Can I Add Someone to my Auto Insurance for a Short Time?

At times, you may find it necessary or beneficial to temporarily add someone to your car insurance, while in other situations, it may not be required. The need for this depends on factors such as the individual’s place of residence, their level of access to your vehicle, and whether your policy includes a permissive use clause. Adding someone to your policy is typically straightforward if they reside in the same household as you. However, if they don’t, they may be considered occasional drivers and may be able to operate your automobile with your permission without being formally listed on your insurance or informing the insurer. Let’s explore different scenarios below to better understand when it might be necessary or advisable to add a driver to your vehicle insurance and when it may not be necessary.

Adding a Driver Temporarily to Car Insurance

In most cases, adding a driver who has moved in with you, even for a short period, is easier and often required. Insurance companies treat individuals living with you differently from occasional drivers who do not reside in your household, as living together naturally provides access to the vehicles registered at that address. Informing your insurer is typically necessary when someone of driving age moves into your home, and it is essential to include them in your auto insurance if they are going to drive your vehicle during their stay. This applies not only to family members but also to friends.

For instance, if your brother comes to stay with you for a while, it is crucial to add him to your automobile insurance since he will be residing in your house or apartment. However, if he’s only visiting for a couple of nights and won’t be using your car, adding him might not be necessary, as he hasn’t officially moved in. Nevertheless, it’s usually safer to include drivers who have moved into your household, even for a short duration, on your insurance.

Adding a driver to your vehicle insurance is relatively simple. You can inform your insurer or agent directly or do it online yourself. Normally, you can’t specify a predetermined period, such as two weeks or a month, so you need to include them for the remaining policy term. When they leave, remember to remove them from your policy. Otherwise, your insurer will calculate your renewal term with the added drivers and continue rating and charging for that driver. Removing the person from your policy after they leave may result in a premium refund or credit.

To add a driver to your policy, you’ll need their details, such as name, age, driving experience, driving records, and driver’s license number. If the person is over 25 years old with a clean driving record, the additional cost might be minimal. However, if they are younger or with a poor driving history, you may have to pay more, depending on the severity of their record and age.

When You Don’t Need to Add Occasional Drivers

On the other hand, standard policies often cover occasional drivers who use your car infrequently and for a short duration without needing to be added to your vehicle insurance policy. Typically, standard policies include a “permissive use” clause, which you can check within your policy or ask your insurer about. If this clause is present, you do not have to inform your insurer every time someone borrows your car for occasional use, provided you give them permission.

For example, if your neighbor’s car is in the garage for a couple of weeks, and they request to borrow your car for grocery shopping or running errands, you don’t need to inform your insurer beforehand. As long as your policy includes permissive use, and you grant them permission for such occasional usage, their activity will be covered by your insurance.

In summary, two key considerations are whether the person has moved into your household and, if not, whether your policy has a permissive use clause. Based on these factors, you may or may not need to add them to your policy before allowing them to drive your car temporarily. It is always best to check your policy before lending your car since policies change depending on the insurer and state.