When you’re getting a quote for cheap car insurance or updating your policy, you may find yourself wondering: Do I have to include everyone in my household who is old enough to drive on my auto insurance policy? The short answer is, yes, unless you are able to exclude them. But what is an excluded driver and why would you exclude a driver in your household? Let’s look at an example!
Your cousin, Alisha, is coming to stay with you during her final year of college. She has a driver’s license, but no car. Unfortunately, you don’t feel comfortable allowing her to drive your car and you’re worried that adding her to your insurance policy could cause your rate to go up. (She’s been in quite a few fender benders and had a DUI.) Plus, you live close enough to the school that you figure she could easily walk or take the bus to class.
You’ve heard the term “excluded driver” before, and think that it may apply to your cousin and your car insurance policy. So, you call your insurance company to find out whether your cousin can be excluded from your auto insurance policy.
What is an excluded driver?
Your car insurance company explains that an excluded driver is a person who is not covered at any time while driving your vehicle—even if they end up driving your car in the event of an emergency. By excluding them from your policy, you are formally acknowledging that they will not drive your car and your car insurance company will rate your policy accordingly. A driver like Alisha could be considered a “high risk driver,” and excluding her could help you keep your cheap car insurance rate.
What happens if an excluded driver gets into a car accident?
Let’s say you list Alisha as an excluded driver on your car insurance policy, but she ends up driving your car anyways. (What were you thinking Alisha?!) If she were involved in a car accident while driving your car, your insurance company probably would not pay for the damages, though it varies from state to state. And, your car insurance company may decide to take other adverse action against you, like not renewing your policy.
This means that you could be liable for the damages and injuries that result from the auto accident. And if she took your car without your permission, you could be asked to prove that she stole your vehicle in order for the accident to be covered by your insurance company. Yikes!
The bottom line: Who should I include on my auto insurance policy?
Before choosing to exclude a driver from your insurance policy, talk to your insurance agent about your specific situation. In general, everyone that is 14 years and older who resides within your household should be listed on your policy, regardless of whether or not they have a driver’s license. Any other regular operators of vehicles, including children away from home or in college (licensed or not), should be listed as well.
It is really important to be honest with your insurance company about who lives in your household and who regularly drives your car, even if your state does not allow you to exclude a driver. The consequences for not telling your insurance company about the drivers who live with you can be costly when your insurance company discovers the omitted information, including denial of coverage, policy cancellation or rescission.
Driver exclusion availability and criteria varies by state and insurance company. Before specifying an excluded driver on your auto insurance policy, learn more about who is and isn’t covered under your car insurance policy, and talk to a representative at Direct by calling 1-877-463-4732. They’ll help you understand the pros and cons associated with excluding a driver, what alternative coverage options may be, and what your state’s specific criteria are for excluded drivers.
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