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Q

I have full coverage car insurance on my vehicles. Could I let my 18 year old drive my car without adding her to my policy?


A

If your 18 year old is a licensed household member than normally your car insurance company will require you to add the child to your auto insurance policy so that he or she is properly covered. If you did not add your child to the policy and the terms of your policy had required you to do so than if he was in an accident it may not be covered or your insurer may be able to cover the accident but then require you to pay them for the premiums that should have previously been paid out for your child to be listed as a driver on your policy.

Most all insurance companies require all licensed household members be listed on your auto insurance policy. If your 18 year old child lives in your household than he or she has access to the vehicles of the house and thus are a risk factor that insurance companies are allowed to include in their rating calculations.

While a friend may occasionally borrow your car and be covered they do not normally have regular access to your car and thus are not rated as a risk factor on your policy. If you do have someone outside of the household that regularly drives your car then normally an insurance carrier would also want this person listed an occasional driver so they would be properly covered in an accident.

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Also not all policies provide coverage to anyone that drives the car. Policies can have driver exclusions. These exclusions can include those under a certain age (under 21 or 25 for instance), unlicensed drivers and those driving under the influence to name a few.

Insurance providers thus require you add your teen since he or she lives in your household and is a risk factor to them. Most all state laws permit an insurer to consider all resident operators of an insured vehicle in rating of an auto insurance policy. This includes your child, even if he or she has only a learner's permit and especially when they have a full driver's license.

Insurance companies are usually allowed to use classifications that reflect a possible exposure for liability on the part of the insurer, in the event that bodily injury or property damage occurs due to the operation of the vehicle by anyone in your household, including your child.

Many parents would like to avoid the rate increase from adding their licensed teenager to their auto insurance policy however if you do not inform your insurance provider of your child's licensing status and he or she is in an accident, the incident may not be covered. In some states an insurer may be allowed to cover the accident but then charge you for the premiums you should have paid up to that time for the teen to be on the policy.

Also in some states purposely not reporting a household licensed driver to your insurance carrier, so that they are added as a driver to your policy, can be construed as misrepresentation, a form of insurance fraud.

Teen drivers are expensive to insure since they are inexperienced and often immature drivers that statistics have shown are more apt to be in accidents. There are ways in which to help bring down the rate increase from adding a teen to your insurance policy. You can ask your agent about discounts for your child getting good grades (a good student discount), taking a driver's education or driver's improvement class, and any other discounts that your specific insurer has available for you to take advantage of such as a multi-car discount.

If you need to add an 18 year old licensed driver to your car insurance policy then you may want to shop around at this time to make sure you and your family are getting the best rates possible. You can get free auto insurance quotes online here with us.


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