FamilyAutoInsurance infographic with options

Adding a Family Member To Your Auto Insurance Plan [Explained]

Auto insurance premiums are based on many factors, including your driving record, the type of vehicle you drive and where you live. Another factor to consider is how many people are living in your house and how many of them have driving privileges. Below you’ll find answers to the most common family member auto insurance questions, including a big one: Do you need to add every family member to your auto insurance policy?

Why Add a Family Member to Your Auto Insurance Policy?

When you sign up for a new auto policy, the insurance company may ask you to list everyone in your household. You don’t have to list a toddler or a child who’s just going into second grade, but you should list your spouse and any teens who are old enough or almost old enough to drive. If you have any parents or adult siblings living with you, list them too.

Once you provide this information, talk with your insurance agent about whether each person needs to be a listed individual or a rated individual. A listed individual doesn’t affect the cost of your insurance at all. The insurance company knows about them, but they aren’t covered by your auto policy. A rated individual, however, does affect the cost of your insurance.

Typically, anyone in the house who has a driver’s license or learner’s permit is considered a rated driver, with two exceptions. The first exception is for household members who have their own auto insurance. If your adult child lives with you and carries their own policy, for example, they don’t have to be added to your auto insurance. Your insurance company may ask you to provide a copy of an insurance card or policy document to verify their coverage.

The second exception is for any household member that doesn’t have a driver’s license and doesn’t plan to get one in the future. If you have a family member with a vision impairment, for example, the impairment may be severe enough to prevent them from getting licensed. In that case, you can list them as a non-driver.

The Cost of Adding a Family Member to Your Auto Insurance Plan

It’s difficult to estimate the potential cost of adding a family member to your auto insurance plan. Insurance companies use mathematical formulas to determine how much to charge each policyholder. These formulas account for many factors, such as your age, credit history, driving record and gender. If you add a teen driver to your policy, you can expect to see an increase, as teens have limited driving experience, making them more of a risk for insurance companies.

One way to keep your rates as low as possible is to have your teen agree to have a GPS tracker installed in their vehicle to make sure they’re driving safely. GPS trackers gather all kinds of data, such as whether a driver is speeding, braking suddenly or using their phone while driving. Insurance companies use that data to offer discounts for safe driving behavior. As of 2021, about 16% of American drivers participated in one of these programs. You can also have your teen sign up for driver’s education or ask your insurance agent about discounts for good grades.

If you add an adult family member to your auto insurance, the premium may go up or down, or it might stay about the same. It depends on the family member’s age, gender, driving record, credit history and other relevant factors. If you add a middle-aged adult with excellent credit and a clean driving record, your premium may even go down by a few dollars.

How to Add a Family Member to Your Vehicle Insurance Policy

Infographic of a family looking to add a family member to auto insurance plans

Purchasing family member auto insurance coverage is easy. Your insurance company may even let you do it online, eliminating the need to call during business hours or visit your insurance agent’s office. Before you get started, make sure you have the family member’s name, Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license number. You should also be familiar with their driving record, as you may need to provide information about previous accidents or traffic tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? We’ve got answers. 

If I move in with a partner, do I need to add them to my insurance policy?

If your partner has their own insurance, ask your agent about listing them on your policy as a non-driver. Otherwise, you should add your partner to your insurance policy—unless they don’t have a driver’s license and don’t plan to get one.

Should roommates be listed on an auto insurance policy if they’re not related to you?

It depends. If your roommate has a driver’s license and pays for their own insurance coverage, there’s no need to add them to your policy as a rated individual. Your insurance company may request proof of your roommate’s insurance coverage, but you should be able to have them listed as a non-driver. If your roommate has a license and doesn’t have their own insurance coverage, you may need to add them as a rated individual.

What happens if I let someone borrow my car?

If you occasionally loan your car to friends or family members, they should be covered under your existing policy. This applies only if you gave them permission to borrow the vehicle. Before handing over the keys to your car, you should be aware that your coverage won’t extend to someone who’s listed on your policy as an “excluded driver.”

An excluded driver is a household member who isn’t covered under your policy because it would cost too much to insure them. Exclusions are typically made when a driver has a poor driving record. If you lend your vehicle to an excluded driver and they get in an accident, your auto insurance policy won’t cover any of the costs.

Adding Drivers To Your Policy

Auto insurance may seem daunting, but the concept is actually pretty simple. The people that have access to your car impact the risk of it getting damaged. While your policy will generally cover an accident that occurs if you let someone borrow your vehicle, household members who have regular access to your vehicle should be added to your policy unless they have their own coverage. 

You might also be interested in: How to Cancel Auto Insurance [In 4 Easy Steps]

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