Roommates could be anyone like a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, sibling or anyone else who is sharing the same living space with you, except spouses. Usually, you can add anyone on your policy even if they don’t live with you and you need to disclose to your insurance company who is living with you with their age, driving license status and whether they will be driving the car or not. Also, often it is possible to exclude a roommate with most insurers and in most states, if they aren’t driving the car.
The safer option is to include a roommate on auto insurance but there may be many reasons why policyholders may want to exclude them. They could have a bad driving record or inexperienced and that may increase your rates. Also, people aren’t necessarily close to each other even though they may be living in the same apartment.
It is important to check with your insurer as to what happens if your roommate drives your car and get into an accident with it. Some insurers may cover the damages if you permit a roommate to drive your automobile but some companies are stricter with people sharing homes and may insist that they are either included or excluded explicitly. The interpretations change according to companies and you should check before allowing them to drive.
It is usually a sensible thing to include drivers in your household, especially if they are going to drive. Also, roommates can share car insurance in various ways including both names going on the policy as policyholders and one being the policyholder and the other listed as a driver. Then, people can share the costs according to usage.
Some states may require the name on the auto insurance and registration documents to match. But they would allow two names on registration and insurance documents so this obstacle can be navigated if people want to buy a vehicle and insurance together. However, people should know each other well to do this because each vehicle owner would be responsible for damages and injuries caused with a car registered to their names, regardless of who was driving.
It is also possible that roommates can buy a multi-car insurance policy for their vehicles to save money. These policies’ main condition is that all the cars listed have to be registered in the same address. Often, companies accept cars owned by different people to go on the multi-car policy as long as the first condition is met.
Again, this may not always be possible or difficult in some states and some insurance companies may insist that all the cars owned by the policyholder. So, people interested in multi-car policies need to shop around to get the best prices and find the company that will allow inclusion of vehicles as they are.
Having a multi-car policy would allow each to go onto each other’s policies, which would allow switching cars without insurance concerns. Even if they have separate policies, roommates can still be listed in each other’s policies and enjoy the flexibility. In addition, they may still save a little when they buy their automobile insurance from the same company.
In conclusion, there are various options available to people living in the same house but they need to check with their car insurers to make sure they have coverage for driving the car. Also, rules can be different from one state to the other. Motorists should not assume that a roommate would be automatically covered, especially if they haven’t mentioned their existence to the provider. They should always check first.
Furthermore, they need to shop around a bit to get what they need at a reasonable cost. While one company may agree to exclusion the other may not and the same applies to multi-car insurance. Yet, it is highly possible that they can arrange the coverage the way they want or find a good compromise.