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Can I Add A Driver to My Car Insurance Policy?

Updated: October 2019

You may be able to add another driver to your car insurance policy if they are related to you or if they live at the same address as you. Whether you're thinking of loaning your car to a friend for a quick trip or buying a car with your roommate, here are some scenarios to consider.

Woman holding car keys and chatting with a friend outside her vehicle.

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Can I add my roommate to my car insurance?

You may be able to add your roommate to your car insurance since you live at the same address. If you own a car but your roommate does not, the insurance policy for the car needs to be in your name. Ask your agent about adding your roommate to your car insurance policy as an operator (driver) of your vehicle.

In situations where each person living at the same address has their own vehicle, you'll each need to have your own auto insurance policy. If you are likely to drive each other's cars, check with your agent to be sure your coverage extends to other drivers and to learn whether you should include them as operators on your policy.

Can I add a driver to my car insurance if they live at a separate address?

Generally, people listed on an auto insurance policy must be the owners of the vehicle or related to the owner.

If you have a child who is using the family vehicle while away at college, you may be able to keep them on your car insurance policy.

You typically will not be able to add a non-related driver who does not live in your home to your insurance policy.

If you and a friend own a vehicle together but do not live at the same address, you may have trouble obtaining an auto insurance policy. Your insurance agent can help you determine the best way to handle this situation.

Other considerations

In most cases, the auto insurance policy covering a vehicle is the primary insurance, regardless of who is driving, the Insurance Information Institute says. If your car is involved in an accident, your insurance will likely help cover the cost of damage — even if your friend was driving at the time. Your friend's auto insurance may also be used as secondary coverage, particularly if the claim for the accident exceeds your policy's coverage limits.

Keep in mind that claim frequency may affect your auto insurance rates, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). So, even if your insurance covers your friend's accident in your car, it could increase the amount you pay for car insurance.

When it makes sense to add a driver to your insurance policy

It may make sense to add another driver to your car insurance policy in certain scenarios:

  • Your teen just got their learners permit. As your son or daughter learns the rules of the road, you'll likely want to add them to your car insurance policy. That way, if they get into an accident with the family vehicle, your claim may be covered.
  • A family member is moving in. Suppose a parent, sibling or another member of your extended family is coming to live with you. If they don't have a car of their own, or if they'll be driving the vehicles you insure, you may want to consider adding them as a driver onto your car insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent to see if adding an extended family member to your policy is an option.

When you add another driver to your policy, their information may affect your car insurance premiums. Things like their driving record, gender and age may factor into what you pay for your policy, according to the NAIC.

Before adding another driver to your auto insurance, it's a good idea to read through your policy documents and check with your insurer about who is (and who is not) covered. A local agent can help answer any questions you may have.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

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