Is it a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance?

If you're worried about maintaining your affordable auto rates, is it a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance? Adding a new driver is not a bad step in and of itself, but if that driver is very young or just recently received their license, your rates could rise. On the other hand, not adding a driver who frequently uses your car could have serious repercussions like a denial of coverage if they were to be in an accident.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Adding a driver may raise your insurance rates depending on their age and driving history
  • If a guest is visiting, they can borrow your car under the permissive user clause in your insurance policy
  • Shopping online can help you find better rates if adding a new driver increases your premiums

If you’re worried about maintaining your affordable auto insurance, is it a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance? Not necessarily, and adding someone to your insurance can benefit you in the long run.

For example, if you live with someone who regularly drives your car, you should add that person to your insurance. If you don’t and they get into an accident, you run the risk of being denied coverage.

Adding a new driver to your automobile insurance will have some sort of impact on your rates, but doing so won’t also cause your rates to skyrocket.

So, is it bad to add a driver to auto insurance? Depending on the age and credit score of the individual you’re adding, adding a driver could actually save you some money.

Before you learn more about if it is a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance, enter your ZIP code for free quotes near you. 

When do drivers need to add someone else to their auto insurance?

Your auto insurance company would likely tell you that if someone in your household has a driver’s license and has regular access to your vehicle, you need to add that person to your auto insurance.

Some examples of such drivers include:

  • A spouse
  • A significant other
  • Any driving-age children who still live at home
  • A roommate

While not all insurance companies will require you to add an unrelated roommate to your insurance, if you frequently let your roommate borrow your car you should seriously consider adding them to your policy if they don’t have their own auto insurance.

Taking this step protects you if your roommate were to ever get into an accident while driving your vehicle. The damage, if your insurance company thinks that your roommate should have been a named driver, may not be covered, and you could be stuck paying for any costs.

When adding a driver to auto insurance, GEICO, Progressive, or any other major insurance company can help. If you would like to learn more about these companies, feel free to read a GEICO review or, even better, request free quotes online so you can compare rates and coverage.

When can drivers leave people off of their auto insurance?

If you’re concerned with your auto insurance rates, is it a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance? It could be, but thankfully you don’t need to add everyone who drives your car to your insurance.

Let’s say a cousin came to visit you, but you had to go to work the next day. Your cousin could borrow your car while you’re gone to go sightseeing, run errands, or do whatever they would like.

If your cousin were to be in an accident, they would be protected by the “permissive user” clause in your insurance policy. It may surprise you, but your insurance policy follows the car, not the driver.

Can drivers temporarily add someone to their auto insurance?

Now, if a babysitter or a long-term guest were to use your vehicle on a frequent basis, you could add them to your policy temporarily. When you should do so, is entirely dependent upon their relationship with you and your car.

A babysitter you hired for one day could use your vehicle under the permissive user clause; however, if this babysitter were to come and use the car every day, then you should discuss adding them to your policy.

When adding a temporary driver to car insurance, GEICO or any other major insurance company can assist you.

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What does it cost to add a driver to a policy?

If you want to buy auto insurance, is it a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance? Adding a driver to your auto policy could actually have a positive effect on your rates, but depending on who you add, you could be looking at a much higher insurance bill.

The age, gender, driving history, and even credit score of the potential new driver all come into play when an insurance company determines what your new rate will be.

Such information helps your insurance company set rates that are based on formulas that determine how likely the new driver is to be in an accident and make claims.

Teenagers and new drivers are the most likely to be in an accident, so if you have young children in the house, be prepared to see your insurance bill rise when they come of driving age.

Of course, if your credit score and driving history aren’t particularly amazing, adding a driver who has great credit and who has never been in an accident could help improve your rates.

How can a driver add a person to their auto insurance policy?

Before adding a new driver to your policy, take a look at the list below, which includes the most common information needed to add a driver:

  • The driver’s name
  • The driver’s birth date
  • The driver’s gender
  • The driver’s Social Security number
  • The driver’s occupation
  • The length of time the driver’s had their license
  • The number of any traffic tickets they have
  • The number of accidents they’ve been in

Adding a new driver to your policy is very simple and can usually be done over the phone or online.

Can drivers add cars to their policies that aren’t in their name?

Can I add a car to my insurance that is not in my name? Well, the answer is yes and no.

If, for example, the owner of the vehicle will be added to your existing policy or if the person who owns the vehicle will be moving in with you, you should approach your insurance company directly to learn how it handles such matters.

Many insurance companies do not make a habit of selling insurance policies on cars that their client does not own, but Progressive often provides assistance with situations like the ones named above.

As a general rule, always discuss your specific situation with your insurance. That way you’ll know exactly what’s covered and how to get coverage for unusual situations.

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Adding a Driver to Your Insurance: What You Need to Know

Adding a driver to your policy is not a bad idea if the person in question doesn’t have their own policy and drives your car on a regular basis. If you didn’t have such a person named on your policy, your insurance company could reject your claim if they were to be in an accident.

The best tip for you to follow is to discuss your unique situation with your insurance company and get a quote with the new driver on it. If the newly proposed rate of your insurance is too high, you can then search online for a new company that better suits your budget.

Now that you know more about if it is a bad idea to add a driver to your auto insurance, enter your ZIP code to receive free quotes from companies near you.

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