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How do you add someone to your car insurance policy?

Here's what you need to know...

  • Adding someone to your policy isn’t always obvious when it comes to managing your car insurance
  • Auto insurance companies expect you to add drivers who have regular access to your car as rated drivers on your policy
  • If someone moves into your home, it’s important to notify your agent that you have a new household member who may need to be added to your policy
  • Not all household members need to be added to your insurance policy. If a driver in the home already has insurance, you may just need to list the individual as a deferred operator who doesn’t affect your premiums
  • When you get married, a teen in the home is licensed, or you allow someone to drive your car regularly, you must add the driver too
  • The insurance company will need to driver’s full name, license number, date of birth, occupation, and driving experience information to run their Motor Vehicle Report and to rate them

When you’re applying for insurance, it’s important to be as honest and upfront as possible on your application.

If you fail to disclose a ticket, hide an accident, or purposely fail to list a driver on the policy, your policy could be terminated; your rates could go up, or future claims could be denied.

You must accurately represent the risk present in your home and update your policy when new people have access to your car.

If someone moves in or a teen gets their license, you should notify your agent immediately. Here’s what you should know before you add someone to your policy.

Make sure you have the right coverage for everyone driving your car. Enter your ZIP code in our FREE tool to get started!

Table of Contents

What is the difference between a rated driver and a deferred operator?

There is more than just one type of driver that you can list on your policy. Most named insureds are listed as primary operators.

Additional household members who are licensed to drive may be classified as occasional drivers. Each of these types of drivers is called rated drivers, who are drivers that can change policy premiums.

A majority of drivers are rated, but there is an option to list household members as deferred operators as well. Deferred operators are drivers who are licensed to drive but who have their own insurance. They are typically referred to as excluded or non-drivers.

If the company is willing to list the new driver in your home as a deferred operator, they won’t affect your rates.

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Not Everyone in the Home Needs to Be Rated in the Policy

Insurance companies aren’t sticklers that force you to add everyone who even touches your car to your policy. Someone who lives in the home and has their own insurance doesn’t necessarily need to be rated.

If a friend is visiting your hometown and you want to help them out for a few days by letting them borrow your car, you can easily do this without adding them to your insurance.

Standard Personal Auto Policies have a permissive user provision. Certain people qualify for coverage under your policy as long as they’ve been given express permission to drive your car.

Not everyone will qualify for this coverage. Here are the conditions that must be met:

  • The driver must be over 25
  • The driver can’t live in the household
  • The driver can’t be a child of the named insured
  • The driver can’t have regular access to the vehicle
  • The driver must have a valid driver’s license

Who should you add to your insurance?

Since you don’t need to add a roommate or family member with their own coverage, and permissive users who don’t live in the home automatically receive coverage, it’s difficult to decide who you should and shouldn’t add.

Here are a few scenarios where you should add a driver to your plan:

  • A teen in your home has passed their licensing exam and has been issued an unrestricted license
  • Your parent moves into your home and drives your cars regularly
  • A relative comes to stay with you for months and will be commuting in your vehicle
  • Your roommate doesn’t own a car but does borrow your car from time to time

What do you need to add a driver to your policy?

Since drivers present a new risks, companies must underwrite your policy again when a driver is being added. You need to have all of the information that your agent requests before you make the change.

Here is what’s needed to add a rated driver:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Years of driving experience
  • Current license number
  • Dates of accidents or convictions (this can be accessed when the company runs the Motor Vehicle Report)
  • Occupation and vehicle assignment
  • Proof of driver training for young drivers and mature drivers

The last thing that you want is to have a denied claim because you failed to add a driver to your policy. Contact your agent to see if the new driver assignment will affect your rates.

If you’re unhappy with the new rate, use our FREE online rate comparison tool and see how much your insurance could cost. Get an instant quote today and make sure you get the best rate.


  1. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-R-0715.htm
  2. http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/auto-and-vehicle-insurance/understanding-insurance.html
  3. http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2011/08/26/parents-guide-to-insuring-teen-driver-1129725537.html
  4. http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/faqs/faqs_auto.htm
  5. https://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/0080-2009/upload/PROPOSEDAMENDEDPAYDREGULATION7312009.pdf
  6. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2009/11/16/105163.htm
  7. http://budgeting.thenest.com/add-nonfamily-members-car-insurance-32665.html

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