Their name
  • Their address
  • When they got their license
  • Their driving history (ticket record, accidents, etc.)
  • How frequently they use your car
  • Their driver’s license number

Once you provide this information, the insurer will give you a new quote.

If you are willing to pay the new price, you can pay any required fees and increase premiums and get your insurer to update your policy documents to add the new driver.

What Are the Alternatives?

Just because someone uses your car doesn’t mean that you need to add them to your insurance policy. There are a few alternatives to consider.

Non-owner car insurance

The most common alternative is non-owner car insurance.

People who drive, but don’t own their own car, can purchase these policies to provide them with coverage when they’re driving someone else’s car.

Typically, the coverage includes liability protection, but doesn’t protect the car that the non-owner is driving.

This means:

The insurance will cover things such as medical costs and legal fees related to accidents but won’t pay for repairs to the car.

Before purchasing this insurance, check local laws to see if this is the right kind of coverage.

Many states require that non-owners be listed on a car’s insurance policy if they use it regularly or live at the same address as the owner.

Non-owner car insurance is most popular with:

  • People who frequently rent cars
  • People who use a service like ZipCar
  • People who want to maintain continuous coverage, even if they don’t own a car currently
  • People who often borrow cars from others
  • People who have to have insurance for other reasons, such as local law

Conclusion

Adding someone to your car insurance helps you protect your vehicle and the driver you’re adding to your policy.

Sure:

It usually comes at a cost, but there are things you can do to mitigate the expense, such as only adding people with clean driving histories.

Before adding someone to your policy, check local laws to see if they have to be included in your policy, and make sure to look for alternatives to see if they are cheaper.