If one of the drivers listed on your auto insurance policy is a risky driver, you’ll likely see your premiums go up. In this case, you may be wondering if you should exclude that driver from your policy. So, what exactly is an excluded driver?
What Is an Excluded Driver?
An excluded driver refers to a driver whom you ask your auto insurance company not to cover. Once they’re removed from your policy, that person can’t drive your vehicle and won’t receive coverage from your insurer. Usually, an excluded driver is someone you intentionally decide to exclude from your policy because removing them will increase your premiums. However, sometimes, it’s the insurance company that wants the exclusion. So, can your insurer force you to exclude a driver from your policy?
If you have a person on your auto insurance policy who is a problem driver, you can expect your insurance rates to keep rising as they get into more driving trouble. In this case, your car insurance provider may want you to remove the driver from your policy or pay a higher premium.
If you decide to exclude the driver, it means that individual won’t be able to legally drive any of your covered vehicles and receive protection under your policy. If they cause an accident while driving one of your vehicles, they’ll be regarded as an uninsured driver and face liability for all damages and injuries that result from the crash.
However, it’s important to note that auto insurance covers the car first and foremost, regardless of who is driving. For instance, you have a house guest who wants to surprise you with a grocery run. He decides to borrow your vehicle without asking for your permission. If he hits somebody with your car, your auto insurance will step in first to pay for the damages, even if he has his own car insurance at home. As a result, your premium will likely increase, which is why you should make sure bad drivers won’t have access to your vehicle.
Auto insurance providers know that it’s common for family members to borrow each other’s vehicles, so they consider every licensed household member’s driving history when calculating premiums. Family members and roommates are regarded as “permissive drivers,” meaning they’re automatically covered. In eight states, insurers are allowed to provide reduced coverage for permissive drivers.
Should You Exclude a Flawed Driver from Your Car Insurance Policy?
A flawed driver, such as a spouse with DUI convictions or a teen with speeding tickets, can send your auto insurance premiums through the roof, according to Insurance.com. However, some insurance companies in certain states allow you to remove certain drivers from your policy and save money.
According to The Balance, your auto insurance policy generally follows your vehicle, meaning it extends to anybody who uses your car with your permission. Nonetheless, when working out premiums, insurance companies want to know every driver who will likely be using your vehicle on a somewhat regular basis. Typically, these drivers are people living in your home who have a driver’s license, including:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Your relatives
- Your roommates
So, what happens if one of your family members or relatives is a flawed driver with multiple moving violations, at-fault accidents, DUIs, or claims? If you don’t exclude them from your policy, you’ll likely see a significant increase in your car insurance costs. In another example, you have somebody in your household who is very young or old or insured under someone else’s policy but won’t be driving your vehicle.
In both of these cases, you have two choices: exclude the risky driver from your policy or pay higher premiums. If you choose to remove the driver from your car insurance, you’re making an explicit promise to your insurer that the excluded driver won’t under any circumstances be permitted to drive your insured vehicle. As such, you shouldn’t be charged the higher premiums that you’ll otherwise have to pay if the excluded driver remains on your policy.
What Happens When You Exclude a Driver?
If you decide to exclude a member of your household from your car insurance coverage, your insurance company will update your policy by naming the excluded driver and specifying the conditions that won’t be covered. Then, your insurer and you will sign an endorsement to confirm that the named driver will no longer be covered if they drive one of your insured cars. However, your policy will still cover them if they’re a passenger in one of your vehicles.
After being named an excluded driver, the member of your household shouldn’t drive any of the vehicles listed on your car insurance policy. If they do, it’s similar to driving without insurance, says The Balance. In the event of an accident, both you and the excluded driver may be held liable for damages.
Suppose you have a 17-year-old son who has just gotten his driver’s license. He’s allowed to drive your vehicle if you’ve included him in your auto insurance policy. However, if he’s caught driving beyond the speed limit, he may cause your premiums to increase, depending on the severity of his violations.
After getting two speeding citations, perhaps your son causes an accident. Although nobody was injured in the collision, your insurer starts to regard him as a high-risk driver and asks you to choose between paying higher premiums and excluding him from your policy. About six months after you remove your son from your car insurance coverage, you think he has changed his ways. So, you decide to contact your insurance agent to discuss the terms of reinstating him as a driver on your policy.
Whether it’s you or your insurance company that wants to exclude a certain driver from your car insurance policy, you have to be prepared to pay higher premiums. If you aren’t happy with your insurer’s rate increase, you may want to shop around to find another carrier that offers a better deal. Some car insurance providers may not require the exclusion or offer more affordable rates to high-risk drivers.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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