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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

My wife is a licensed driver but hasn’t driven in over 10 years and doesn’t want to in the future. Do I have to keep her on my household car insurance policy?

As long as your wife remains licensed, your car insurance company will want to list her on your auto policy; however, it may be possible to exclude her as a driver.

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If state laws allow, not all do, some car insurance providers will allow you to exclude your spouse from your auto policy.  When you exclude someone that means no coverage will be extended to that person under any circumstances, even if it’s an emergency and your wife feels the need to drive a car for the first time in a decade.

If you’re absolutely positive your wife won’t drive your car, then you certainly can ask your insurer about listing your wife under a named driver exclusion.  If exclusions of spouses aren’t allowed in your state, or by your particular insurer, and you really want your wife off your policy, then you should see about her turning in her license 

If your wife no longer held a driver’s license, she would not have to be listed as a driver on your policy, but she will still be noted in the insurer’s files as an unrated, unlicensed household member.

However, just because it’s possible to take your wife off your car insurance policy in these ways doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so.  Removing your wife could actually raise your car insurance rates.

If your wife hasn’t driven in the last 10 years, she must have an excellent driving record, which likely is giving you a good driver discount on your policy. Also, if she has a credit rating that is better than yours, this could be getting you a better base rate. 

The car insurance discounts associated with your wife would disappear if you remove her from the policy, thus pushing up your rates.  I recommend comparing rates with and without your wife on the policy before making any changes.

Last updated: Jul. 3, 2014
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