‘Excluding’ vs. ‘Removing’ Drivers From Car Insurance

Auto Insurance, Insurance
'Excluding' vs. 'Removing' Drivers From Car Insurance

Excluding a driver from your car insurance might sound like the same thing as removing someone from a policy. But excluding and removing mean different things to an insurance company.

Removing
Excluding
Why you’d do it
A household member moves out and no longer drives your car regularly.

Examples:
  • A young-adult child leaves the nest
  • A soon-to-be ex-spouse moves out
You or the insurance company don’t want someone in the household covered under the policy.

Examples:
  • A young-adult child has a suspended license because of a bad driving record
  • A spouse with a bad driving record has separate car insurance. Excluding the spouse from your policy prevents the bad record from increasing your rates.
How to do it
Call the insurance companyContact the insurance company and fill out a driver exclusion form
Considerations
  • Drivers shouldn’t be removed unless they don’t live with you anymore
  • It’s best to keep college students who are away at school on the policy if they drive the car when home on breaks
  • Instead of removing college students, ask the company for an “away at school” discount
  • The rules for excluding drivers vary by state and insurance company, and not all states allow exclusions
  • An exclusion lasts until you request its removal
Insurance for the removed or excluded driver
  • Typically, a driver who doesn’t live with you would still be covered when driving your car occasionally with permission
  • All licensed drivers in the household should be listed on the policy unless they’ve been excluded. If you remove someone who still lives with you, coverage for that person when driving your car is uncertain.
  • Generally, an accident won’t be covered if the excluded driver uses your car
  • You might not be held liable for an accident if an excluded driver takes the car without permission, but you might have to prove the driver stole the vehicle
  • Some states let you exclude only drivers who can prove they have their own insurance

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Barbara Marquand is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bmarquand@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @barbaramarquand.