Big life changes like getting married, starting a business, or moving in with a companion can demand a lot time and energy, so it’s easy to forget how these may impact something as mundane as car insurance.
However, it’s important to know who is and isn’t covered by your policy. Some insurance companies are stricter than others with regards to who must be listed on a policy to enjoy equal coverage.
In the event someone is not listed on a policy and they get into an auto accident, the cost of not knowing can be devastating.
Who Should Be Listed on an Insurance Policy?
Most insurance companies will expect to see the following licensed drivers listed:
- Family members living in the same household
- Unrelated drivers living in the same home
- Any uninsured drivers that drive your vehicle
For example, if a cohabitating couple shares a car, but only one of them owns the car and is listed on the policy, there could be a gap in coverage. In the event the unnamed person is in an auto accident, depending on the insurance company, they might not be covered.
Teenage drivers are another murky area. When teen drivers are learning, they may not be covered on the adult’s policy. Therefore, always check with your insurance provider before you let a teen driver take the wheel.
Automatically Covered Drivers
Unlike drivers that must be listed to maintain coverage on a policy, there are also automatically covered drivers, if they meet the following criteria:
- They must have been given permission to drive the car
- They must not be living at your residence
- They must have their own active car insurance policy
Automatically covered drivers are generally thought to be the people we live with or are closest to; but in reality, that’s the opposite of the way most policies work and you should be apprised of how that might impact your coverage in an emergency.
Maintaining Good Coverage
It is not advisable to let a driver not listed on your policy and who does not have an active insurance policy themselves, drive your vehicle. If an uninsured driver requests to drive your car, it would be wise to call your insurance agency and request he or she be added to your policy.
Drivers with major traffic violations like a DUI, or those driving with suspended licenses, can spell trouble for you, your car, and your policy if left unchecked.
Insurance policies are complicated enough, but knowing who is and isn’t covered to drive your car is important for all parties. Loaning a car to a friend for an afternoon may not sound like a big deal, but in the event of an auto accident or serious injury, it can make all the difference in a personal injury claim.
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