Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2019

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Adding a family member as an additional driver to your auto insurance policy is much easier than you may think.

Most auto insurance companies allow a very quick way to add additional drivers to an existing policy but there are things you should be aware of before ever adding anyone to a policy under your name.

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While most drivers think adding a family member as an additional driver is no big thing, it really is. If you are the primary policyholder and a claim is made under your policy then the actions of any additional driver could compromise the cost of your auto insurance in the future.

Before adding a family member (or any other person) to your auto insurance policy read below for some important things to consider first.

How do I add a family member to my auto insurance policy?

Most auto insurance companies allow you to add a driver to an existing policy over the phone. The general rule of thumb when modifying an auto insurance policy is that most additions can be done by calling your agent.

However, any subtractions (removing a vehicle or driver for example) must be in writing.

Who has the cheapest auto insurance rates?

Adding a family member as an additional driver, however, is not free.

Your auto insurance rates will increase based on the risk profile of the new driver and while this is often much cheaper than having the family member purchase their own policy.

Sometimes the extra expense may be worth not exposing your good claim record by having a high-risk driver under your policy.

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What are the advantages of adding a Family Member as an additional driver?

Money is the primary advantage of adding a family member as an additional driver. Sometimes auto insurance can be very expensive for some people.

Young drivers, a family member who let a previous auto insurance policy lapse or someone with a couple of traffic tickets for example.

When you add a family member as an additional driver auto insurance companies recognize that this person is not the primary driver so most of the risk is based on the assumption of limited use by the new family member.

However, this assumption must also be true and auto insurance companies have many questions in place to prevent an additional driver from having primary access to a vehicle.

For example, if there are 3 cars in the household and only 3 licensed drivers then each person will be considered a primary driver, as no matter how you look it, a vehicle is always available to anyone.

Now if you have 2 cars and 4 licensed drivers then adding a family member as an additional driver is not a problem since it’s logical that 2 people are primary drivers and the other 2 use the car occasionally.

Adding a family member as an additional driver is easy but there are times you may find yourself in a situation where the only way to get auto insurance is to purchase a separate policy.

What are the disadvantages of adding a Family Member as an additional driver?

Anytime you add a family member to your auto insurance policy you need to understand their entire risk profile including their driving record. Any accident or claim under your policy will count against you and ultimately cause a higher cost for everyone under the same policy.

Adding an additional driver to your own policy is almost like letting someone use your credit score. Sometimes it works out ok (ie. co-signing a student loan) but other times you could end up paying for somebody else’s mistakes.

Many families save a lot of money every year by having a single auto insurance policy with family members listed but there are ups and downs to each side.

The best way to learn about the advantages of adding a family member as an additional driver vs. purchasing their own policy coverage is to speak with a licensed auto insurance agent.

Get started and find local auto insurance companies in your ZIP code and learn about your family auto insurance options today.

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  1. Are multiple drivers in the same household covered under a car insurance policy?
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  3. What is not covered under a car insurance policy?
  4. How much can I save with a Good Driver Discount?
  5. Who is a Good Driver?