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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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When you’re in a committed relationship it’s only natural to share your things with the one you love. It’s a nice gesture to share dinner, but you know things are getting serious when you decide that it’s time to share your home. Moving in with your significant other is when you start to experience your partner in new ways.
You see how they live and how they are during the day-to-day monotony. It can be a scary time, but it can be exciting if all works out how you hoped before making the transition.
Keep reading to become more informed on auto policies and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above!
You may be sharing the keys to your home but that doesn’t mean that you can hand over the keys to your car just yet. There’s some risk associated with moving a girlfriend into your home, but there’s a lot more risk associated when you let her drive your car.
If your insurance isn’t structured right, you could deal with uninsured losses, citations, and serious fines. Here’s a valuable guide to help:
Who is currently listed on your policy?
The first thing you need to do is review your auto insurance policy before you ever consider handing over your extra car key. It’s all about how your current insurance policy is structured and who is listed as a driver/household member. Believe it or not, the two could be listed differently depending on their license status.
When you own your car, you technically have to own the insurance policy as well. That’s why the declarations will list you as the named insured and you’ll also see yourself listed in the driver category.
That means that you’re the person who has entered the contract with the insurer and you’re also the driver who is primarily driving the car. There could also be rated drivers or deferred listed drivers listed on the document.
What is the difference between a rated driver and a listed driver?
Rated drivers are listed drivers who have an affect on the current insurance rate. These drivers are licensed residents of your home who can access your car regularly and who do not have their own insurance in their own name. Since there’s a frequent risk present, this driver has to be assigned to a risk class and rated. Adding a rated driver can affect your payment.
When a driver is listed on the policy, they might not affect your premiums. It all depends on whether or not they have their own insurance and if they have a license. If someone is listed on the declarations page of your policy but not rated, that means that they live in the home, have a license, but also have their own car and insurance. Listed drivers don’t always affect your rates.
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Does your girlfriend live in the home?
One of the first things that you need to ask yourself before you call your agent and take the chance of your rates doubling is whether or not your girlfriend officially lives with you. She can spend the night 4 days a week and still not be considered a resident in your home in the eyes of the law.
Your answer to this question will make all the difference.Insurance companies want to know about all of the people over the age of 15 living in the home. This helps them determine if you’re the only risk that’s present or if they have to factor in other risks.
When your girlfriend doesn’t reside on your property, the insurer can’t force you to rate her as a driver because she’s not considered a resident at the address where the vehicle is frequently parked.
Will my live-out girlfriend be covered under my policy?
If you haven’t taken the big step yet, you don’t need to list your girlfriend or pay extra premiums. That might worry you when you allow her to drive your car. As long as you have sufficient coverage on your policy, including sufficient liability limits, you don’t have to worry. Your girlfriend will be classified as a permissive user.
Permissive users are defined as drivers who don’t live in your home and don’t have regular access to your car. They have to be given permission by you or another vehicle owner before any claim that happens while they are driving will be covered.
If there is a claim, all of your coverage will kick in and pay for third-party and first-party claims as long as you didn’t previously exclude her from the policy.
What if your girlfriend does live with you?
If your girlfriend recently moved in, things get a little more complicated on many different levels. One of those levels is how your insurance coverage works. Since your partner is now a live-in girlfriend, you will have to notify your insurer about the change in your living arrangements. That means that your premiums could change.
The only time you’ll be charged to add your girlfriend is when she is licensed, lives in the home, and doesn’t have her own insurance policy.
If she owns a car or she’s insured under another policy and you can provide proof, she only needs to be listed. She’ll be listed as a deferred operator who has other coverage so she won’t affect your premium.
Make Sure You Have Enough Coverage
You always need to carry the right limits so that you don’t wind up being underinsured after a covered loss. If there is any accident, no matter who the driver is, you will have to pay for the difference because you are liable for all of the damages.
You really need to price the cost of your insurance before you think you’re getting a good deal. The best way to price the marketplace is to use the Internet. Access a quoting tool online, enter your information into the tool, see the offers, and then you can see if it’s best to switch.