Generally, you can add someone to your policy who has a driver's license, regularly uses your vehicle and lives at your address. Most insurance providers require policyholders to add household members when you first sign up for insurance. Sometimes, you can add drivers who don't live with you, but this varies based on your insurer and location.
Adding someone to your car insurance will affect your premiums, but the extent of the increase will depend on factors such as the other driver's age and accident history.
Table of Contents
- What Does Adding a Driver to Your Insurance Mean?
- When Should You Add Someone to Your Insurance Policy?
- When Not to Add a Driver to Your Policy
- How Do You Add a Driver to Your Insurance?
- How Much Will It Cost to Add a Driver to My Insurance Policy?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Adding a Driver to Your Policy
If someone else uses your car regularly, has a license and lives at your legal address, you can usually add them as a second driver to your car insurance policy.
When you add a second driver to your car insurance policy, your insurance covers you both without having to pay for two full-priced plans.
If you add a more experienced driver, your rates may decrease, while adding a younger driver can increase your premiums.
What Does Adding a Driver to Your Insurance Mean?
Adding another driver to your car insurance, known as a "listed driver," provides coverage whenever they drive your vehicle. A listed driver can be any licensed person living with you, regardless of your relationship.
If you share your vehicle with someone in your household, including them on your insurance is a wise financial decision. It ensures financial protection for you and your loved ones in the event of an accident without the need for two separate full-priced policies.
If you share your car with someone else, you may want to think about adding them to your car insurance policy. Typically, you can add drivers that live with you, such as your spouse, roommate or child.
Adding someone who regularly uses your car to your insurance policy can:
- Be cheaper than buying two separate policies, especially if the driver is young.
- Potentially lower your total insurance costs if they’re more experienced than you.
- Minimize financial risks in the event of an accident.
Consider if these benefits may apply to you and your other driver.
Do You Need to Add Another Driver to Your Insurance?
Car insurance companies usually require all household members to be added to the policy. While there’s no standard, most auto insurance providers allow you to add four extra drivers to your policy, provided those persons meet your insurer’s criteria.
Usually, companies require that the folks you add to your insurance:
- Have a driver’s license
- Share an address with you
- Have access to your car
However, you can also add employees who don’t live with you but use your car regularly, provided your policy is a commercial auto policy. Most personal auto insurance policies don’t allow you to add individuals to your policy using your car for commercial purposes.
Car insurance is a legally binding contract between the policyholder and the insurance company, and policy changes typically require the policyholder's consent.
In rare cases, legal or contractual reasons might allow an insurance company to make changes. For example, if a court orders the addition of a specific driver, the insurance company may be required to comply.
When Should You Add Someone to Your Insurance Policy?
Consider adding someone to your insurance if they might use your car. Listed drivers usually enjoy the same coverage as policyholders, a proactive step that aligns with smart financial planning.
Most car insurance policies have a permissive use clause. However, if a permissive user who's not a listed driver has an accident, your insurer might not cover the damages because you did not specifically name them in your policy. Usually, permissive drivers are allowed to borrow your car 12 times a year. If you live with someone who regularly drives your vehicle, you need to add them to your policy.
You live with a family member, friend or roommate
If a family member, friend or roommate frequently drives your car, it's wise to add them as a listed driver. This ensures coverage in case of an accident.
You have a newly licensed driver at home
If a teenager or other household member recently obtained a driver's license, adding them to your policy can provide necessary protection.
You got married
Adding your spouse or partner to your policy is typically a standard practice if you're married or in a committed relationship and share a vehicle.
You have a visitor
If someone uses your car for an extended period, such as a friend visiting for several weeks, you may want to add them to your policy temporarily.
You have a new housemate
If someone moves into your household and will have regular access to your vehicle, it's a good time to consider adding them.
You live with a high-risk driver
If someone with a poor driving record or without insurance drives your car and gets into an accident, your insurer may hold you financially responsible. Adding them to your policy can mitigate this risk.
Yes, if you have a long-term house guest with a valid driver's license and access to your car, some insurance providers will allow you to add them to your insurance temporarily. As long as your guest has a valid driver's license, you can add them to your policy.
When Not to Add a Driver to Your Policy
The permissive use clause in your insurance policy generally covers anyone who drives your car with your permission. So, if someone isn't going to be driving your car frequently and doesn't have regular access to it, adding them to your policy might be unnecessary.
You rarely share your car
If you don't often lend your car, you may not need to add another driver to your insurance. Plus, most insurance plans already cover people who borrow your car occasionally. This can help you avoid paying more for your insurance.
You’re concerned about their driving record
Your insurance cost could increase if the person has a bad driving history. Your insurance company might even say no to adding them.
You’re temporarily living together
If someone is staying with you for a short time and won't use your car much, it may not be worth adding them. This can save you time and money.
You have a luxury car
If you own a fancy car, adding another driver can make your insurance more expensive. This is especially true if the new driver is not very experienced.
Who Should You Add to Your Car Insurance?
Who you should add to your car insurance policy will depend on your personal circumstances. Generally, adding people in your household who regularly drive your car is best.
If the following individuals use your car regularly, consider adding them to your auto insurance policy:
If you share your car with your significant other, adding them to your car insurance policy is a good idea, especially if you’re living together.
Consider adding your spouse to your car insurance if they regularly use your vehicle.
Adding a more experienced driver like your parent may lower your car insurance rates. That said, the person primarily driving the vehicle must remain the policyholder to avoid being denied coverage and fraud charges due to fronting.
If your teenage child has already obtained a driver’s license and will regularly use your car, be sure to add them to your policy. Adding your child to your car insurance is particularly important, as they’re more likely than other drivers to be involved in accidents due to inexperience. Provisional drivers, or those still learning to drive, also need insurance. If you have a provisional driver at home, add them to your insurance.
You can also add non-family members, such as your roommate, to your car insurance if you live together and share a car. If you occasionally trade cars with your roommates, discussing this situation with your insurance provider is wise. Some might require you to list all licensed drivers in your household on your policy, even if they have their own coverage. To reduce car insurance costs, discuss splitting a multi-car policy with your roommate. A home and auto bundle will also lower costs.
If a friend drives your car often, you might want to consider adding them to your car insurance to ensure coverage in case of an accident. However, if they don’t live with you, this might not be an option, depending on your location and insurance company.
It’s a good idea to add people working for you — such as nannies, maids and helpers — if they use your car for daily tasks. However, remember that you may only be able to add these individuals to a commercial auto policy, as most personal auto policies don’t allow you to add individuals using your vehicle for commercial purposes.
Generally, you can add anyone to your car insurance if they live with you and have a driver's license. Whether it's a family member, friend or roommate, choosing to include another driver should align with your needs and your insurance provider's guidelines.
You may want to add someone temporarily or permanently, depending on the situation. Your provider can guide you on the best approach based on your needs.
Can I Add a Driver to My Insurance if They Don’t Live With Me?
In most cases, insurance companies won't allow you to add a driver to your policy that doesn't live with you. However, some companies might make an exception if the driver you're adding uses your car regularly, like your children who are not living with you and are considered young drivers. It's wise to contact your insurer directly to understand your options.
Sometimes, adding a person to your insurance is unnecessary if they'll only be driving your car temporarily — such cases are usually covered by your policy's "permissive use" clause.
How Do You Add a Driver to Your Insurance?
Adding another driver to your car insurance is a simple process you can do from the comfort of your home. Depending on your provider, adding another driver can be as simple as calling an insurance representative or filling out a form online.
Contact your provider
If you've decided to add a second driver to your car insurance, the first step is to contact your insurance provider. Inquire about their processes and requirements, and ask if you can complete the application online.
Gather necessary information
While the process varies from one insurance provider to another, most companies ask for the basic personal information of the person you're adding to your policy, including the following:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- How long they've had their license
- Any recent traffic tickets or accidents
Preparing these details is a good idea so you can easily access them when needed.
Have your policy rate updated and processed
Once the insurance company receives information about the driver you’re adding to your policy, they will update your policy and provide your new premium price. This is also the time to inquire if the provider can offer you any discounts on your policy.
Wait for approval
From here, the insurance company will check and process your application. Once your carrier approves the change, the other driver can safely drive your car, knowing they are already covered.
Fronting happens when you declare another person as the car’s primary driver when the vehicle will be used primarily by someone else. This typically occurs when a parent buys auto insurance in their name for a car that only their child will use. In this case, the child isn’t the primary policyholder, even though they’ll be driving the car most of the time.
People participate in fronting to access lower insurance fees, as car insurance premiums for teen drivers can be expensive. However, fronting is a type of insurance fraud. If you’re caught, you risk being denied coverage and having charges filed against you.
How Much Does It Cost to Add a Driver to Your Insurance?
GEICO offers the cheapest policy if you add a driver to your insurance, at an annual average of $1,407 (a 52% discount compared to two single drivers' costs).
This provider also offers car insurance discounts, like good student discounts or good driver discounts, which are ideal for families with young drivers.
The table below highlights the cheapest insurance companies catering to primary and secondary drivers. Make an informed choice by exploring these offerings.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With Secondary Drivers
Whether you'll see an increase or decrease depends on your additional driver's age, gender, driving experience and driving history. Car insurance prices vary based on numerous factors, like your:
- Driving record
- Credit score
- Car's value
While companies don't disclose how they calculate prices, generally, you can expect lower rates if your second driver decreases the risk of your car being involved in an accident. Likewise, you can expect increased premiums if you add a risky driver to your policy.
As such, adding a parent to your car insurance usually decreases your premiums, while including a teen driver tends to increase your rates. Adding a high-risk driver to your insurance will raise your rates but will likely significantly make it cheaper for them.
Generally, it's cheaper to get another driver or acquire a multi-car insurance policy than getting two separate policies.
Many insurance companies do not charge a specific fee to add a driver to your car insurance policy. Insurers usually consider it a standard alteration to your policy.
MoneyGeek has various resources to help you find the cheapest car insurance available for your unique circumstances and needs. When looking for coverage, it's always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from at least three different companies to find the best premium for you.
The table presented below provides a clear snapshot of the cheapest car insurance companies for those with teenage or young driver secondary drivers. Utilize the dropdown menu to select your dependent's age and instantly view the corresponding rates and companies. Remember, knowledge is the first step toward making wise financial decisions.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With Young Secondary Drivers
Frequently Asked Questions About Adding a Driver to Your Policy
If you want to add another driver to your car insurance policy, MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions to help you get started.
About Mark Fitzpatrick