Coverage Under a Family Member’s Policy

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Car insurance usually follows the car, so if you drive a family member’s car occasionally, you will probably be covered.
  • If you’re a frequent driver of the vehicle and are not listed on the insurance, you may run into problems.
  • Keep in mind that many insurance policies carry an exclusionary clause stating that no one under the age of 24 is covered. In this case, you must list any young drivers on your policy.


Usually, a car insurance policy specifies the names of the individuals who are covered by the policy, and if you are not specifically named then, you may not be insured to drive the car.

Most policies also have a general exclusionary provision which may or may not cover you on a certain policy.

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Car insurance is required by law in nearly every state, so you should always make sure you are insured before driving anywhere.

Some people assume that they are automatically covered under a family member’s car insurance policy, but that is not always the case.

The best way to know if you are covered under a family member’s car insurance is to read the person’s policy thoroughly and see if you are either specifically listed or specifically excluded.

Why would you want to be on someone else’s car insurance policy?

Car, Family, Driving.

Car insurance rates are based on a number of different factors. One factor is the driving record of the driver, as well as their risk factor.

If you are a new teenage driver, you don’t have a driving record and the insurance company considers you to be a high-risk driver. If you were to try and get car insurance on your own, your policy would probably be quite expensive.

If you are added to a family member’s insurance policy, the rate that you pay will more than likely be less than if you got it on your own. This would be the best way to get covered under a car insurance policy.

Getting Specifically Listed on a Family Member’s Car Insurance

Most people, when they buy car insurance, add their spouse’s name to the policy. Provided that your spouse has a clean driving record and insurance friendly record as well, adding him to the policy will not affect the premium.

If your spouse has a DUI or DWI you will need to consider alternatives.

Therefore, if it doesn’t change your rate, it is a good idea to specifically name the family member on your car insurance. That way, if anything should go wrong while he is driving there will be no question as to the insurance coverage.

All drivers specifically listed on a family member’s car insurance will be covered the same as the primary insured person.

You do not have to be specifically named on the insurance policy to be covered. However, if you are a routine driver of the car and you are not named on the policy then you may have a harder time submitting a claim and proving your right to be covered.

You will not be covered by a family member’s car insurance if you are excluded from the policy through a general clause.

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Being Excluded from a Family Member’s Car Insurance

Almost every insurance policy has an exclusionary clause of some sort on its policy. This is usually done to prevent young and inexperienced drivers from automatically receiving insurance benefits through their parents.

Young drivers cost a lot more to insure because of their being a high-risk group. Therefore, insurance companies need to make sure every young driver gets correctly added to an insurance policy to actually receive coverage.

By adding the driver to your policy your insurance company can raise your premium accordingly.

The exclusion typically states that no driver, whether male or female, under the age of 24 is insured to drive the vehicle – no matter what. If you have a young driver under that age and you do not explicitly add him to your policy, then he does not have any insurance.

If there is an accident and the driver is excluded from the policy and has no insurance of his own, here are some issues he could face:

How to Get Added to a Family Member’s Car Insurance

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If you are not listed specifically on a family member’s car insurance, and you are going to be driving that person’s car, then ask the policyholder to call the insurance company and have you added.

If you are under a certain age, be prepared to pay the difference in premiums because adding an inexperienced driver will hike up the rates.

If the family member does not want to add you to his policy for some reason, then you may need to buy your own car insurance.

Car insurance usually follows the car, so you may not be able to buy car insurance for someone else’s car. However, you can buy non-owner insurance that will allow you to be legally insured on someone else’s car.

You will still not be listed on your family member’s car insurance policy but you will have insurance for the times when you drive that car.

Will being covered by a family member increase the insurance premium?

A car insurance company takes into account all of the drivers of a vehicle when figuring out the premium. If you are added to another person’s policy, the policy may go up a bit to account for the extra driver–especially if the driver is considered to be high-risk.

Also, if the added driver is in an accident, this will directly affect the insurance premiums of the original insurance holder. The rates will increase due to the claim.

Despite the fact that car insurance usually stays with the car, if you have your own car insurance then it will probably travel with you if you occasionally drive someone else’s car.

If you are not sure how your policy works, call your insurance company to find out. If you don’t have car insurance yet, or if you only want to find a better price, you can enter your zip code in the field on this page and request your free quotes.

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