Wondering how to add a driver to your car insurance?
Adding a new driver to your existing car insurance policy is usually a quick and easy process. Much like adding a new vehicle to your existing policy, adding someone to your car insurance policy as a named driver involves contacting your auto insurance company and giving them some basic information about you, your vehicle and the new driver you want to add to your policy.
But before you add a new driver to your insurance policy, it’s important to consider who needs to be listed on your policy and how much adding a new driver will affect the cost of your monthly premiums.
Generally, if you live with any immediate family members, they should be listed on your car insurance policy as named drivers. In some states, it’s required that the other members of your household be listed on your policy. That includes your partner or spouse and any children of driving age.
People who don’t live with you but borrow your car occasionally don’t usually need to be added to your policy, they’ll likely be covered under permissive use, which extends your car insurance coverage to other drivers provided you gave them permission to use your car. If you lend your car out to another driver who uses it rarely or occasionally, permissive use means they’ll be covered if they have an accident when they’re driving your vehicle — as long as they’re not an excluded driver. An excluded driver is a driver who is specifically excluded from your policy, often because they would be too costly to add, either because of their age or a poor driving record.
If you and your roommate each have your own vehicle, you probably don’t need to be listed on each other’s policies (although some insurance companies require you to include everyone who lives with you, so you should double check with your provider).
But if your roommate winds up driving your car frequently, it’s a good idea to add them to your policy even if it’s not specifically required. If your roommate borrows your car and has an accident, and your car insurance company decided that they should have been listed on your policy and weren’t, then the damage may not be covered.
Updating your current car insurance policy to include another driver is a fairly simple process, and most major insurers make it possible for you to make changes to your policy online or over the phone. To add another driver to your car insurance policy, you’ll need some basic information on hand, including:
Car insurance premiums are determined by a number of factors, including where you live, what kind of vehicle you drive, your credit history, driving record, even your age and gender. All of that means it’s hard to guess what effect adding a new driver to your insurance policy will have on your monthly premiums.
But, while it seems counterintuitive, adding a new driver to your policy can often have little to no effect on your premiums. In fact, if the added driver is an adult with a clean driving history, adding them to your coverage can sometimes even lower your insurance premiums.
One instance in which adding a driver to your policy will likely raise your rates is when you’re adding a teen driver or a newly licensed young driver to your coverage. Car insurance companies see teens and young drivers as high-risk because of their age and inexperience, meaning they can be very expensive to insure. When you’re adding a teen to your coverage, make sure to look into discounts specifically for teenage drivers, like good student discounts or discounts for taking extra driver’s education courses. Some insurance companies even offer special programs for teen drivers that track their driving and provide feedback.
Learn more about finding affordable coverage for teens.
Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius in New York City, and an expert in auto insurance. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic, writing about news and culture. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.