What is an excluded driver?

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An excluded driver is someone you purposefully prohibit from being covered under your car insurance coverage. If this person drives your vehicle and is involved in an accident, they are not covered under your policy. The option to exclude a driver varies by state and insurance carrier, but generally, policyholders might exclude someone from their policy to avoid insuring them under their auto policy. However, once a driver is excluded, they will not be covered at all — even if you gave them permission to use your vehicle one time.

Why would I exclude a driver from my policy?

The main reasons you might want to exclude a driver from your policy is to save money or to keep your auto policy with the same carrier. When it comes to car insurance, all licensed drivers in a household usually have to be insured on the same policy, which means your spouse, kids, relatives and roommates probably need to be listed. This is because every licensed household member usually can grab your car keys and borrow your vehicle, therefore, creating risk for the auto insurer. This is why insurers want to know who is licensed in the household.

The only household members who might not need to be listed on your policy are licensed drivers who don’t have access to your car, drivers insured on their own auto insurance policies and unlicensed household members. When quoting your auto insurance policy, insurance carriers will let you know who is required to be on your policy. If you have a household member who is required to be listed on your policy, but you do not want to insure them, this is where carriers may have the option for you to exclude them.

For example, if a household member, like your teen or spouse, has a recent history of tickets or accidents, the insurance company may give you an option to include them at a higher premium or exclude them to protect your rates.

You also may not be able to insure them with your current carrier if they do not meet the carrier’s requirements. For example, a driver with multiple incidents on their driving record may not be eligible for coverage through your insurer. Therefore, to retain your coverage, you may have to exclude them and require them to seek coverage elsewhere.

Why would a family member’s driving record impact my car insurance?

Insurance companies work under the assumption that anyone living in your household has access to your vehicle and can drive it at any time. This increases the risk of your auto insurer having to pay out a claim. And if one of your family members is a high-risk driver, their dangerous driving habits can affect how much you pay for car insurance due to that increased risk of a claim payout.

How do I exclude a driver from my auto insurance policy?

Not all auto insurance companies allow driver exclusions, and some states outlaw it completely. In Kansas, Michigan, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin, excluded drivers are not allowed because it can increase the amount of uninsured drivers on the road. For other states, it can be difficult to get a driver exclusion because of the risk to the insurance company, but it may not be impossible.

If you want to remove a driver from your car insurance, whether it’s your spouse, parent or roommate, here are the steps to take.

Determine eligibility for exclusion

Regardless of the reason for excluding a driver, you have to check with your insurance company first. You will be asked why you want to exclude the driver and the company will determine if it’s possible. There are a few instances where an insurance company might grant a driver exclusion, such as:

  • Disabled household members
  • High-risk drivers
  • Elderly relatives who can no longer drive

Exclude the driver

If the insurance company approves the exclusion, you will have to sign a driver exclusion form. You may also have to provide supporting documents, like a state-issued ID for your father who is no longer able to drive.

Review your updated policy and understand the implications

Once a driver is excluded, you will receive an updated car insurance policy. Review it to make sure the correct driver is excluded. Understand that this driver is not covered to drive in any scenario – even if you give them permission to drive or it’s an emergency.

Can my car insurance company require me to exclude a driver?

Your insurance company cannot require you to exclude a driver, but they can create a situation where it’s the only option. The company could charge extremely high insurance premiums or even non-renew your insurance policy. If your policy is canceled, you could have trouble finding new insurance at an affordable rate. Keep in mind, if your insurance company offers to exclude a driver, it is likely the best way to keep cheaper car insurance coverage and avoid having to shop for new insurance. However, it’s best to let the driver know you have excluded them, so they can secure coverage elsewhere.

Frequently asked questions

Does a named driver have to live at the same address?

A named driver does not have to live at the same address to be listed on your auto insurance. If your friend or relative at a different address regularly drives your vehicle, you should name them as an operator on your car insurance policy so they are properly covered if they get into an accident.

Can an uninsured driver drive an insured vehicle?

If you give an uninsured driver permission to drive your insured vehicle, they should be covered under your auto insurance policy if they get into an accident, unless you have them listed as excluded on your policy. However, you should always check with your insurance company or read your policy before you let someone drive your car to make sure they are covered.

Will adding a driver increase insurance premiums?

Adding a driver will usually increase your insurance premiums, but the amount of the increase will depend on the driver’s experience behind the wheel and their driving record. If they have a clean driving record, your rates may decrease or only increase slightly. But if the driver has a ticket or at-fault accident on their record or is an inexperienced driver, your car insurance premiums could increase substantially.

How do I remove excluded drivers?

If you want to remove an excluded driver from your policy, you have to contact your insurance company. The company will decide if the driver qualifies for exclusion removal and if so, will reinstate their insurance privileges under the policy. Simply removing a driver from your policy differs from removing an excluded driver. If someone no longer lives at your address, you can remove them without as many extra steps. But if they are listed as an excluded driver, the insurance company gets to make the decision.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Senior Insurance Editor