Most quote forms and agents would ask about the existence of other drivers in your household so that automobile insurers can include them and take their risk-profile into account in premium calculations. If your roommate is driving your automobile, they should be included and perhaps they may share the cost of insurance. If they aren’t driving the car, you may be able to exclude them from your policy and avoid paying additional premiums for them.
In cases of people who live in the same household with you, there is not a chance of considering them as occasional drivers. Most auto insurance companies would want them either included in the policy or explicitly excluded from driving your vehicle. Once they are excluded, they are not covered for any accidents they may cause with your car. So, you need to be sure about leaving them out.
Normally, adding another driver to your policy would increase your premium. If the roommate is at a similar age and has similar driving records, the costs may go up slightly. On rare occasions, rates may be lowered if a roommate is a more mature and experienced driver with cleaner driving history than you.
On the other hand, they may increase your vehicle insurance premium substantially if they have bad driving records. In such cases, you may exclude them and avoid the additional costs, which can be a lot of money in some cases, depending on the company and state. If they have recent speeding tickets or at-fault accidents in their Motor Vehicle Records, they would be considered as riskier drivers. In addition, younger drivers are usually expensive to insure as well.
Car insurance companies want to be clear about them either way. If you include them, the carrier will rate them by considering their driving records, age, gender and experience when they are pricing the policy. They don’t affect your rates when they are excluded. But you need to make sure that they don’t drive your car when they are clearly left out.
Also, roommates can share policies by insuring their cars under one multi-car insurance policy and both can save on overall premiums. Most companies agree to including your roommate’s car under your policy and offer a lower overall price that would normally be cheaper than insuring cars separately. So, it may be an attractive proposition under normal circumstances.
Again, you may not want to be part of such arrangements or they may not be beneficial when your roommate has a bad driving record or credit score because they can increase your rates a lot. Credit score is another influential factor and can raise rates a lot when someone has a bad score. Then, you can decide to leave them separate and even exclude each other from each other’s policies. This will reduce the flexibility of sharing cars but savings may make it worth the sacrifice.
And you may want to keep your policy separate when your roommate has a higher-risk vehicle than yours that will increase your costs. If you have a modest car, your premium would be reasonable. But adding a high-risk car to your policy can increase overall costs even more than keeping them separate at times since you would be rated on the high-risk car’s insurance policy as well.
Normally, you can make the most suitable decision for yourself. But sometimes companies can be difficult when you want to exclude your roommate from your car insurance or unnecessarily expensive to add them to your policy. So, it is always a good idea to check with other companies and see how they view your position, rate the risks and how much they charge.
Although you may not have an issue in most states, it may be difficult or not allowed to exclude a driver from your policy in several states like New York.