Don’t Hit the Road, Jack: Understanding the Complex Matter of Excluded Drivers
Car insurance policies aren’t an easy read.
There are all sorts of complex-sounding insurance terms like bodily injury liability, uninsured motorists, and property damage. It makes sense that most people forget about their policy declaration pages altogether!
However, you owe it to yourself to fully understand what your policy covers. By having a firm grasp of what your coverage can and can’t do for you, you’ll be in the best position to recover from potential car accidents.
For instance, the coverages on your policy might not apply to everyone who drives your car. What precisely are excluded drivers? Read on to find out.
Why Exclude Drivers?
Why would you want to exclude a driver from your car insurance policy in the first place? There are a few different reasons. Perhaps there’s a driver in your household or who’s a part of your life that has a history of accidents.
By excluding them from your policy, you’ll be able to rest easy that you won’t handle any insurance liability if they get into another crash. Another thing to consider is your policy premium.
If you have a driver in your household with bad driving history, they could raise your insurance rates. By excluding this driver, you’ll be able to have rates that reflect your driving abilities.
If you’re somebody with a squeaky clean driving record, you’ll still be able to take advantage of some of the best insurance rates! However, be careful. Not every insurance company is willing to exclude drivers.
Insurance providers understand that when somebody lives in your household and has a license, it’s likely that they’ll use your vehicle. You’ll have to do a little bit of shopping around to find an insurance company that can accommodate your needs.
Roommates That Have Their Own Car
It would help if you also considered excluding anyone in your household that already has their car. For instance, are you living in a roommate situation?
If you can prove that the roommate has their vehicle and their own active auto Insurance policy, exclude them from yours. You’ll be able to pay a better rate since you won’t be covering so many people on your policy.
Even if your roommates have excellent driving records, you shouldn’t be responsible for their liability. What if your roommate has a license but no vehicle? Or perhaps they have a license and a car, but it’s not covered by insurance?
Whenever there’s a licensed driver in your household, who doesn’t have an active auto Insurance policy, you’ll probably have to add them to your own. Insurance providers want to know that everybody in the household has coverage if they drive your vehicle.
What To Prove for Excluding Drivers
If you’re having difficulty finding an insurance company that’ll let you exclude the drivers you want, there is a workaround. Each state has its own rules when it comes to driver exclusions. In many states, if you’re able to prove financial hardship or medical impairment, you’ll be able to exclude the driver no matter what the situation is.
Financial hardship means that you’ll have to establish that having that particular driver on your policy will cause you financial difficulty. The economic problem will likely be because of the high insurance bill!
Medical impairment means that you’ll be proving the excluded driver has a medical impairment that prevents them from driving. Even if the excluded driver has a driver’s license, a temporary medical impairment could be grounds for exclusion.
You’ll probably be out of luck as far as spouses and dependents go. Many states don’t let you exclude your children or partner since they know the chances are high that they’ll be driving your vehicle.
Accidents With Excluded Drivers
Did you successfully exclude a driver from your policy? Ensure that they don’t drive any of the vehicles covered by your insurance policy. It’ll be the same as somebody driving your car without insurance if they do.
It’s worth taking the time to learn more about what happens after a car accident involving excluded drivers. If an accident takes place and an excluded driver is behind the wheel, there will be legal ramifications. You could be held partially liable for the damages as the vehicle owner.
Length of Driver Exclusion
Did you exclude a driver from your car insurance policy to lower your insurance rate? If that driver is on another insurance policy, they’ll be able to rebuild their reputation.
Over time, by maintaining a good driving record and valid license, they can re-establish themselves in the eyes of the insurance provider. To reinstate an excluded driver, you’ll need to talk directly to your insurance agent.
You’ll have to prove that the excluded driver has a clean driving record and a valid license since the exclusion took place. Once the insurance company verifies the driver’s license and history, they should be able to restore them without any hassle. It’ll also help if the excluded driver takes state-approved driving courses.
Forced Car Insurance Exclusions
What about forced exclusions? Can your insurance company make you take somebody off of your policy? Not likely.
Insurance companies have to abide by complex legalities regarding coverage. While the insurance company might not be able to make you take a driver off of your policy, they can work towards persuading you.
They may offer you exponentially high premiums or threaten to cancel your policy if you don’t comply with the exclusion. If excluding the driver isn’t an option, you’ll need to do some shopping around.
Just because your current insurance provider wants the driver to be taken off the policy doesn’t mean that other providers will feel the same way. You could also look into helping the excluded drivers secure their own insurance policy. Perhaps it’s time for them to branch out on their own anyways.
Feel Good About Your Coverage
You should feel good about what your insurance provider is offering you. If they aren’t able to include all of the drivers you need on your policy, then take your business elsewhere.
However, keep in mind that excluded drivers aren’t always a bad thing. By keeping roommates off of your auto insurance policy, you’ll be able to enjoy lower rates and fewer liability risks.
So go ahead and talk to your insurance agent and see if they can amend your policy today. For more tips like these, read another article.