There are many reasons you may need to add another driver to your auto insurance policy. Marriage, teen drivers coming of age, and in-laws moving in are just a few. Chances are, whatever the reason, someday you’ll need to add a driver to your policy.
This article will prepare you for adding another person, such as a teen driver, to your policy. We’ll talk about when you should add someone and when you may not need to do it. We’ll also break down how to add another driver to your car insurance and how it may affect your premium.
When to Add Another Driver
One of the most common scenarios for adding a driver is if you have a teen of driving age. If they’re going to be driving your car frequently, you’ll want them on your policy. But there are lots of other reasons to add another driver to your policy.
You should start thinking about adding someone to your auto insurance if they drive your car a lot or live with you. Below are the most common examples of people you might add to your policy:
- Teenagers or young drivers living with you
- Boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse who will use your car often
- Roommate or friend who lives at your address and uses your car often
- Your parent(s) or in-laws who move into your house and use your car often
Temporary or Short-Term Coverage Is an Option
You don’t have to think about adding a driver to your policy as being permanent. Sometimes it makes sense to add someone to your policy for a short time. An example of this is if your teen returns from college for the summer and wants to drive. Contact an agent if you have questions about this. They’ll be able to answer your specific questions regarding temporary drivers and your coverage.
When Not to Add Another Driver
There are many cases where you’d want to add another person to your policy. But there are also times when it isn’t worth it. If someone drives your car once or twice for a couple of errands, for instance, they’re already covered. So, adding them to your policy would likely be a waste of your time.
If you allow a friend to use your vehicle, they probably have coverage through the “omnibus” (permissive use) clause in your insurance—if your policy includes it. In simplest terms, permissive use means that you allowed someone who’s not on your policy to use your car.
Adding a Teen Driver to Your Policy
Almost all kids will eventually want the ultimate symbol of freedom—being able to drive. If your child is starting to drive, you’re going to want to add them to your car insurance.
Make sure to contact your agent so that you know your state’s laws for adding a teen driver. Sometimes, for example, you can’t add a child unless they have a driver’s license. In other cases, you could add them when they get their learner’s permit. Therefore, it’s important to check with your insurer about specifics.
Expect to Pay More
You should note that adding a teen driver could affect your premium. It’s not uncommon for companies to raise rates for families who have teen drivers.
Higher rates for teens are simply due to the bigger risk of getting in an accident they pose. Teen boys are especially at risk. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported in 2017 that a total number of 2,019 boys aged 16 to 19 were in accidents, as opposed to 1,003 for girls of the same age.
If you want to lower your rates or keep them the same, it’s a good idea to encourage good habits behind the wheel. Teens who stay away from texting while driving and alcohol will be ahead of the game. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that kids also aim to get a good student discount (B average at school) to lower their rates.
How to Add a New Driver
The best way to add a new driver to your insurance policy is to first talk to your provider. You must typically know the below info about the person you want to add:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Years they’ve had their driver’s license
- Driver’s license number
- Recent tickets or accident involvements
The Effect on Your Car Insurance Premium
Many factors determine your rates. One of the most important is who drives your car. So, adding another driver to your policy can raise your premium. The higher the risk, the higher your rates. Teens have little driving experience and get into a lot of accidents compared to other age groups. That’s why adding a teen driver to your policy can be so expensive.
But there are also situations where adding another driver will barely move the needle. For example, consider your mother-in-law who has been driving for many years with no accidents. Adding her to your policy may cost you next to nothing. But if she gets a speeding ticket or crashes the car, you’ll find yourself paying much more for insurance.
How to Lower Insurance Costs with a New Driver
Before you add a driver, be aware that their driving will influence how much you pay for auto insurance. A bad driver can spike your rates. A good driver won’t impact your rates at all. Each situation is unique. If the premium you’re quoted is more than you’d like to pay after adding a new driver, compare car insurance rates from other insurers.
If you’re unhappy with your current provider and want to switch to one that does a better for new drivers, we’ve already done the research. Check out our article about the best car insurance companies for new drivers before you add someone to your existing policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I add someone to my car insurance policy?
A: Yes, you can. In most cases, you can add anyone to your auto policy. You might want to add a driver if they live in your household or use your car frequently. Note that it’s probably not a good idea to add a “high-risk” driver to your policy. This typically includes people with severe offenses, such as DUIs or reckless driving.
Q: Should I add my roommate to my insurance?
A: If your roommate doesn’t have car insurance or a vehicle, you should think about adding them. It’s worthwhile to make sure they have coverage if they’re going to be using your vehicle often. Borrowed cars get into accidents all the time. You’d probably be covered. But your best bet is to include everyone that regularly drives the car on your policy. Another option would be to have your roommate acquire a non-owner policy.
Q: Why is it so expensive to add teens to your policy?
A: Teens are one of the riskiest groups of drivers. Males are especially risky and have higher numbers of involvements in accidents than their female counterparts. Trying to encourage good habits and using things like the student away discount can help lower your premiums.