Adding and Removing Drivers on Your Policy

Children becoming teens, aging parents, and new people living in your home are a few instances when you may need to make driver changes to your auto insurance policy. To keep your policy current and remain protected, it's imperative for you to know when and how to modify your insurance policy's driver information.

Why Accurate Driver Information Is Important

When drivers within your household change, you need to notify your car insurance company. If your insurance provider finds you're allowing someone else in your home to drive your car, they may cancel your policy. A canceled car insurance policy can quickly turn into a costly mistake, and you could wind up with much higher rates in the future. You are also likely to end up without insurance for a short time, putting you at risk for financial hardship in the event of an uninsured accident.

When to Change Your Policy

You'll need to notify your insurance provider and make changes to your current auto policy when:

  • A new licensed driver (like a roommate) moves into your house.
  • A parent moves in and is still a safe driver.
  • Your teen is old enough to drive.
  • You get married.
  • A roommate moves out of your home.
  • A driver gets his or her own policy.
  • You become divorced.

In addition to making sure every driver in your home has the proper coverage to drive your car, auto insurance companies will need accurate and detailed driver information to calculate the change in cost to your insurance policy. To determine this figure, auto insurance companies consider the likelihood that you or someone else in your home will need to file a claim.

Excluding a Driver

Car insurance companies typically require you to name everyone in your house who drives a vehicle on your policy to make sure you have the proper coverage. In some cases, insurance companies will let you leave a driver off if he or she falls under the driver exclusion section of your policy.

An example of an excluded driver could be an adult child who moved home temporarily, and has separate auto insurance. You may also exclude a teen who is old enough but not responsible enough to drive.

Consider excluding drivers who have had serious infractions on their driving records within the last three to five years. This may include drivers:

  • With several traffic tickets.
  • Who've been convicted of DUI.
  • Involved in severe accidents.

Remember, once you exclude a driver, they will not have the insurance coverage required to drive your car. If the excluded driver takes your vehicle out on the road and is involved in an auto accident, you will not have insurance coverage to compensate for any injuries or repairs. Furthermore, your auto insurance company could cancel your coverage. This could also make it a lot tougher for you to get affordable car insurance in the future.

How to Add or Remove Drivers from Your Policy

The basic information usually required to add OR remove a driver from your auto insurance includes:

  • The person's name and date of birth.
  • His or her driver's license number.
  • The state that issued his or her license.
  • The date the license was issued.
  • Your vehicle's VIN.
  • Your household's estimated daily mileage.
  • The person's education level.

If you're adding a teen, then the insurance company will likely ask you for his or her grade point average (GPA). Statistics show that teens with high grade point averages are safer drivers—if this sounds like your teen, you may be eligible for insurance discounts.

When you're removing someone from your policy because the person is deceased, the insurance company will likely ask you to provide the death certificate. If you're removing your spouse due to a separation or divorce, the car insurance company may ask you for his or her current address. Also, in situations where you're removing a person because he or she has obtained a separate insurance policy, you may need to give the company the effective start date of the other policy.

Quantity of Drivers & Your Rates

The number of drivers on your policy will affect your rates. If you add a high-risk driver, your rates will increase. Most insurance companies deem teens to be high-risk, but those who have poor driving records also fall into this category.

Safeguarding Your Financial Future

By keeping your car insurance policy current, you're keeping yourself safe. It's important to know when to add or remove a driver, so check with your insurance company if you have questions about who should be on your policy. Keep in mind that emergency driving situations may arise, and when they do, it's important to be protected.