Sometimes circumstances require a driver to include additional drivers on his car insurance policy. Additional drivers can include teenage children, parents, and even friends and acquaintances. It goes without saying that adding drivers to your policy will increase your insurance rates. But relax; it’s not all bad.
Depending on the reasons for adding a driver, you may actually get away with a cheaper rate in the long run. That’s provided the additional drivers have a clean record and have been driving for a significant amount of time. However, these are all things to know ahead of time. That way, you are not caught off guard with higher than expected rates.
Adding Teenage Drivers
The most common scenario is when parents add their teenage drivers to their policies. When this becomes necessary depends on how your car insurance company operates in relation to state laws. There are two possibilities most fall under:
•At the Time of Permit – Some insurance companies require you to report your teenage children as soon as they earn a learner’s permit. Your insurance rates may not go up right away, but your insurance company still needs to know your teenager will be driving your vehicle.
•At the Time of Licensing – If your insurance company does not require reporting a child with a learner’s permit, you’ll definitely have to report that child once he earns his license. It’s understood that a fully licensed driver has access to your vehicles and will be driving them.
Unfortunately, when it comes to teens there really is no such thing as cheap car insurance. Teens pay the highest rates of anyone because they are, as a group, responsible for the largest number of serious accidents. For male drivers between the ages of 18 and 25, rates are the absolute worst.
Another common scenario is when drivers add their parents to their policies. This may happen if your parents move in with you on a permanent basis. Whether they own their own vehicles or plan to drive yours, they should be reported to insurance company unless they plan to maintain their own car insurance.
This is one case where adding the extra drivers may save you money in the long run. For example, let’s assume your parents no longer own a vehicle. Your insurance company will assume they will have access to your vehicles if they are licensed. Also assuming your parents have been driving for decades and have a clean record, they actually help you by reducing your overall rate.
Your parents’ safe driving record, combined with discounts offered to older drivers, could mean that each of you pays less. Thanks to parents, cheap car insurance can be possible with a combined policy covering everyone living in the same household.
Failing to Add Drivers
Failing to add drivers when necessary is where this gets sticky. As a rule, you are required to add any drivers who live in your house and have a license. The only exception would be the driver who has his own insurance policy. All others would have to be added to your policy.
If you fail to add these drivers, you may get into trouble in the event of an accident. Why? Because state laws allow insurance companies to refuse claims on accidents involving drivers that have not been reported. This doesn’t apply to temporary guests who do not live in your house.
In the end, it’s always best to report drivers living with you. Doing so may prevent you from getting the cheapest car insurance, but it’s better than the alternative of being denied a claim because you failed to add them.