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Deciding who should be included on your car insurance comes down to one thing: If they’re going to be driving your car regularly, they should be listed on your policy. This includes teens, your spouse, an aging parent who lives with you or anyone in your household. Failure to do so could mean you’re on the hook for damages they cause during an accident. 

According to Lauren Mckenzie, insurance broker/agent with A Plus Insurance, policyholders should assess what costs adding another driver to their insurance policy could create and how the driver will be designated on the policy. 

“Listing a driver as a second insured affords them the authority to effect alterations to the policy and, in some cases, even terminate the insurance coverage without obtaining consent from the first insured. This dynamic can precipitate complications in situations involving separation or discord between the drivers,” she says. 

She says it’s essential to consider how the driving history of the added driver may influence the policy’s premium. 

“Encompassing factors such as their driving record, insurance score/history, credit standing and age of the driver may impact premiums,” she says. “The insured should always consult with their insurance agent to get a quote on the cost of adding the driver.” 

Learn more about who should be included on your car insurance, what happens if you don’t list someone on your policy and other frequently asked questions. 

Key Takeaways

  • Spouses, licensed teens, young adults, seniors and caregivers are some of the top people to include on your car insurance policy.
  • Unlisted drivers involved in an accident in your car could leave you paying for all damages out of pocket and may cause your policy to be canceled.
  • Not all household members need to be listed, and it varies by car insurance company.

Who should be listed on your insurance policy?

Your car insurance protects you and your vehicle after an accident. It also ensures you won’t pay out of pocket for damages and injuries, as long as you’re properly covered. This is why you must include all necessary drivers in your policy — failure to do so may mean you’ll be responsible for an accident and your claim may get denied.  

In general, you should include everyone in your household on your policy — licensed family members and other unrelated members (such as a housekeeper) — and anyone driving your vehicle regularly, such as a friend or neighbor. 

Here’s who else should be listed on your auto insurance policy:

  • Spouses
  • Newly licensed teenagers 
  • A teenage driver
  • Young adults living at home
  • A parent who lives with you
  • Caregivers 
Who should be listed on your car insurance policy


Car insurance companies often require that spouses list one another on their car insurance policies, especially if they live in the same household. Some states offer the option to exclude a spouse from a policy, so it’s worth checking with your insurer about the requirements where you live. 

It’s essential to add your spouse to your policy to ensure that they’re covered in your vehicle during an accident and vice versa. In general, you shouldn’t see an increase in premium cost, especially if you both have good driving records. Your spouse’s good driving record can also help your premium if you join together under one policy.

You can also earn a multi-car discount to save on premiums. Additionally, sharing a policy means your vehicle coverage is the same. However, you will need to look into separate policies if you don’t live in the same household. 

Licensed teenagers

Getting a driver’s license is a wonderful rite of passage. But 15- to 20-year-olds have the highest involvement in fatal crashes of any group, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

In 2021 alone, 2,116 drivers aged 15-20 were killed and an estimated 203,256 were injured in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

This means teen drivers must be properly insured and listing them on your insurance is crucial. While your premiums will likely rise with the addition of a teen driver, if you don’t list them you could be responsible for any damages and injuries they are involved in during an accident. 

Consider higher liability limits — 100/300/100 at a minimum, limits of 250/500/250 are better — you’ll be responsible for paying for any damages beyond the scope of your insurance limits in an accident. Add collision and comprehensive to your policy as well.

Below are state minimum, liability-only and full coverage annual average premiums for 16- to19-year-old drivers. As you can see, a 16-year-old full coverage premium is the highest for teen drivers at $7,136 or $595 monthly. 

AgeState minimumLiability only Full coverage

A teenage driver who doesn’t live solely with you

Varying family living situations and custody arrangements mean your teen driver may call more than one place home. What car insurance policy your teen driver should be listed on comes down to a couple of key points: where your child is at regularly and has vehicle access. 

This means if your teen is with you most often, you should include them on your policy, even if they are staying with another parent with a car insurance policy. 

Additionally, if you share 50/50 custody with another parent, the insurance premium cost will likely be split between both parties. This may mean you can also discuss who will list the driver on their policy. Remember, car insurance covers the vehicle and any damages or injuries incurred in an accident, so if your teen is driving your vehicle, they should be covered on your policy. 

In the table below, see the breakdown of what you can expect to pay for teen driver coverage by state.

Average car insurance rates for teen driver

State Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 19
Washington, D.C.$6,641$5,831$6,079$4,899
North Carolina$5,374$4,228$3,777$2,257
North Dakota$7,032$5,960$5,109$3,883
New Hampshire$5,233$4,493$3,917$2,922
New Jersey$8,797$6,922$6,149$4,385
New Mexico$8,681$6,622$5,728$4,343
New York$6,552$5,855$5,153$3,843
Rhode Island$8,955$7,580$6,776$5,165
South Carolina$7,205$6,488$5,861$4,474
South Dakota$7,906$6,736$6,113$4,633
West Virginia$8,126$6,964$5,928$4,545

Young adults living at home with their own vehicle

Young adults — those 20 to 24 years old — who live with you and have their own vehicle must have proper insurance coverage. Like teen drivers, young drivers also have some of the highest premium costs because they are higher risk and inexperienced drivers. 

A young adult can have their own insurance policy or can be listed on a parent’s. Rates will be much higher if they’re listed on their own policy.

If you want to put them on your policy, remember that while it may seem like a good idea to go with the lowest premium, you and your young driver could pay significant out-of-pocket expenses for any damages or injuries from an accident. This is why it’s important to shop around and discuss your options, including listing them on your insurance if they drive your car and what limits you should have between the two policies. 

In the table below, see how much an annual auto insurance policy costs for drivers in their 20s at various liability limits.

AgeState minimumLiability only Full coverage

A parent who lives with you

While senior car insurance is not nearly as pricey as a teen policy, premiums tend to increase with age as there is a higher likelihood of accidents. Therefore, it’s some of the higher driver premiums available. 

If your aging parent is living with you and drives your vehicle regularly, adding them to your car insurance policy and increasing your liability limits may be beneficial. Similar to any driver not listed on your policy — if there is an accident and they’re not covered, you may be paying for damages out-of-pocket. 

The table below shows annual rates for seniors at various coverage levels.

AgeState minimumLiability only Full coverageNon-owners


If you no longer drive — you’ve lost or given up your license, for example — it’s common to have a caregiver drive you around in your vehicle. In this instance, you would want to add them to your car insurance policy as a listed driver. 

If they are driving you around in their own vehicle, you don’t need to worry about listing them on your policy, and in fact, you may consider selling your vehicle and saving on car insurance overall. 

Do all household members need to be listed on your car insurance policy?

It’s not necessary to include all household members on your car insurance, however most insurance companies will require that all licensed drivers in the household be on your insurance, unless you can prove that they are insured elsewhere. One way to figure out if someone should be listed on your policy is by asking, “Do they drive my car often?” If the answer is yes, or they’re driving it enough that you think they should be added, contact your insurer to discuss adding them to your policy. 

Talking with your insurer lets you save on your premiums with various coverage options and limits and car insurance discounts, such as good driver and multi-car. 

What happens if you don’t add a driver to your car insurance policy?

If someone other than you is driving your vehicle without coverage and is in an accident, you may be held responsible financially for damages and injuries that occur to both your vehicle and the other parties. Often, insurance companies deny claims for unlisted household drivers and they may consider canceling your policy.

However, if someone borrows your car to run to the store and is in an accident, they do not need to be listed on your car insurance policy. This is called permissive use, and applies to anyone who uses your car occasionally. Your car insurance should cover the damage, but you may need to review this with your insurer to ensure you have the right coverage in place. 

While state regulations differ, contacting your insurer to discuss your options is a good place to start. Chatting through which drivers you may want to add can also help you understand any premium increases and what discounts or rate reductions are available.

Does adding a driver mean they are insured?

Yes — when you add a driver to your policy, they have the same level of coverage that you have opted for as the main policyholder. This can provide peace of mind knowing that anyone driving your car should have the same protections as you do. 

However, it’s important to note that this can vary from state to state. In some instances, an insurer may require everyone to be included in a car insurance policy even if they have their own policy. To ensure you’re meeting your insurer and state’s regulations, it may be a good idea to chat with your car insurance company about how to proceed with your household members and your policy. 

What happens if a driver is not listed on your policy and drives your vehicle?

Not listing a driver on your policy who regularly uses your car could mean you’ll have to cover damages out-of-pocket should an accident occur while someone is driving your vehicle. You may be out of a vehicle if you don’t have the financial means to cover the costs. Your insurance company may deny the claim and cancel your policy. 

If you’re uncertain which individuals should be listed on your policy, contact your car insurance company and discuss your options. 

FAQ: Determining which drivers should be listed on your car insurance policy

Can an insurance company add a driver without your permission?

While you need to ensure that all drivers are listed on your car insurance policy, your car insurance company will also take similar measures to ensure all drivers are covered on the policy. If they find out there are people who regularly drive your vehicle, they will add them to your policy without your permission, but will notify you.

Generally, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) departments create reports listing potentially undisclosed licensed drivers — newly licensed or senior drivers — and share that information with your car insurance company. 

What is a rated driver?

A rated driver is a member of your household who is covered by your car insurance policy and listed as a driver on it. This means that the driver is insured and that they are a contributing factor in your car insurance rates. 

The opposite of this is an excluded driver — one that has been excluded from the policy because their inclusion will spike your car insurance premium. For example, a driver with several moving violations or an accident on their record. 

Some drivers should remain on your policy as rated drivers versus excluded if they are going to drive your vehicle again at any point. This could be your child who returns from college over the summer and wants to drive your vehicle. 

How many drivers can be insured on a car?

This varies by car insurance company. In general, car insurance companies determine how many drivers can be on a car insurance policy and the allocation of vehicles.

“Certain insurers, for example, impose restrictions whereby no more than two vehicles can be assigned to a single driver. Should a policy encompass four or more vehicles, it may necessitate division into multiple policies to uphold adequate coverage. However, it’s essential to recognize that policies vary significantly between insurance providers, and thus, each company may enforce distinct guidelines,” Mckenzie says.

Must I add my roommate to my insurance policy?

If your roommate regularly drives your vehicle, you should include them on your policy. However, adding them to your policy may not be necessary if they have a vehicle and don’t drive yours, or only drive yours occasionally. It may be beneficial to discuss this with your insurer as some may require all household members to be listed on the policy.

Can I add someone to my car insurance temporarily?

Yes, you typically add individuals temporarily to your car insurance for short-term visits, but it does depend on your car insurance guidelines and policies. Your insurer will need personal information about your driver and how long they’ll be on your policy. There may be an additional cost to cover their inclusion in your policy.

Can my son drive my car without being on insurance?

If your son lives with you, drives your vehicle regularly and is a teen to young adult, you should list him on your car insurance policy. Any member of your household who is driving your vehicle is recommended to be covered under your policy. Otherwise, you may be responsible for accident damages and insurance may not cover the claim. 

However, if you have an adult son who lives elsewhere and borrows your vehicle for errands, you don’t need to list him on your policy. Your policy should cover any damages incurred in an accident because he is a permissive driver — someone you’ve permitted to drive your vehicle.

What happens if someone who isn’t on the insurance crashes your car?

If an unlisted driver crashes your car, the outcome of that accident varies by car insurance provider. According to Mckenzie, most insurance policies would extend coverage if an individual borrows a vehicle and is involved in an accident. 

However, she says, if the driver is explicitly listed as excluded on the policy, indicating they lack coverage to operate the vehicle, the claim would be rejected. This would result in no coverage for damages to your vehicle or any other involved parties.

“Additional considerations, such as the timing of the incident and policy inception, are also pertinent. For instance, if a policy was recently initiated and there are suspicions of fraudulent activity, the claim may be denied on those grounds. Each claim is investigated and the outcome varies depending upon the circumstances of that claim,” she says.

Resources & Methodology


Allstate. “What happens if someone drives your car and gets into an accident?” Accessed February 2024.

American Academy of Pediatrics. “Teen drivers.” Accessed February 2024.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Young drivers.” Accessed February 2024. 

Progressive. “Do I have to add my spouse to my car insurance policy?” Accessed February 2024. 

Progressive. “Excluded driver.” Accessed February 2024.

Methodology editors in 2023 collected rates from Quadrant Information Services for a 16- to 24-year-old male driving a 2021 Honda Accord LX, with a 12 miles commute, 10,000 annual mileage, a good insurance score and no violation on record for a full coverage insurance policy with limits state minimum, liability-only and 100/300/100 and $500 comprehensive and collision deductible. We analyzed 51,088,003 records, 34,588 ZIP codes and 74 insurance companies nationwide.


What our expert says

How will the driving history of a new driver affect my premium?

Lauren McKenzieInsurance broker/agent, A Plus Insurance
“Encompassing factors such as their driving record, insurance score/history, credit standing and age of the driver may impact premiums. The insured should always consult with their insurance agent to get a quote on the cost of adding the driver.”
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Katrina Raenell
Contributing Researcher


Katrina Raenell is a writer, editor and educator with 20 years of experience in content and communications for international organizations, nonprofits and start-ups. In her previous roles, she was a communications manager for study abroad, content project manager for higher education and finance websites, reported on arts and culture, and was a managing editor for an online health and wellness publication.