How do I add someone to my car insurance for a week?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Drivers can have a huge  affect on your car insurance rates. When you name a driver on your policy, their driving record and experience can raise your rates
  • With most insurers, you’re required to name a primary or secondary operator on your policy when they have long-term access to your vehicle or they live in your household and they don’t have their own insurance
  • If someone is in town for a week or their vehicle is in the repair shop, you may not have to add the driver to your policy. In most scenarios, these drivers are classified as permissive users because they only have access to your vehicle for a short amount of time
  • If the driver has been excluded from your policy in the past or they don’t qualify for permissive user status, you need to contact your agent and provide the driver’s full name, date of birth, license number, and years of driving experience to have the driver added
  • When you borrow a vehicle for a few days to a week, your existing liability insurance will extend and cover you in the borrowed car. If the car is a substitute to your own vehicle, full coverage may extend as well

A nice gesture like lending your car to a friend or family member for the week can end up affecting your life for months or even years if your loved one has a loss. Instead of making any hasty assumptions, it’s crucial that you call your insurance carrier to verify that the driver is covered for a brief period of time.

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If you’re a cautious vehicle owner, you may just want to add the visiting driver for the week or so that they’ll be in town.

What many policyholders don’t know is that you don’t always need to add a temporary driver to your policy just for the carrier to honor your coverage after a claim.

Here’s what you should know about the terms and conditions of standard personal car insurance contracts:

Who needs to be listed on your personal car insurance policy?

Auto insurance contracts are very wordy. The average person who buys an insurance contract doesn’t read through their entire contract.

The few policyholders who do read through their contracts don’t fully understand the industry language that’s used.

One of the more complicated topics that are written into your Personal Auto Policy is about who is covered to drive the vehicle.

You’re required under the terms of the contract to name the drivers in your household who have access to your vehicle, but there will be scenarios where a driver who doesn’t regularly drive your car or live with you needs to take your vehicle.

Does your policy cover you when you’re lending your car?

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If you’ve lent your car out for a day or a week in the past, you were lucky not to have to deal with a claim. The vehicle got back to you in one piece and you didn’t regret being friendly and helping out a friend.

Unfortunately, you can never guarantee that you’ll be so lucky the next time that you’re generous.

If you’re lending your car to someone who’s not named on your policy, there’s a strong chance that your insurance will pay if that driver gets into an accident.

Your personal car insurance policy has a special provision written into it that says that permissive users are covered like listed drivers if they meet the permissive use classification.

Who meets the permissive use provision requirements?

You should call your agent to verify how long you grant permission to a driver to take custody of your vehicle.

Permissive use only extends coverage from you to someone that you’re lending your car to for a short period of time and not an entire term.

A week is considered reasonable, but a month is a bit too long.

Most people will be covered as permissive users under the policy when they are taking the car for a reasonable amount of time.

If you’re worried that your family member or friend won’t fit the bill, here are some factors that will disqualify a driver from being covered under your insurance as a permissive user:

  • The driver lives in your home
  • The driver is under the age of 25 and has little to no driving experience
  • The driver has a suspended or revoked driver’s license
  • The driver has regular access to your vehicle
  • The policyholder has signed a driver exclusion form on the driver

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What happens if the driver lives in the home and has their own insurance?

If you’re going to lend your car to a roommate for a week while their car is in the shop, your coverage will extend to them but not because of the permissive use provision.

Since living in the same home totally disqualifies the driver from coverage extensions, you might be confused, but as long as the driver has insurance they won’t affect your rates.

Since the household driver has their own insurance, you only need to inform the company that your roommate will be driving but they have their own coverage. Some companies will ask that you provide proof of insurance, but most don’t.

When that driver is insured elsewhere, they are listed as deferred operators who don’t need to be rated on the car.

Adding the Driver to Your Insurance

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If the driver is excluded from your policy and you want to terminate the exclusion, you do need to add the driver to your plan. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry if you’re questioning your coverage in any way.

Call your agent with all of the information that you need to add the driver. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • The driver’s license number
  • The driver’s full name and date of birth
  • When the driver was licensed
  • The driver’s occupation
  • Whether or not the driver has completed driver training

It’s a nice thing to do to lend your vehicle to a friend when they’re in need.

Their insurance coverage will pay if they get into an accident in your car, but your insurance is always primary. If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, you should build a better policy. Get a quote for insurance coverage through competitors online, and instantly find out if you can find better rates.

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