Who Is Covered under my Car Insurance Policy?

There are often times you may need or want to let someone else drive your vehicle. This could be someone in the family, your 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 the auto insurance companies think about extending coverage to unnamed drivers?

Drivers Who Are Living with You?

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

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 list them on your cover because it is a safe thing to do and your policy may offer better coverage to listed drivers than occasional drivers. Besides, there are no grey areas when your insurer explicitly offers coverage for them.

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

Occasional Drivers

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

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

Furthermore, there are policies that only cover named drivers. In that case, only the people who are listed on the policy can operate the insured automobile. They are designed to make coverage 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 you have a named driver only policy.

Excluded Drivers

As the name suggest, policyholder has already agreed not to allow certain people to drive his/her car and this fact has been recorded on the schedule. So, excluded drivers should never operate your auto under any circumstances.

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to the question of who is covered under my auto insurance policy. It is an important consideration and you should check it before you buy your insurance. It is highly recommended that you consider the coverage offered while deciding on an insurer, 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 decent policy at reasonable price.

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