Question: My daughter needs to buy car insurance, but the companies she has tried so far won’t allow her to because her husband has a lot of tickets, which he owes money on, and has a suspended license. He is also in jail, so he isn’t going to correct the issues anytime soon. She needs reasonably priced insurance for herself in Florida. What can she do?
Answer: Your daughter should look into excluding her husband from her car insurance policy so that she can find affordable car insurance rates.
Auto insurance companies typically take into account all licensed household drivers when calculating rates, and it appears your daughter’s husband’s issues are causing her to be turned down for auto policies, or obtain reasonable rates.
She needs to take her husband out of the equation. (See "When a good driver marries a bad one")
Insurance companies determine rates based on various rating factors, with a major one being your motor vehicle record. If it shows that a driver on your policy has multiple traffic violations, then it’s going to raise your rates. If any of the violations are major offenses, such as reckless driving or DUI, then that will make the rates go even higher.
Thus, a mate who has a bad driving record, let alone a suspended license, can put the whole household into a high risk insurance tier -- and the bigger the risk, the higher the car insurance rates.
If your daughter signs a named driver exclusion form with a car insurance company, she will be able to keep her husband from being rated on her car insurance policy as a driver, which, if she has a decent driving record, should bring down her rates substantially.
Not all states allow named driver exclusions for spouses, but luckily for your daughter, Florida does permit it. Since not all auto insurance providers will offer to exclude drivers, she will have to shop around to find one that will.
No coverage means no coverage. Really.
By signing the exclusion on her spouse, it means that when he gets of jail and comes home, he would be unable to drive the insured car since there would be no auto insurance coverage extended to him. If he drove the car while excluded and was in an accident, the couple would be held personally responsible for all the damages they caused.
If when he returns home and gets his license back her husband wants to drive, then she will need terminate the exclusion and add him to the policy as a driver. This will of course raise their rates again due the high risk he poses to insurance providers. Also, if he must obtain an SR-22 to get his license back, then they will need to find a car insurance company that will file this with the state on his behalf.
Insurance companies rating systems vary significantly, so your daughter needs to comparison shop for the car insurance company that give her the best car insurance rates for her particular situation. If she can’t find one that will exclude her husband, have her contact the state’s insurance regulator for consumer advice on which companies in her area offer this.