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How long do I have to add new driver to my policy?


Question: If someone moves in with me -- for instance, a child returns home from college or a parent comes to live with me -- and drives my cars, do I have to add them on my policy? If so, how quickly?  Will it affect my rates?

Answer:  Anyone in your household who drives your car will need to be added to your policy.

Whether your child is returning from college or a stint in the armed forces, you get a roommate or a parent comes to live with you, your auto insurance company will want to be informed about these household changes and adjust your car insurance policy accordingly.

Typically you need to add a new driver to your car insurance policy within 30 days. State laws and guidelines of insurance companies vary, though, so some insurers give you as few as seven to 10 days to add the new licensed household member to your policy.

Once you know that someone is coming to live with you for an extended period of time (or permanently), you should contact your auto insurance provider to find out what their particular rules are on adding a new driver.

If you can show proof that the new household member has his or her own auto insurance coverage, then some auto insurers won’t ask you to add the individual onto your policy as a driver since they have their own car to use.

You, however, asked about individuals that move into your home and will be driving your vehicles. Normally they would need to be listed on your policy as drivers because their risk as a frequent driver of your car needs to be assessed by your auto insurer.  

Adding a new driver to your policy doesn’t necessarily mean your rates will rise. Insurance companies don’t rate on the number of drivers but the risks that all the drivers pose to them.  So, your rates will depend upon factors such as what that person’s driving and claims records are like and how many years of driving experience they have.

If the person has accidents and traffic tickets or has recently obtained their license, then an auto insurer will see this as taking on more risk and likely your rates will rise to add the person as a driver to your policy.

If instead the individual has a stellar record, then your car insurance rates may not be affected, or could even help your rates if the person comes with discounts that could be applied to your policy, such as one for having completed an approved driver safety course.

If your rates change, then shop around to make sure you are getting the cheapest car insurance rates for your new household situation. Rates can differ by hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, between insurance companies.

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