When you designate a driver as excluded from your car insurance policy, they are effectively prohibited from being covered under your insurance coverage, regardless of any circumstances. A policyholder may make a decision to exclude a driver for various reasons, including to avoid insuring a high-risk driver or to reduce insurance costs. However, it’s crucial to understand what “excluded driver” means and to recognize that if an excluded driver operates your vehicle and is involved in an accident, they will not be covered under your policy. The option to exclude a driver may vary depending on the state and insurance carrier. Understanding how this option affects your insurance and your financial situation can help you make informed decisions about your coverage.

Why would I exclude a driver from my policy?

When it comes to car insurance, all licensed drivers in a household usually have to be insured on the same policy. This means anyone with a driver’s license who lives with you, like your spouse, kids, relatives or roommates, may need to be listed. Every licensed household member can grab your car keys and borrow your vehicle creates risk for the auto insurer, which 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 has a recent history of moving violations or at-fault 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 a DUI on their driving record may not qualify 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. And, it may be difficult to get a driver exclusion in other states because of the risk to the insurance company.

However, it may be possible to exclude drivers from your policy in some cases. If you want to remove a driver from your car insurance, 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 or agent 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, but lives in your home.

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 it can create a situation where it’s the only option. The company could charge extremely high insurance premiums or even cancel your insurance policy. If your policy is canceled, you could have trouble finding new insurance at an affordable rate.

Excluding vs. removing a driver on a car insurance policy

When it comes to managing drivers on a car insurance policy, policyholders have the option to either exclude or remove a driver from their coverage. Excluding a driver means that person is specifically not covered by the policy, typically due to a high-risk driving history or other factors that could increase premiums. Removing a driver, on the other hand, means they are completely removed from the policy, which may be a preferable option if the driver no longer uses the insured vehicle or if they have obtained their own insurance. The decision between excluding and removing a driver depends on various factors, including the driver’s relationship to the policyholder, their driving habits, residence and the overall impact on premiums.

The table below provides some considerations for either option:

Excluding a driver Removing a driver
Legal requirements may mandate some drivers be excluded based on driving history Removing a driver can simplify coverage
You may select a high-risk driver to exclude as including them can raise rates significantly You may remove a driver who purchases their own separate policy
Excluding high-risk drivers may reduce the coverage types you need If a driver no longer has access to your vehicle, you could remove them

Frequently asked questions

    • No, 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, it could make sense to name them as an operator on your car insurance policy so they are properly covered if they get into an accident.
    • If you give an uninsured driver — meaning someone who doesn’t have a car insurance policy of their own — 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 agent or read your policy before you let someone drive your car to make sure they are covered.
    • 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 speeding ticket or at-fault accident on their record or is an inexperienced driver, your car insurance premiums could increase substantially.
    • You’ll have to contact your insurance company or agent to exclude a driver from your policy. Understand that removing a driver and excluding a driver are different, and therefore have slightly different processes. Whereas you can easily remove a driver from your policy who no longer lives at your address, for example, you’d have to get your insurer’s approval to officially exclude a driver in your household.