If you need to exclude a high-risk or inexperienced driver from your car insurance policy, you need to file a driver exclusion form.
When you purchase car insurance, you’re not the only one getting insured. Any family member who can legally drive is also covered by your policy, or they can be added to it as a named insured to share in your coverage. Anyone to whom you give permission to drive the car is also insured by your policy.
But there are many reasons for wanting to exclude someone from your coverage: Namely, if he or she has gotten into a lot of accidents, racked up moving violations or DUIs, or is just inexperienced behind the wheel. Having such a person on your car insurance policy can raise your premiums significantly, as he or she represents a greater risk to the car insurance company.
If you want to exclude someone from your car insurance coverage, you need to file a driver exclusion form with your insurer. Also known as a “named driver exclusion” or an “operator exclusion form,” this rider can lower your premiums if it’s allowed in your state and offered by your insurer.
However, if the excluded driver drives the insured car anyway and causes an accident or otherwise damages the car, the insurance company won’t pay out on the claim. You may have to pay any expenses out of pocket, which could be extremely expensive.
Read on to learn more about the driver exclusion form:
To understand driver exclusion, you need to understand who’s covered by your auto insurance policy. Auto insurers use different terms to distinguish each person who can receive coverage.
You’re the policyholder of your car insurance policy. You may also be called the “named insured.” Your name will appear on the policy declarations sheet at the beginning of your policy.
Any family living in your household are covered by your policy. Depending on your state as well as on your carrier, your spouse and your eligible children may automatically receive coverage, or they may need to be added as a named insured.
Anyone living under your household can be added as a named insured, such as your roommate or partner.
Drivers who use your insured car with your permission, like your neighbor borrowing it to go to the grocery store, are also insured by your policy.
Everyone excluded on the driver exclusion form will not have coverage under your car insurance policy for any claim resulting from an accident they cause while driving your car. That means, for example, if an excluded driver hits somebody and causes $10,000 worth of bodily injuries or property damage, you may be on the hook for the full $10,000. Normally, your car insurance would pick up the bill.
In states that require you to have car insurance, excluded drivers have to purchase their own policy before they’re allowed to drive.
Nevertheless, many states don’t allow driver exclusion. Anyone in your household who drives your car, even the very worst of drivers, will have to be added to your policy. Other states allow driver exclusion, but only for collision and comprehensive coverage; your auto insurance’s liability coverage will still extend to the excluded driver.
Additionally, many carriers do not allow driver exclusion, even if your state otherwise allows it. For that reason, you should talk to a licensed insurance expert at Policygenius to find out if there’s a car insurance policy in your state that allows for driver exclusion. This agent can also help you prepare and file the driver exclusion form.
To exclude someone from coverage under your car insurance, you need to file a driver exclusion form with your insurer. The driver exclusion form may include all or some of these components:
Your policy number
Make and model of the insured car, or a description of the car
The names of any excluded drivers
The dates of birth of the excluded drivers
The driver’s license numbers of the excluded drivers
You may be able to submit the form online on your insurer’s website, but other insurers may require you to snail-mail the form or fax it.
Driver exclusions may result in lower premiums for the policyholder if the excluded driver is considered a high risk, but it’s not guaranteed. However, there are several other reasons for excluding.
High-risk drivers include:
People with a lot of moving violations, DUIs, or who’ve otherwise broken the law
People whose license has been suspended, even for reasons that have nothing to do with driving
Inexperienced drivers, like teenagers, young drivers, and anyone who has just gotten their license
People who file too many auto insurance claims
The insurance company may require you to exclude certain drivers for coverage. That will depend on the insurer’s procedures and the driving history of the person in question.
Filing a driver exclusion form for someone who doesn’t drive lets the insurer know that, while this person lives with you and can access the car, you don’t need coverage for him or her. This likely wouldn’t lower your premiums in the way excluding a high-risk driver might, but it’s worth trying.
If this person is handicapped or otherwise unable to operate a vehicle, you may not even need to file the driver exclusion form; just let the insurer know when you sign up for the policy.
However, in the long run, if the nondriver is able and legally allowed to drive, it may be more cost-effective to add him or her to your car insurance policy. That’s because, in an emergency, the nondriver could easily become a driver, and he or she risks really steep fines for driving without insurance.
If the driver is covered by another auto insurance policy, then you can exclude him or her from your own policy as long as he or she is not planning to drive your car. As with the above, this may have a negligible effect on your premiums if it has any at all.
If you excluded a driver from your insurance policy, but he or she drives the car anyway and causes an accident, a number of things can happen:
Your premiums will probably go up, whether or not you gave permission for the excluded driver to use your car.
If you live in a fault state (also known as a tort state), you or the excluded driver could be completely liable to pay for the damages out of pocket, with the car insurance company contributing nothing.
If you live in a no-fault state, each party’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should pay their respective costs, but the other party may still be able to sue you or the excluded driver in some limited circumstances.
Your collision and comprehensive coverage won’t cover the damage, so you’ll have to pay to repair any damage or replace the car out of pocket.
For when the driver is excluded from the car owner’s insurance policy and doesn’t have any insurance coverage for the car:
Make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage (UIM, also known as underinsured motorist coverage), which will pay your bodily injury or personal property claims when the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.
If you don’t have UIM, you may be out of luck, since the at-fault party’s car insurance isn’t obligated to pay your bills.
However, you should be able to sue the excluded driver and even the policy’s named insured, especially if you can prove that the excluded driver was permitted to drive by the policyholder.
If you’re the excluded driver, you could be fined tens of thousands of dollars for driving without insurance if the accident happened in a state that requires car insurance. And that’s in addition to any damages you’re liable for, up to and including medical bills for car repairs for the other drive, and the named insured’s own repairs that would otherwise be covered by collision and comp.
Once you file the driver exclusion form, it continues to apply every time you renew your policy, as well as if the policy is suspended and later reinstated, or altered in some other way. All future coverage under this policy will continue to contain the exclusion.
If you want to remove the exclusion, you have to ask the auto insurer. The insurer may ask for documentation showing that the driver has demonstrated a history of safe driving, especially if the insurer was the one who requested the exclusion in the first place. You may have to add the driver as a named insured, and your premiums could go up.
If you don’t want to submit a driver exclusion form, it may be possible to remove a driver from your coverage without permanently excluding him or her. You may want to do this if the person is no longer your dependent, such as a son or daughter who has just graduated college and has his or her own auto insurance. You’ll likely enjoy lower premiums as a result.
In fact, although this person is no longer a named insured, he or she may still be covered by your policy at no additional cost to you, under the permissive driver provision. (Note that if your kid is still in college, he or she should be kept on the policy lest they need to drive when they’re home on break, but you may be eligible for a student-away-from-home discount.)
Zack Sigel is a SEO managing editor at Policygenius. He covers personal finance, comprising mortgages, investing, deposit accounts, and more. His previous work included writing about film and music.