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Can my insurer put a driver back on my policy?

Question: Why are we having such a hard time removing my non-dependent, married daughter from our car insurance? She does not live with us, and we don’t own a vehicle that she drives. She had her own insurance with our same auto insurer for a few months but then the insurer dropped her due to a ticket and placed her back on my husband’s policy.

Answer: It’s not unusual when you want to remove someone from your car insurance policy for your insurer to request the individual’s new permanent address, as well as information about (or even a copy of) the person’s new auto insurance policy.

The insurance company wants to make sure the person is no longer living with you and has auto insurance coverage, basically to verify the individual no longer needs coverage under your car insurance policy, before removing them as a driver.

If you previously provided proof that your daughter had married and moved out, which must have been done since your auto insurer set her up with her own policy, then normally that would be enough to keep her off your policy for good, unless she moved back in with you or became a frequent driver of one of the vehicles that you own.

It’s uncommon for an auto insurance company to add a driver back to your policy who doesn’t live with you and doesn’t drive your cars on a regular basis. You need to contact your auto insurance company for an explanation as to why your child was added back on to your policy and how to remove her – again.  You might ask the company for a named driver exclusion that would exclude your daughter from your coverage.

Unless your car insurance company has a valid reason to have her on your policy, she should be able to be removed from it immediately -- before your car insurance rates are affected.

If your car insurance company refuses to remove your daughter from your policy, then contact your state’s insurance regulatory body for consumer advice on your situation. This state office may require you to make a complaint against your auto insurer for it to investigate your situation and help resolve the issue.

Now might be a good time for all of you to shop around. Your daughter and her husband should be seeking a new car insurance policy since they lost their coverage with your same auto insurance provider. If they have already obtained auto insurance with another company, then showing proof of that to your auto insurer may be the easiest way to get her removed from your policy.

You have reason to be dissatisfied as well. Car insurance quotes can vary by hundreds of dollars, if not more, and the worse your driving record -- or your daughter's -- the more likely it is that you can save money. (See "Pocket $1,102 by just shopping around.") You may also find better customer service. We'd suggest checking out Insure.com's "Best Insurance Companies" too.

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