How To Add A Driver To Your Car Insurance

min read
Updated: 03 May 2024
Written by
Lacey Jackson-Matsushima
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Most people know that teenage drivers must be added, but what about home care workers, roommates, or babysitters? Do you need to add the at-home nurse who only uses the car for basic errands or the babysitter who can use the car for emergencies?

Not adding drivers to your insurance can cost you if they get in an accident using your car, but adding a new driver increases your premiums. Thankfully there are situations where you should add a driver and situations where you don’t have to.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding a new driver to your policy can be done in a matter of days by contacting your insurance provider

  • If somebody lives in your home and uses your vehicle regularly, you must add them to your policy

  • In some cases, taking out a second policy under a multi-car insurance plan is financially better than adding a high-risk driver

Adding a Driver to Car Insurance

Typically, drivers residing at the same location and using the same insured vehicle must be added to an existing policy. Adding a driver to car insurance policies is a simple process.

What Does Adding a Driver to Your Insurance Mean?

Adding a driver to car insurance means adding another person to your existing policy. After adding a driver to your car insurance policy, they are insured if they drive your car. But not everyone has to be added to your insurance if they get behind the wheel of your car. So when do you have to add a driver to your car insurance, and what does the process look like?

What is a Primary Driver in Car Insurance?

A primary driver is the person who drives a vehicle the most. They are typically the policyholder for insurance coverage as it applies to a specific vehicle.

What is a Secondary Driver in Car Insurance?

A secondary driver is someone in the household who regularly uses the vehicle but doesn’t use it as often as the primary driver. Adding a driver to car insurance policies may result in additional premiums.

What’s the Difference Between a Named Driver and an Additional Driver?

A named driver is someone listed on the car insurance policy who receives full protection from that policy. An additional driver is someone with limited liability coverage if they get into an accident.

A named driver gets complete protection, whereas an additional driver only gets partial protection.

Does Adding a Driver Mean They Are Fully Insured?

Yes, adding a driver to your insurance means they are fully insured, so they can enjoy all the same benefits of your policy as you do. However, there may be circumstances where your insurance provider will only allow an added driver to receive limited coverage because that driver has a poor driving record or a suspended driver’s license.

When Should You Add Someone to Your Insurance Policy?

You should add someone to your policy when they live at your home and drive your vehicle.

When It Makes Sense to Add a Driver to Your Insurance Policy

Adding a driver to your insurance policy makes sense if they live with you and use your vehicle regularly. You should also consider that someone older, like a spouse or an at-home worker who regularly uses your vehicle and has a good driving record, will not increase your premiums as much as a teenager or someone with a bad driving record.

Can I Add a Driver to My Insurance if They Don’t Live With Me?

You have to add people to your policy who have regular access to your car, a driver’s license, and live at your house. Insurance companies generally do not allow you to add people who do not live with you, but there are exceptions, like teenagers who don’t live at home but still use your vehicle. According to Car and Driver, you must add children who are away at college but come home and drive your vehicle.

What Happens if You Don’t Add a Driver to Your Car Insurance Policy?

If you don’t add a driver to your car insurance policy and they get into an accident, your insurance can choose to deny any claims, in which case you will be financially responsible for all of the damages. In certain cases, your insurance company might cancel your coverage, and you’ll have to find new insurance.

Who Should I Add to My Car Insurance?

You should add people who live at your house or regularly use your vehicle to your policy.

Spouse/Significant Other

Your spouse or significant other who lives with you and regularly uses your car, even if they have a policy for a separate vehicle, should be added to yours.


If you have a roommate who regularly uses your vehicle, they should also be added to your insurance even if they have their own car and insurance.

Teen Driver or College Student

Any new drivers have to be added to your policy. Teenage drivers cannot take out a policy, so they must be added to your insurance. Any college students who may not live in the home but still occasionally come home and drive family vehicles should be added.

Tip: Check with your insurance on discounts for “low mileage” for college students.

At-Home Workers

Anyone who works in your home and regularly uses your vehicle like a maid or a nurse should be added to your policy.

Do All Drivers in a Household Have to Be Insured?

It is unnecessary to insure members of your household who do not drive, don’t have a license, and do not regularly drive the vehicle in question. As soon as someone regularly drives your vehicle and has a license, they will likely have to be insured.

Most states require you to add your children to your auto insurance policy when they become a new driver.

Tip: Check with your insurance provider about whether you need coverage when they have a learner’s permit or a full license.

How Many Drivers Can You Add to Your Policy?

This is based on your insurance provider but generally between three and five people maximum.

When You Don’t Need to Add Someone to Your Car Insurance

You don’t need to add someone to your insurance who doesn’t live with you and only occasionally uses your car. These people are covered under your policy’s “permissive user” clause. You also don’t have to add roommates with their own car and insurance, but it might be recommended to add people if they use your vehicle regularly.

Who Doesn’t Need to Be Listed on Your Car Insurance Policy

There are several circumstances where someone doesn’t have to be added to your policy. Some policies do restrict coverage to the drivers who are listed. However, if you have policies with full comprehensive coverage, that might include anyone who occasionally drives your car. Similarly, there are policy exclusions such as commercial or rideshare use where someone doesn’t have to be at it.

They have their own policy

If another driver in your home already has their own policy, you don’t have to add them to yours even if they drive your car.

Occasional Use

If you have someone in your home who only occasionally borrows your car, but they don’t actually live in your home, you will likely not have to add them. Similarly, people who randomly use your car will be covered with your basic liability coverage and don’t need to be added to your policy.

For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment and need your friend to drive you to and from the appointment, they can use your car without being added to your policy.

Delivery or Rideshare Drivers

If you have a vehicle used for delivery or rideshare purposes, you don’t have to add every driver to your policy so long as you have the appropriate rideshare coverage.

62% of rideshare drivers say they are full-time and require special rideshare insurance.

How Do You Add a Driver to Your Insurance?

Step 1

Contact your insurance agent or provider. In some cases, you might be able to add a driver to your insurance online.

Step 2

When adding a new driver to your insurance, you must provide information about that driver. Each company is different, but in general, you’ll have to provide their:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Social security number
  • Occupation
  • Information about their license and history of accidents or tickets

Step 3

You will receive quotes from your insurance agent. You can request quotes to compare adding a driver versus taking out a second policy for that driver.

Step 4

Once you add them to your policy, you’ll both have to sign the paperwork and see an adjustment to your coverage and premiums immediately.

This process does not take more than a few days, and once your plan is updated, your new driver should be able to start driving your vehicle immediately. You’ll receive the new premium price for your next payment.

Temporarily Adding Someone to Your Car Insurance

You can temporarily add someone to your car insurance policy. If you have someone working for you and might need to drive one of your vehicles regularly, you can add them temporarily while they work for you and then remove them when they no longer work for you. This is recommended for situations like:

  • Child care workers
  • Housekeepers
  • Home health care workers

Tip: Ask your insurance provider about the rules for adding and removing people under your employ like housekeepers or nurses. Each state might have specific requirements.

This does not apply to people who only work for you once in a while and might only use your vehicle for emergencies, like babysitters.

How Much Will It Cost to Add a Driver to My Insurance Policy?

The cost of adding a driver to your insurance policy is based on several factors like their age, credit score, and driving history.

The average annual rate for a driver with a clean record from GEICO is $2,000 per year compared to a driver with a DUI on the record which is $4,464 per year.

Average Car Insurance Premiums by Age

Below is a table of the average 6-month car insurance premiums for different age groups:

Age Group 6 Months of Full Coverage 6 Months of Minimum Coverage
20 year olds $1988 &685
35 year olds $1037 $372

If You Add a Driver Will It Affect Your Premium or Rate?

Adding another driver to your insurance policy will affect your premium and rate. You are now paying for coverage for multiple drivers instead of one driver, and that coverage cost is based on the risk factor for both drivers. So, your insurance will look at:

  • The relationship with that person
  • Their age
  • Their driving history
  • Any past claims
  • Driving records
  • Their credit history

The average annual rate for a driver with a good credit score from State Farm is $1,431 but the average annual rate for a driver with a poor credit score from the same company is $3,484.

However, there are things you can do to control this premium. Increasing your deductible between $200 and $500 can reduce your premiums by between 15 and 30%.

Important: You can increase your deductible to reduce the premiums after adding an additional driver to your insurance policy.

The cost of adding a driver to your insurance policy is also based on where you live. Full coverage for one year for a new teenage driver averages $5,455 in Colorado but only $2,810 in idaho.

Is It Cheaper to Add a Driver to Your Insurance or Get a New Insurance

According to the Insurance Information Institute, adding a teen driver to your policy can increase premiums between 50% and 100%. As such it’s up to you to determine whether it’s cheaper to get a new insurance policy for the new driver in your home or add them to your insurance.

Tip: Ask your insurance agent for quotes before adding a new driver. Then get quotes from other companies and compare the cost of both.

You will need to consider things:

  • The risk associated with the additional driver
  • Their driving history

Riskier drivers will cost more to add to your insurance policy. This includes teenagers and people with bad driving records.

What Happens if Your Additional Driver Gets in a Car Accident?

If you add an additional driver and they get in a car accident, your liability coverage will be the primary coverage. This will pay for any damages to the other party involved. Depending on your policy, you may or may not be required to cover other expenses like medical bills or damage to your vehicle.

Any additional driver added to your policy is your legal responsibility, so your premiums will increase due to the accident.

Which Companies Allow You to Add a Driver to Your Car Insurance Policy?

Several companies allow you to add a driver to your policy. Below are some of the most additional-driver friendly:


Geico lets you add new drivers for much less than it would cost to get a new policy, especially for young drivers.

State Farm

State Farm makes it easy to add drivers to your existing policy no matter who they are, as long as you have given consent for them to drive your vehicle. What’s more, they make it very easy to add a new driver online.


Progressive is better for people who are adding teenagers because they have several discount programs for young drivers.


Is it better to get multi-car insurance or add an additional driver to the existing policy?

Your monthly premium reflects whatever the risk is for each of the additional drivers on your policy. So it’s up to you to determine whether your premiums would be more expensive adding an additional driver than getting two insurance policies.

Should you switch insurance providers before adding an additional driver?

You might be able to get better car insurance rates at another company, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you are adding a child, you might consider switching insurance providers for someone that offers several discounts for additional teenage drivers.

Can I add a foreign driver to my car insurance?

This depends on the company you have. Many major insurance companies like State Farm will provide insurance coverage for foreign drivers that meet state requirements.

Can an insurance company add someone to the policy without their consent?

No, an insurance company cannot require you to take on additional liability without your consent. However, many insurance companies will encourage you to add every one of driving age in your household to be listed on a policy just in case.

If I drive for Uber, can I have additional drivers on my policy?

If you drive for Uber, you must purchase a special rideshare insurance policy. If you don’t have that, your claims can be denied and your policy canceled once your insurance provider finds out. That said, you’ll have to speak with your individual insurance provider about the rules for adding drivers to your policy for vehicles used for Uber.

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