Can I add someone to my car insurance that doesn’t live with me? Well, it’s complicated.
Julie Rain’s realized this when she tried to cover him on her auto policy. The thing is, Julie and her husband live in North Carolina while Julie’s son lives in New York.
After multiple conversations with her insurance agent, she and her husband found a policy that seemed to be a good fit for them. But it didn’t cover her son like she had hoped.
“In hindsight, we could have handled this better and/or we could have found an agent in New York,” says Rains, who lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is the founder of Investing to Thrive.”
If it didn’t work for Julie, you might be wondering, “Well, can I add someone to my car insurance that doesn’t live with me?”
Typically, you can only add family members or people who live with you on your insurance policy. But there are exceptions to the rule.
Here’s a quick guide on how car insurance works when you can add someone to your policy who doesn’t live with you:
Can I add someone to my car insurance that doesn’t live with me?
Generally, you can’t add someone who doesn’t live with you to your policy. But there are exceptions.
In some cases, you could add non-family members or people who don’t live with you who use your car regularly. For instance, a close friend, neighbor, a home health agency worker, or your partner who doesn’t live with you.
Julie’s husband handled the car insurance for his parents. It turns out that his parents’ home health agency required additional liability insurance for the agency’s drivers who didn’t live with his parents. But he was still able to add coverage for them.
But this entirely depends on the type of insurance and the carrier you’re with. When in doubt, be sure to ask. If you unknowingly add someone to your policy who shouldn’t be, you risk getting dropped from your insurer.
Can I stay on my parents’ car insurance when I move out?
If Julie’s son was attending college in New York and coming back to North Carolina to live with his parents during the summer and winter breaks, there’s a chance he could’ve stayed on his parents’ car insurance.
In a case like this, you’re considered a dependent. And car insurance companies would allow you to stay on your parents’ car insurance.
So who should I add to my car insurance policy?
Typically, you can add immediate family members. In some states, it’s the law to add your spouse, siblings, or children who live with you as named drivers to your policy.
If someone is part of your household, you can also add them to your policy. If your roommate uses your car often, you might want to tack them onto your policy. But if you and your roommate both have your own cars, you should have separate insurance policies.
When should I add someone?
You should add someone to your policy if:
- It’ll save you money
- It’s required by the state you live in or by the carrier
- That person uses your car often
When should I not add someone to my policy?
If you have a friend or relative who sometimes uses your car — for instance, to run errands or to take a road trip — you don’t need to add them to your insurance. That’s because they’re typically covered under “permissive use.”
Permissive use means a driver can use your car for no more than a dozen trips. But what constitutes a single trip could vary depending on the insurance company.
Different carriers might have different limits on what constitutes “permissive use,” so be sure to check and see how they define it.
Can I add someone but only temporarily?
Let’s say you have a live-in nanny, foreign exchange student, or son in the military who will be living with you for a short period of time. Or maybe you have a close friend or neighbor who might need to borrow your car for a few months.
In these cases, you can reach out to your insurance carrier and see if and how you might be able to go about doing this.
Why should I add someone to my car insurance policy?
It’s usually less expensive to add someone to an existing policy than to purchase a separate policy. You might want to add someone to your policy to save money.
Sometimes it’s required to add someone to your policy because auto insurance generally follows the car. Only in certain situations does it follow the driver.
Insurance companies often require that family members who live with you, have a driver’s license, and drive your car should be on your policy.
What’s the price I pay for adding someone?
When you add someone to your policy, your premiums might go up or down.
For instance, if you add a driver with a clean driving record, that could lower your overall premiums.
On the flip side, adding someone who’s considered a higher risk could bump up the cost of your policy. For example, adding someone with a poor driving record, or a driver who is young or inexperienced — think teen who just got their license.
How it affects the cost of your premium depends on a myriad of factors: your location and type of coverage; and the driver and their age, gender, driving record, marital status, and so forth. Sometimes your monthly premium will go up, sometimes it’ll go down, and other times it might stay the same.
If you’re curious about how adding someone to your auto insurance policy might affect your premium, call a few carriers and gather a few quotes. You can get insurance quotes for the different drivers who you might want to add.