You might not add any Tom, Dick, or Harry to your auto insurance policy. Heck, you might not even add your best friend. But you have every reason to include a spouse, a child, or even another family member to your insurance if there’s a chance the person in question might be driving your car. If you want to avoid the potential liability associated with accidents, injuries, or property damage caused by an uninsured driver operating a vehicle registered to you, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the people you allow to use your car and insured. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before you decide to add others to your auto insurance policy. In order to make the right decision, you need to be informed, so here are some items to discuss with your insurance provider or the person to be insured before you sign on the dotted line.
- Occasional drivers. You should probably start by asking your insurance provider whether or not your policy allows for coverage of occasional drivers. There may be a limited set of circumstances under which others are allowed to drive your vehicle, say during emergency situations. And you don’t necessarily want to shell out the dough for insurance if someone might only operate your vehicle once in a blue moon. In some cases, your full-coverage policy allows for this and will still cover other drivers (albeit unnamed) in the event of an accident. But you need to ask to be sure.
- Driving record. Before you add anyone to your insurance it is imperative that you have a copy of their driving record, especially since your insurance company will use it to set a rate. The number of tickets and accidents associated with a person’s driving record will definitely impact the cost of insurance. It’s not the only factor, but it can be significant. So asking for a copy of a driving record before adding someone to your auto insurance policy is both fair and wise.
- Cars covered. A number of factors play a role in setting insurance rates, including age, driving record, and even region. But in addition to personal factors, rates will also be based in part on the cars being driven. Auto insurance works on a per person, per car basis. So if you’re adding someone to your insurance, you’re going to have to choose a car. And you may as well make it whichever one is cheapest, since you’re footing the bill. For example, insuring your teenagers on your old beater Chevy truck is going to be a lot more affordable than adding them to the policy for your new Lexus.
- Cost. There’s just no getting around the fact that adding other drivers to your auto policy is going to add expense. In some cases it is not a significant amount, but it could be a lot more than you’re used to in the event of a particular age group (teen) or a terrible driving record, just for example. There’s probably a reason why the person in question can’t get a policy, so you need to figure out payment options beforehand since you’re the one liable for paying for a policy in your name.
- Trust. There are few better car insurance tips than this: trust the people you add to your policy. If you feel like the person you’re insuring is likely to have accidents, incur tickets, drink and drive, or otherwise shirk the weighty responsibility of operating a motor vehicle, do not offer up your car or your insurance. You’re the one who will have to deal with the financial fallout. So before you add other drivers to your Pronto Insurance Franchise or State Farm policy, consider just how much you trust them with your reputation.