Excluded Drivers: Our Insurance Expert Answers Your Questions

Does everyone in your home need to be listed on your auto policy? Part 3 of our FAQs series explains the rules about excluded drivers.

Our FAQs series answers real questions from our blog readers. Today, we look at who in your household needs to be listed on your insurance and who can be excluded.

With help from Nicole D., one of our many invaluable experts, we’ve compiled some explanations to shed light on this often-perplexing subject.

Please note: the information provided below doesn’t necessarily reflect the processes or opinions of Esurance. These are general guidelines. Since regulations vary widely across the country, you should always confirm your local insurance requirements with your state and insurer.

Excluded drivers: frequently asked questions

Who in my household needs to be listed on my policy?

Most insurers require that all drivers with regular access to the vehicle be added to the policy. That way, the insurance company can review the driving records and risk factors of the possible driver(s) and rate the policy accordingly.

Certain people in your household wouldn’t typically be considered possible drivers, however, and could be left off your policy. These include children under the age of 16 or anyone who is physically incapable of driving due to disability.

Can I choose to exclude a driver from my policy?

Possibly. Some states give policyholders the option to exclude occasional drivers. An exclusion is a formal acknowledgment stating that certain drivers will not drive your car.

If the excluded driver ends up driving the car and has an accident, however, your insurance company won’t pay for the damages, which means you could be left holding the bag.

Many states only allow exclusions in certain situations, like if the driver has a suspended or revoked license or if you can prove that they have comparable insurance coverage somewhere else. These laws can vary from state to state.

Criteria for exclusion can also vary from one insurance company to another. Each state sets the minimum requirements for exclusion, but each insurance company sets their own underwriting guidelines within that framework.

If I give someone permission to drive my car, are they covered under my insurance?

It depends. If they don’t live at the same address as you and/or only drive your car occasionally, they may be covered under what’s known as permissive use (as long as your policy includes that provision). But if your policy has restrictions for permissive users, it may not provide the same level of coverage for that driver as it does for the drivers listed on your policy.

If you loan your car to someone who has their own insurance, coverage for an accident may be divided between their policy and the permissive use coverage provided by your policy.

But if the other driver is regularly driving your vehicle, your insurer may require them to be added to your policy to account for your vehicle’s increased exposure to risk, whether or not the driver is a member of your household.

If I live with my parents and drive their car, am I automatically covered?

No, coverage doesn’t happen automatically, so your parents should check to make sure you’re fully covered under their policy.

If someone in my household doesn’t have a license, do I still need to list them on my insurance?

Depending on the state and your insurance company, you might be required to list them. Sometimes people who “don’t drive” end up driving in an emergency or other unforeseen situation.

If a person of driving age is part of a household, it’s reasonable to assume they have access to the car(s) in the household. Because of this, an insurance company would typically want to protect themselves and the policyholder by either collecting the appropriate premium to insure the driver or excluding the driver from coverage.

Some unlicensed drivers that insurance companies may require on your policy include:

  • People who had a drivers license in another country
  • People who have previously had a learners permit but never passed the Operators License test
  • People who have previously been cited for driving without a license
  • People with a suspended or revoked license

Whether or not any of the above drivers could be excluded varies by state and insurer.

Excluded drivers: the bottom line

While it may seem strange to insure someone in your household who is unlikely to drive, it’s all about balancing risk. If that person isn’t listed on your policy and they end up having an accident in your car, you could be liable for all the damages and injuries.

We hope this post has answered your questions, but if there’s anything else we can clear up for you, please ask away in the comments section below.

Related links

Myth: car insurance follows the driver
Out-of-state car insurance: everything you need to know
SR-22 explained: What is it and when do you need one?

8 Responses to “Excluded Drivers: Our Insurance Expert Answers Your Questions”

  1. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Darla
    July 25, 2014 #

    We insure our step sons vehicle for liability. My husbands ex is buying him a different car and insuring it. Why would they need our policy information to do it? He has his own motorcycle insurance. We won't release any information on our policies. Our insurance comp. contacted us saying she personally is requesting it. Why would she need? Smells fishy to me in North Dakota!!!!

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Darla
      July 25, 2014 #

      He is keeping the car we are insuring. If they need proof of insurance isn't insurance card proof enough? Why would they need it if he has his own motorcycle policy.

  2. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Melissa Summers
    February 14, 2015 #

    I'm in Michigan; my 16 year old daughter lives with me 50% of the time, has her own car and is insured through her father.

    I've listed her as an excluded driver on my policy but am still paying $70 a month for personal injury protection for her. This makes no sense to me as she is an insured driver on her own.

    Is this legal?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      March 10, 2015 #

      Hi Melissa,

      We'd recommend that you check with your carrier's fillings with the state. We don't offer exclusions in MI.

      If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). Our insurance experts are standing by 24/7 to help!

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Jeanneth
    May 25, 2015 #

    Hi, my name is Doris may 1 I had a accident a car hit and run I dont know any information about that carr, I made my claim to my insure the next day, they asked my if i who was driving and where i was ahead , I said , driving ahead to drop my nephew to his job… my carr has 7 day from now in the auto body shop last saturday the sent my a letter its say: the my unlisted driver the name of my nephew is no in my policy ,, second say: add the unlisted driver as rated drivers or to exclude them from your policy.,,, third say: capital black letter, Pease be advised coverage may not be provided for any claims arising from an accident or loss involving your listed vehicles being opetstrd by unlisted driver….today, i went with my agent, and he made a endorsment its say, add exclude driver…. but i dont dont know he wad only a passager is not injury, just i made a claim to the insure helo to coverage with my carr………my carr has full coverage… i think its cover pasager too… i dont feel comfortable with alliances insurance company…. i dont want down to depression.

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      June 15, 2015 #

      Hello Doris,

      The best option would be to clarify the information with the company to make sure they understand that you were the one driving and not your nephew. And feel free to give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). Our insurance experts are standing by 24/7 to help with any questions you might have!

      Thanks for reading.

  4. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Carmen de Luna
    June 16, 2015 #

    my son was in an accident in my car, in which he is an excluded driver, My car has full coverage, but I guess my question is what the outcome could be on this matter. Any ideas.

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      June 22, 2015 #

      Hello Carmen,

      If the driver is excluded, in most states that means there is no coverage if that person drives the car and has an accident. There are a few states that a different, but they are rare. Ultimately, however it would be up to the claims adjusters and the facts of the loss.

      Thanks for reading.

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