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?

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

  1. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Aliyah
    March 17, 2016 #

    Hi, so about 2 days ago I got into a collision accident that involved about 5 cars. I ended up getting a ticket for traffic violation of, going to fast down the ramp (even though I was going at speed limit)but the officer told me that I "should have assumed the worst" with the bipolar weather that we have & should have been going below speed limit, and a warning for not staying in one lane. The cause of accident was due black ice. However, because I was the first car to slip (down a ramp on the freeway), followed by several other cars, I was hit immensely & although I'm not sure who hit who or who hit me there was a car that came approximately a few minutes after the whole incident and hit the right side of my car, but you see the cars ensured by my dad's insurance since he owns the car. Unfortunately, his insurer will not pay for any of the damages caused since I'm listed as an "excluded" driver, but what I'd like to know is how can I file a claim to the guy who I know for sure hit me (because the highway patrol officer did provide me his insurance information) to help pay for the expenses of the damage caused. And are they all going to try to blame me for this accident ? What should I expect ?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      March 21, 2016 #

      Hello Aliyah,

      You will need to discuss the options with either your father’s insurance company or the other party’s company. Unfortunately, this type of question can only be addressed by a trained claims professional.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    jessica salcedo
    March 18, 2016 #

    Hello!

    I was involved in a wreck in my mother's car. I am listed as an excluded driver, However the car has full coverage, but insurance does not want to cover because of that.The person that hit me did not have insurance so i can not go after them. They took the case to management to see if they can help her out even though, she did sign a paper excluding me from being a driver . Now, before they make they make the final decision (Insurance) wants to know if i was living in household 2 Years Prior to accident and day of accident, Why? What difference does that make in the decision Making of either helping or denying claim ? Please Help!!

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      March 21, 2016 #

      Hello Jessica,

      Because there is a claim concern involved here, the only person who could answer that would be your claim adjuster.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Linda Adlebush
    March 21, 2016 #

    My son is in process of divorce. Wife's DL is suspended and she is living in another town with mom and stepdad. Can son remove her from car insur policy

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      April 8, 2016 #

      Hello Linda,

      Due to the legal nature of the situation, we would suggest that your son speak with his attorney. The courts may have asked that one of the two of them maintain coverage on their vehicles.

  4. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Roshonda
    March 24, 2016 #

    Hi, my daughter got in a car accident in my car. She was not on my policy and my insurance company is saying my policy was expired. Now the people she hit insurance company is calling me saying if I don't pay the other driver a Lil over a thousand dollars. They gonna have my drivers license suspended!!! Can they do that?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      April 8, 2016 #

      Hello Roshonda,

      Unfortunately, this could be a possibility. We would suggest speaking to an attorney for more detailed answers to your concerns.

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Sydney Martinez
    April 14, 2016 #

    Hi, about two weeks ago I got into a car accident in my mothers car. I am not on the policy due to me living with my dad, but my mailing address is my mothers address because i went to high school 5 min away from her house and just recently graduated from high school in 2015. So therefor I just haven't gotten around to changing my mailing address since graduating. The insurance called the people i hit and told them they are not covering us but never notified us, all they did was send us a letter saying to contact them because they had further questions. The accident was a hit and run. People from behind hit me while I was braking down an overpass which caused me to spin out of control and hit someone else. The person who hit me never stopped. Can my insurance do this ?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      April 18, 2016 #

      Hello Sydney,

      Unfortunately, the insurance companies may have the ability to deny a claim due to a driver not being listed on a policy. However, every situation is a little different. Your best option would be to work directly with the insurance company to see if there are any exceptions or options you may have in this situation.

      Thanks for reading.

  6. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Cindy
    April 15, 2016 #

    my question is: if I request to remove the adult kid who live in other state from my car insurance, does means the kid's name will be added under excluded drive list automatically by insurance company? do I have to sign some formal form for the exclusion? thanks in advance

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      April 18, 2016 #

      Hello Cindy,

      Exclusions would never be automatic in that situation. We suggest calling and speaking to your insurance agent directly for more detailed information.

      Thanks for reading.

  7. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    sophia
    May 10, 2016 #

    i have a question. Im tring to get auto insurance but my boyfreind he had his licens took from him and now all these auto insurance companys are telling me i cant get it because of him where we live in the same house is there any hope for me? Can some one please help me?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      May 16, 2016 #

      Hello Sophia,

      Great question. Depending on your state, you may be able to get a driver exclusion form to ensure that he’s not covered if he were to drive your car. Your only other option may be to have him get his license back so he can be added to the policy, or move to different addresses until he can get his driving privileges back.

  8. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Alex Laszar
    May 13, 2016 #

    I live with my sister, same last name. I was in 2 accidents in a short period of time. We have our own vehicles with separate insurance. She has seen an increase in her premium and thinks it is because of my accidents and the fact that we live in the same house and have the same last name. Is this possible? We do not drive each others vehicles.

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Rachael Heller
      May 16, 2016 #

      Hello Alex,

      This is not uncommon. You would want to contact CLUE directly to fix your report. This should help with any insurance company who uses CLUE for their driving record reports.

      Phone: 888-497-0011 (dispute record)
      Fax:770-291-3140
      Mail: PO Box 105108
      Atlanta, GA, 30348-5108

  9. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    james esparza
    May 16, 2016 #

    Ok my car will not be covered but what about bodily injury that I have from the accident? Am I not covered?

  10. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Stephanie carr
    June 3, 2016 #

    My son got his license a year ago but did not live with me until recently, he was involved in an accident & my insurance company wants me to add him, which is fine but they want me to back pay from when he got his license

  11. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Erica
    June 8, 2016 #

    What if the excluded driver lives with me but stole my car and I reported it stolen as well as pressing charges as he totalled my car, would I be covered as I have full coverage

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 1, 2016 #

      Hi Erica,

      Your best option would be to speak to your insurance company directly. However, you may need to seek recovery in small claims court.

      Thanks for reading.

  12. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    hofdapickles
    June 18, 2016 #

    I moved out of my parents' house, had my own car, and now I'm back living with them and using their cars (I promise it's not because I'm a loser! ;). I am excluded on their policy and we are trying to figure out if there is a way to get me insured on their cars again. Will it be difficult to have me added back? They think it would be cheaper to find a separate insurance policy that only covers me. How do I go about finding such a thing?
    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 1, 2016 #

      Hi there,

      Well, there’s a few things to keep in mind in these situations.

      • Your parents can ask to lift the exclusion on their policy and list you as an additional insured.
      • You may be able to purchase your own policy but the company may require proof that your family is covered.
      • In general, it is cheaper to have more than 1 car and driver on a policy due to possible multi-car discounts.

      Your best option would be to contact your agent directly and get quotes for both situations.

      Thanks for reading!

  13. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Paul Rodriguez
    June 22, 2016 #

    I recently had a collision when I was taking a left from a plaza and I was listed as at fault, however I was excluded from my parents insurance. The other persons car had insurance but she had the car as a lease and her car was pronounced a total loss. Now if my insurance says that they wont cover us, what do we have to pay. The total car, the lease,etc…

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 1, 2016 #

      Hello Paul,

      That would be a very tough situation, but we’re glad to hear you’re alright! We would suggest speaking to the other person’s insurance company directly to get these answers.

      Thanks for reading.

  14. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    tina
    July 1, 2016 #

    What is the point of asking a question if you are going to only answer "Speak to your agent or attorney"?

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      annette cane
      July 2, 2016 #

      I agee tina

  15. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Aimee
    July 1, 2016 #

    Im an excluded driver in california, got rear ended and the police report concluded not my fault. Filed a claim with geico they issued a check now the car is in the repair shop and the cost of repair is nearing 9k, the adjuster is treatening us that we will have out of pocket expenses but would not tell us the limit on the pay out and also encouraging us to give up the rental? Advice please

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 14, 2016 #

      Hi Aimee,

      Without knowing how your policy contract reads, this will be tough to answer. However, your best option would be to ask for a manager in claims to go into more details.

      Thank you for reading.

  16. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    annette cane
    July 2, 2016 #

    My husband is a excluded driver on my policy and hit with someone he got a ticket for improper lane use do i have to report this to my insurance

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 14, 2016 #

      Hi Annette,

      It’s very likely that this would pull up on his motor vehicle report. If there were no injuries and you intend to pay out of pocket for any repairs, you do not necessarily need to report this to your insurance company.

      Thank you for reading.

  17. Avatar for Ellen Hall
    Keidra
    July 2, 2016 #

    I got a letter from my insurance company with a excluded driver on there that i didnt add because we have the same address… She is not on my policy and neva really drives my car but i gave her permission to and someone pull out infront of her causing her to run into a ditch and totaled my car… The police offer wrote it up as a hit and run.. Will my insurance company pay??

    • Avatar for Ellen Hall
      Sara Border
      July 14, 2016 #

      Hi Keidra,

      In general, an excluded driver may not have coverage. You would want to speak to your adjuster directly regarding this situation.

      Thank you for reading.

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