What Is an Excluded Driver on Insurance?

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  • What Is an Excluded Driver on Insurance?

Car insurance rates can be finicky. If you’re comfortable with how much you’re paying for auto insurance, you probably don’t want to do anything to mess it up.

Unfortunately, even if you’ve never made a mistake, the actions of other drivers can influence your premiums. Someone in your home that presents a serious risk to an insurance company can hike up your auto rates. Is there something you can do about this?

What Is an Excluded Driver?

An excluded driver is someone you explicitly want to not be covered on your car insurance policy. You and your insurance company agree that this person isn’t allowed to drive your cars, and they won’t receive any benefits from your coverage.

Insurers usually require all people in your household to be listed on your car insurance. This way, the company knows everyone who will be driving the policyholder’s vehicles, and everyone can be covered. Some companies allow you to exclude someone in your house from your insurance, though, if this person is a high risk.

Typically, you’d exclude a driver because that person raises your premiums to unaffordable levels. For instance, they could’ve recently received a DUI, or accumulated a lot of driving infractions. If this person lives with you, their mistakes will reflect on your rates since they’re eligible for coverage under your policy.

To avoid the certain premium hike this person would cause, you can contact your insurance company and ask to exclude the driver. You’ll sign an endorsement or agreement that prohibits your insurer from covering this person, thus making it illegal for them to drive your car (if they don’t get their own coverage from another insurer). This person would then be named on your policy as an excluded driver.

Keep in mind that excluding someone is much different than removing someone from your insurance. Removing someone simply means taking them off your policy, while excluding someone is more like banning them. Through permissive use, a removed driver will still be covered under your insurance if they borrow your car. But, an excluded driver wouldn’t.

You can remove someone from your auto policy if they move out of your house, like if your child moves out after college. It’s fairly normal and expected. Their name is taken off the policy. Excluding someone means their name stays on the insurance, but they’re barred from receiving coverage.

What if You’re Excluding Your Spouse From Car Insurance?

If you live with your spouse that qualifies as one of these high-risk drivers, and their poor record raises your rates, you can exclude them from your policy. They’ll need to get their own coverage before they can drive another car, though, since it’s illegal to operate a car without insurance.

Excluding your spouse in car insurance should save you money if they have a bad driving record. For example, let’s say you’ve been insured for 10 years and never had an accident or a claim. You get married, and your spouse moves in with you. They have had an incident last year that resulted in a DUI and an auto insurance claim. When you go to add them to your insurance, your rate will likely increase a lot. To avoid this, you could exclude them from your policy.

But, since they can’t drive any of your cars after they’ve been excluded, it’s a pretty serious decision to make. Your insurance company may want your spouse’s consent before excluding them.

If you and your spouse become separated or divorced, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to remove them since you’ll no longer be living together. It would then likely be easier to get separate car insurance policies, if possible. Change the title and registration of vehicles if needed.

What Happens if an Excluded Driver Gets Pulled Over?

Your insurance company won’t pay claims if an excluded driver gets into an accident driving the vehicle they’ve been barred from using. This means the driver, and even the owner of the vehicle, can be held personally liable for all damages.

So, if you let an excluded driver drive your car, both you and the driver may need to pay out of pocket after an accident they cause. Excluded drivers aren’t eligible for coverage in a policyholder’s vehicle under any circumstances, even in emergencies. If you lend your car to them, you’re exposing yourself, too.

An excluded driver may need to wait until their citations fall off their driving record to be in good standing again. The amount of time offenses stay on your record varies by state. They might also need to take further driving courses or lessons before an insurer will cover them.

The Driver Insurance Exclusion Form

The driver exclusion form is typically a separate endorsement that you’ll need to request from your insurer. To exclude a driver, you just list their name, and perhaps their date of birth and driver’s license number depending on the carrier. Once you list the required information and sign the form, it’s effective.

Driver exclusion forms, also called named exclusion forms or insurance exclusion forms, often include language outlining that “no coverage is provided for any claim while a covered vehicle is operated by an excluded driver.” There are no exceptions.

Also, you may see something that reads like “this exclusion applies to this policy, any continuation or renewal of this policy, and any other policy issued to you by the company until you request to have this exclusion revoked and the company agrees to it.”

This means that a driver is excluded as long as you want until you request them to be not excluded. Their ban continues when you renew your policy. It doesn’t go away on its own. If an insurer doesn’t agree to reinstate a driver after you request it, you may need to switch carriers.

What States Allow Driver Exclusion?

Not all states allow driver exclusions. Since excluded drivers are often high-risk, it might be very difficult and expensive for them to get their own coverage after they’ve been excluded from someone’s policy. Thus, some states believe that excluding a driver creates a potential environment for people to be driving without insurance, as an excluded driver may simply run the risk of driving without protection instead of paying exorbitant amounts for coverage.

Every state allows driver exclusions except nine. The states where you can’t exclude a driver are:

Keep in mind that even if your state allows driver exclusion endorsements, your insurance company may not. Rules and guidelines vary by company. Some providers may allow you to exclude some drivers, but not if they’re your spouse, for instance. Also, some insurers may not allow you to exclude someone until you prove that they have gotten coverage from another company first.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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