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If You Live With Someone, Should They Be On Your Car Insurance?

If you live with a roommate, spouse or partner, it is possible that at some point, that other person could be driving your car. Therefore, it's also possible that person could get into an accident in your car. If that happens, it makes a difference if other household members are on the same insurance policy with you.

Insurance companies generally assume that any drivers who live in the same household will eventually drive your car. This includes teens who just received their licenses. Based on who actually lives in your household and can drive, the insurance company will need to adjust your rates accordingly. Generally, married people and domestic partners are presumed to be safer drivers than single people, and so your rates could even improve if you combine policies or add another person to your policy in those circumstances. Adding teens to your policy, however, is another story.

Not adding household members to your policy creates problems. Your claims for an accident caused by an unlisted household driver could be denied, or you could even be required to pay back any discrepancy in premiums from failing to list the other driver. You could say that you hadn't given the other person permission to drive your car, but you would have to have solid evidence of that understanding for that argument to work.

You can, however, put someone on your car insurance who is explicitly designated as a non-driver. This doesn't mean that they don't drive at all; simply that they will not be driving your car. And if they do, and get into an accident, your insurance would not cover them.

There is one circumstances, however, where you should not put a roommate or partner on your insurance: if the other driver would be using your car for commercial purposes, which would not be covered by a personal car insurance policy. And if you are married and your spouse drives a fancier car than you do, or even a collector vehicle, it may be tter on your pocketbook to maintain separate policies instead of combining your policies.

You can start protecting your finances and future from the aftermath of a car accident before the accident even happens. You can do this by discussing your insurance policy with an agent; especially if you have moved or had other life changes and haven't yet updated your insurer about your situation. And as always, if you get in an accident, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer who can help you secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and related costs.

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