Who Is Covered under my Car Insurance Policy?

There are often times you may need or want to let someone else ride your vehicle. This could be someone in the family, girlfriend or boyfriend or just a friend. It could even be someone you hardly know. Quite a few people are comfortable with allowing others to operate their automobiles. But what auto insurance companies think about extending coverage to unnamed motorists? Let’s define the operators and explain their entitlements, if there is any.

Drivers Who Are Living with You?

As a general rule, most companies would want to know who else is living under the same roof as you and they want them to be included. This is due to the fact that they are likely to use the car and state laws may not allow them to be excluded anyway. It is safe to assume that anyone who is living with you and have license is insured, unless you have specifically excluded him or her.

Listed Drivers

You can list anyone on your car insurance even if they don’t live with you. This could be a girlfriend/boyfriend, a friend, a relative or a colleague. If someone is using your motor vehicle more than occasionally, you should include them because it is a safe thing to do and the policy may offer better coverage to listed names than occasional. Besides, there are no grey areas when they are explicitly included.

Listed drivers and people who live with you usually get the same or similar coverage as the policyholder. At times, younger or high-risk motorists may be required to pay higher deductibles and this would be clearly stated on the schedule of insurance.

Occasional Drivers

These are the people who may use a vehicle on the off chance. A friend or an acquaintance may just need to run a quick errand and ask the car keys. A good standard policy provides coverage for such drivers who aren’t named on the schedule. However, the level of protection may vary depending on the company and state you live in.

Some companies may offer lower liability limits and perhaps no collision and comprehensive for occasional drivers. And deductibles may be higher even if there is full coverage. That is why it is important to check before you allow anyone else to operate the auto.

Furthermore, there are policies that only include named people. In that case, only the people who are listed can operate the insured automobile. They are designed to be cheaper and that is why people who don’t plan to let their vehicle to be used by anyone else may prefer them, providing their state laws allow them. You would probably know if this is the case.

Excluded Drivers

As the name suggest, policyholder has already agreed not to allow certain people to use his/her car and this fact has been recorded on the schedule. So, excluded people should never operate the auto under any circumstance. This practice is usually utilized to reduce premiums and it isn’t fair to get the discount and not follow through with its conditions. That can cause real problems when there is an incident involving such people.

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to the question. It is an important consideration and you should check it before you buy automobile insurance. It is highly recommended that you consider all these while deciding on a provider, along with price. It is not necessarily the case but there may be a reason why a quote is much cheaper than the rest of the quotes you received. In any case you should get a few quotes and compare them, if you want a reasonable price.