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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

Q

My wife is about to get her driver’s license. Is there a grace period for her to be put on my car insurance policy?

A

Woman in carCar insurance companies’ rules vary so your wife might have coverage for a few days to give you time to contact your insurer and add her to the policy as a driver.  I recommend you contact your auto insurance provider before your wife gets her license to find out its guidelines.

In general, car insurance companies want customers to inform them immediately if anyone in their households obtains a driver’s license so they can adjust rates accordingly for the risk of the new drivers.

If you fail to add your wife to your policy, one of two things could happen if she were in an accident.

Scenario one is that your insurance company would not cover the accident. Withholding information about your spouse becoming licensed could be deemed material misrepresentation, a form of fraud, This could lead to the insurer denying accident claims and canceling your policy.

A second outcome is that your auto insurance provider would make you add her to your policy as a driver and back charge you for her coverage to the date she should have been added to the policy (the day she was licensed).

Whether it’s a child or spouse that is obtaining a license, I wouldn’t take the risk of not informing your car insurance provider immediately and adding the person to your policy.  Yes, it may cost more to have a newly licensed driver on your policy, but the protection you receive is well worth it if the novice driver causes an accident.

Learn which drivers must be listed on your car insurance policy.

Last updated: Jan. 11, 2016