Your car insurance premiums can be higher if you list a driver or someone in your household who insurers deem risky on your policy.
But you can change this through an excluded driver.
The term excluded driver might be confusing when it comes to insurance. So, we took an in-depth outlook of the definition and description of an excluded driver.
What Is Driver Exclusion?
An excluded driver is someone – listed on your policy or in your household – who you explicitly ask your car insurance provider not to cover under your car insurance policy.
This means that you intentionally remove from your car insurance policy and strike out from the listed drivers on your policy.
Once removed, the name will show on your policy, but as an “excluded” driver. For many providers, you will find the names of all excluded drivers on the policy’s declarations page.
After exclusion, the individual can’t drive your car and won’t receive coverage from your insurance provider.
Not all states allow policyholders to include named-driver exclusions on their policy. Some states prohibit excluding any household member who is of driving age. The argument is that this essentially creates uninsured drivers, who are a risk to other drivers on the road. How?
If an excluded driver causes an accident while driving a vehicle under which s/he’s excluded, they become an uninsured driver. This driver will face liability for all injuries and damages that result from the accident.
Why Exclude A Driver From My Car Insurance?
You can exclude a driver from your car insurance policy for two reasons:
- When the driver is risky and will raise your premiums.
- If your insurer sees the driver as risky and won’t cover them.
Having some individuals on your policy can raise your insurance premiums, especially when the individual has a poor driving record and is deemed a risky driver.
How Does Driver Exclusion Work?
Insurers use several factors — called rating factors — to price policies. These factors include driver behaviors like DWI/DUI, age, and claims, among others.
For example, a 24-year-old adult with a bad DUI driving history who moves back in with their parents is a risky driver.
If you list a driver on your policy, who insurers see as a high-risk driver, you will likely see a spike in your premiums, regardless of your own record.
Your insurer can advise you to drop that person from your policy to reduce your premium rates. If you agree, the person will stay listed on your policy but as an “excluded driver.”
Once a driver is excluded from a policy, the individual won’t legally drive any car/vehicle under your policy and won’t receive protection.
By excluding risky drivers, or roommates who you don’t want to drive your car, you put the insurer at ease and avoid paying more than is necessary insurance premiums.
In addition, your insurance company may insist on exclusions, particularly if the driver on your policy has a suspended license, multiple DUIs, or is just too risky to safely insure. Some insurers can even cancel your coverage or refuse to cover you if you cannot exclude such drivers.
When Should I Remove A Driver From My Auto Policy?
Note that “removing a driver” from a policy and “driver exclusion” are two different things — and their circumstances differ.
You can remove a driver from your policy if a household member:
- Will no longer drive any cars on the policy.
- Is permanently moving out of your home to a new address.
After you remove a driver from your policy, the insurance provider will take off their name from your policy.
This is different from excluded drivers who, upon informing the insurer, will be named in the policy as excluded drivers.
How Do I Exclude A Named Driver From My Policy?
In many cases, you only need to contact your car insurance provider to exclude a driver from your insurance policy.
The insurer will ask you to fill out and sign a “driver exclusion form” acknowledging that you intend to exclude a particular individual from your policy.
But the rules for excluding drivers vary by state and insurer. Not all insurance companies allow the exclusion, and not all states allow the option of excluded drivers.
Ask your insurance agent or provider what options you have and the state regulations to ensure you make the best decision.
What If An Excluded Driver Borrows My Car?
An excluded driver stays excluded.
So, if an excluded driver borrows your car, the insurer will not provide any coverage in case of an accident.
The excluded driver would be driving with no insurance coverage, which is dangerous, even in Emergencies.
Legally, the insurance company has no obligation to cover damages if the excluded driver is involved in an accident.
The owner of the car and the excluded driver will be responsible for any damages or injuries that occur in the accident.
If the excluded driver used the car without your permission, you might need to prove that the driver used the car without permission. Your insurance provider will give you the means to prove this.
But, if the excluded driver used your car with your permission and caused an accident, your car insurance provider may cover any injuries or damages. But this depends on the state and the insurer.
Can I Exclude College-age Children From My Policy?
It’s not a good idea to exclude your college-age children from your policy.
You should keep your college-age children as “rated drivers” on your car insurance policy if they drive your car for any reason, especially when they’re living with you.
A rated driver is a member of your household who has reached the driving age and is covered by your car insurance policy when using the (insured) car.
If your college child keeps a car at their campus premises, they may need to have a separate policy depending on your insurer or state.
Talk to your insurer or insurance agent to understand what options you have when it comes to your college-age child.
How Long Will A Driver Stay Excluded From A Car Insurance Policy?
This depends on your needs and your insurer.
Usually, a driver exclusion will stay in place until you or the insurance company chooses to have it removed.
If you (the policyholder) choose to remove it, you must submit a formal request to your insurer. The insurer can then approve or deny the request depending on the reasons and circumstances.
The insurer can deny the request if the excluded driver has had multiple and serious offenses like DUIs on their record. If these DUIs drop, the insurer may allow the removal of the exclusion from the policy.
Driver exclusion involves naming a driver on your car insurance policy who won’t receive coverage benefits if they drive your car(s). Keeping a problem driver on your policy can increase your premiums. This is why many people exclude drivers. But, some states and insurance companies do not allow driver exclusion. You may need to talk to your insurance company or agent to help you understand whether or not they or the state allow driver exclusion.