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Changing Driver Information on Your Policy
Whether it is a teenager reaching driving age, new roommates moving in, or an aging parent quitting driving, it is essential that you know when and how to change driver information on your car insurance policy to keep it current.
The Necessity of Accurate Driver Information
You are taking a big risk if you do not change the driver information on your car insurance policy when the drivers in your household change.
If your auto insurance company finds out that someone in your household has been driving your car but is not on your policy, the company may cancel your policy. This could be an expensive mistake, as having your policy cancelled can leave you having to pay higher rates in the future and without car insurance in the short term.
Aside from ensuring all drivers in your household are properly covered to drive your vehicle, car insurance companies must have correct driver information, as they determine the cost of your auto insurance policy by calculating the likelihood that you will need to file a claim.
Each driver on your policy affects the risk of your car being in an accident and filing a claim.
When to Add a Driver to Your Policy
You need to add a driver to your policy when you have a new driver in your household who is planning to drive your car.
The following are some common of the scenarios that require policy updates:
- When a new licensed driver, such as a roommate, moves into your household.
- When you get married.
- When your teen begins driving.
- When your parent moves in with you and is still planning to drive.
- NOTE: If your parent moves in and is not planning to drive, you might want to consider swapping his or her driver's license for a state-issued ID card to make it clear that he or she has no intention of driving.
When to Remove a Driver from Your Policy
You will need to remove drivers from your car insurance policy in the following situations:
- You get separated or divorced (NOTE: You cannot remove this driver until either you or they move out).
- A driver in your household gets their own policy.
- A driver moves out of your household.
Excluding a Poor Driver from Your Policy
In some states, you can exclude a driver with a poor driving record in order to reduce your car insurance rates.
Call your car insurance company to find out if driver exclusions are permitted in your state, and, if so, how much you'll save on your premium by doing so.
You might consider excluding a driver if his driving record has one or more of the following in the previous 3-5 years.
- Serious accidents.
- Frequent traffic violations.
- One or more DUIs.
NOTE: Excluding a driver means that the driver will NOT have coverage to drive your vehicle and may not drive it at all. If an excluded driver operates your car for any reason and gets into a collision, you will not be covered for any expenses. Furthermore, your policy can be canceled, making it much more difficult to get affordable car insurance quotes in the future.
Consider that any member of your household may need to drive your vehicle in an emergency before making the final decision to exclude him.
What You'll Need to Update Your Policy
The exact information you need to add a driver to your car insurance policy varies depending on your company, but there is some basic information that you are likely to need.
- The driver's name and birthdate.
- The driver's license number, along with:
- The state where the license was obtained.
- The date of issue.
- Which vehicle the driver will drive most often.
- Your daily mileage.
- The driver's level of education.
- For current students, provide grade point average.
If you need to remove a deceased driver, you need to provide proof of death. If the driver is moving out after a separation or divorce, your company may require that driver's new address. Finally, if the driver has obtained a new policy, you may need the effective start date of that policy.
Contact your car insurance company to see what additional information is necessary when updating your policy.
Life Changes and Your Car Insurance
Remember, any time you have a life change (e.g. getting married or getting a new roommate), it can be a good time to reassess your auto insurance.
If you're adding or removing drivers, you might wish to comparison-shop for the cheapest car insurance rates. Remember to get several car insurance quotes before settling on a provider.
If you do decide to switch companies, make sure to do so carefully to avoid a gap in insurance. You can learn more on our How to Change Auto Insurance Providers page.
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