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Can bad driver and good share a policy?


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Question: Can my wife and I have the same insurance policy if I need an SR-22 and she doesn't?   I don’t currently own a car, but she does.  We just got married and are trying to figure this out.

Answer: Yes, you and your wife can be on the same car insurance policy even if you are in need of a SR-22 and she is not.  Many drivers who are required to carry a SR-22 have a spouse that doesn’t need this proof of financial responsibility, yet both are on same auto policy so that each can drive all the cars in the household. 

Your wife’s policy will need to adhere to the car insurance mandates that the state has placed upon you, and her insurer must be willing to file the SR-22. If her car insurance company doesn’t offer SR-22s filings -- not all do -- then you’ll need to find a new auto insurer for your household. (Read more here about SR-22 and car insurance)

Beyond the filing fee insurers charge for a SR-22, which is typically around $25, the SR-22 won’t affect your wife’s insurance costs.  However, whatever caused you to be required to carry the SR-22 will. 

If you have a DUI, suspended license, or something of this nature on your driving record, it will cause the household’s car insurance rates to be higher. This is because the more risk you pose to an insurance company, the higher the premiums it will charge.

If your wife doesn’t want you on her car insurance policy (due to her how your driving record will affect her auto premiums), then she can see if it's possible to exclude you from the policy.  This is allowable in some, but not all, states.  (See “When a good driver marries a bad one”)

If she excludes you, then you would be unable to use her vehicle because her insurance would not extend to you in any way.

The problem with an exclusion is that you are left with no car. No car means no insurance, and no insurance means no way to meet your SR-22 requirement.

While some individuals who need an SR-22 but don't own a car may obtain a non-owner’s policy, this wouldn’t work for you.  Even if you consider the household vehicle to be your wife's, most insurers consider a husband and wife as one person and thus joint owners of any household vehicles. 

You and your spouse being on the same policy makes sense for your situation; thus, you need to discuss the issue with her current car insurance provider.  Once you know the cost of adding you to the policy and the SR-22 filing, shop around to make sure you are getting the lowest car insurance rates possible.

Just because you have the need for a SR-22 doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to save money on car insurance.  Rating systems vary from one insurer to another, so some auto insurance companies will see you as less of a risk than others will -- and their prices will reflect this.  (See “12 ways to double-check your savings”)

Get a low cost quote for car insurance that includes a SR-22 filing by contacting our call center toll-free at 1-855-430-7753.

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