How to Add Drivers to Car Insurance

Few drivers have only one person listed on their car insurance policy. In fact, unless motor vehicle laws in your state allow exclusions, any licensed driver living with you must be listed on your policy. Additionally, those who may not live with you but who frequently drive your car should be on your policy. This applies to family members, including a teen driver who visits with you regularly but lives with another parent, relatives and friends. In most cases, you are responsible for adding drivers to your car insurance.

Adding a Driver vs. Giving Permission

Even though most policies contain an omnibus clause that extends coverage automatically to anyone driving your car with your permission, insurers still require that you add all licensed drivers living with you and any habitual borrowers to your policy. Although adding drivers may increase insurance premium costs in the short term, meeting this requirement protects you in three important ways:

  • According to the Ameriprise Insurance Company, you risk policy cancellation by knowingly failing to add a driver required to be on your policy.
  • If a driver who should be on your policy but isn't causes an accident, the insurer may deny the claim. In this case, you'd be liable for all of the damages.
  • While an insurer will fully cover all listed drivers, in some states insurers reduce coverage limits for permissive drivers -- drivers who have your permission to drive your car.

Warning

Some insurers limit the number of drivers you can list on a single policy. If you exceed the specified limit, the insurer may require that you purchase a separate driver policy for these additional drivers.

Driver Exclusions

Most states permit you to exclude certain drivers from your insurance policy by filing an operator exclusion form. For example, you may want to exclude a roommate who never drives your car, a teen with a bad driving record or one with a conviction for driving under the influence. According to Esurance, some insurers may even ask you to exclude high-risk drivers as a risk mitigation tactic. Doing this may decrease your insurance rates.

Warning

Never permit an excluded driver to drive your car. If you do, the insurer will not cover an accident if one occurs. In fact, laws in some states may hold you liable even if an excluded driver uses your car without your permission.

How to Add Drivers

Automatic Coverage

Some insurers provide default coverage to a teenage driver with a learner's permit who lives at your address. However, CarInsurance.com recommends that you contact your insurance company to be sure, as not all do.

Tip

Most insurers cover drivers with a learner’s permit at no additional charge. According to CarInsurance.com, they do this because state driving laws require a licensed driver age 21 or older in the passenger seat, which reduces the risk.

Options for Adding Drivers

As long as you have the required information, adding a driver to your car insurance usually is a straightforward process. Once you finish, coverage is effective immediately or the company will ask that you file an exclusion form. If the addition results in a rate increase, you may be required to pay the difference immediately or wait for a bill, depending on the insurer's payment rules.

Most insurers allow you to add drivers in person, by telephone or online. Regardless of which option you choose and whether the person lives with you or at another address, you'll need the following information for each driver:

  1. The driver's name exactly as it appears on her driver's license
  2. The driver's birth date and year
  3. The age at which the driver received her driver's license
  4. The driver's license number

Adding a Driver Online

Step 1

Log into your account on the insurer's website.

Step 2

Navigate to the policy endorsement page, "edit driver" tab or a page with a similar title.

Step 3

Select the "add driver" option. Enter the required information and update the page.

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