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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car insurance is mandatory in most U.S. states. But many wonder whether they should add more than just themselves to their auto insurance policy.
You have the option of adding another driver to your auto insurance policy as an additional driver regardless of the situation.
Adding a named driver to your policy should be an easy process. Make sure that your insurer is giving you the best deal by comparing quotes from other providers. If you aren’t getting a good deal, consider switching to another insurance company.
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Adding a Named Driver to Your Policy
An additional driver can be added to the policy at any time. All you have to do is call the insurance company and provide the information required. You are the person who will be driving the car most of the time (the primary driver). The person you add to your policy will be deemed a “named driver.” The policy will only cover them as occasional drivers.
Any person who uses the vehicle on a frequent basis or lives in your household should be named on your policy as a driver. To add a driver to your policy, the auto insurance company will need you to provide the following information:
- Name of the driver
- Marital status
- Traffic violation history
- Accidents they have been involved in
You can add a named driver to your policy on a temporary or a permanent basis. If your friend asks to borrow your car to go on a road trip for a couple of days, you can add them on a temporary basis.
People who live in the same household as you and drive the vehicle frequently should be added on a permanent basis. Take the time to research possible waiting periods and penalty costs if you are making a permanent change to your policy. In most cases, additional drivers will be required to:
- Have a clean driver’s license
- Be free of claims
- Be free of any disqualifications or convictions stemming from traffic offenses within the last five years
- Be free of any medical conditions that may hamper their ability to drive unless a doctor declares the fit to do so
The requirements for one to be added as an additional driver will vary from one insurance company to the next. Take into account that some insurers will only accept changes to the policy with a somewhat hefty fee or during renewal time. Generally, you shouldn’t experience any problems adding a named driver to your policy as long as the new driver doesn’t pose additional risk to other drivers.
However, if the company makes to process seem complicated, you may want to consider switching to a new provider. Shop around and compare all available options. You may even end up scoring a better deal for signing up two drivers with your new insurance company.
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How much does it cost to add a new driver to my policy?
Every insurance company is different. The cost of including an additional driver on your policy will vary depending on the level of risk posed by the person you are adding. Typically, adding an older, more experienced driver with no traffic offenses on his or her records to your policy will not cost extra. Other factors that affect auto insurance premiums apply.
In general, the cost of adding a named driver to your policy is contingent on how often the person will be driving the vehicle and the level of risk they pose.
For instance, adding someone with several tickets on their record to your policy may not cost you much if they will only be using your vehicle once to move from one place to another. However, adding the same individual on a permanent basis will considerably increase your premiums.
Auto insurance companies rarely ask for an immediate payment when adding a new driver to a policy. Changing your policy is easy since you already have a policy in place. In most cases, there is no need for in-person meetings. Any pro-rated billings will be included in your future premiums automatically.
If the cost of adding a named driver to your policy seems too steep for you, you can switch providers. Cary out comparison shopping until you find one that provides the best coverage at a reasonable cost.
Factors to Consider
Age and driving records are the key factors to consider when adding a new driver to your policy. Drivers aged under 25 years are considered high risk and adding someone below 25 years will have the largest impact on your premium. If the newly added teenage driver will be spending the most time behind the wheel, consider having them take a defensive driving course or maintain good grades (an average of B and above) to reduce costs.
However, time is the only effective way of reducing auto insurance rates for a young driver. If your auto insurer doesn’t reduce the rates after several years of safe driving with no claims, consider switching. When shopping for a new provider, comparison shopping is the only way to ensure that you get the best rates.