Do I Need to Put My Boyfriend on My Car Insurance If We Live Together?

Accidents caused  by unregistered drivers won't be covered by insurance.
Accidents caused by unregistered drivers won't be covered by insurance. (Image: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

It is critical that you carry the right type of insurance policy required by state laws and by your insurance company's underwriting requirements. Failing to put a member of the household on the policy where required might lead to denial of coverage in case of an accident, or even the suspension of the uninsured person's driving privileges.

State Regulations

Since insurance rules are determined by state regulators, the specific requirements vary. In some states, all members of the household with a valid driver's license must be listed on the insurance policy, while in some other states the insurance company will give you the option of not listing your live-in boyfriend if he will not drive your car. Do notice, however, that state regulators always provide a certain degree of flexibility to insurance underwriters. Therefore, even if state insurance regulations may not mandate that the names of all drivers in the household be placed on the policy, the insurance company may, nevertheless, require you to do so.

Cost Considerations

If you wish to exclude your boyfriend from your policy due to his poor driving record, keep in mind that getting two separate policies for the same vehicles will cost more in aggregate than one with both of your names on it. Especially if your boyfriend will be an occasional driver as opposed to the primary user of the vehicle, the additional cost of putting him on the policy may not be substantial.

Driver Exclusions

Certain states, such as California, allow you to exclude a member of the household from the policy if you sign an explicit agreement. By signing such an agreement, you accept that no coverage would be extended in case of an accident if the vehicle is driven by the excluded individual. It is, once again, at the discretion of the insurance underwriter to offer such an option. If the insurer's rules or state regulations require all licensed members of the household to be on the policy and your boyfriend lives with you some of the time, he will be considered a member of your household if your address is also his primary residence. When in doubt, disclose all relevant facts to the insurance underwriter as withholding material information could be considered insurance fraud.

Reducing Premiums

If you have to declare your boyfriend as a co-driver, and this addition results in excessive fees, a defensive driving course may be one potential solution. Contact your insurance company and ask about a list of approved defensive driving courses. Other measures to reduce your insurance premiums include securing your vehicle by parking it in an enclosed garage and installing an alarm system to minimize the likelihood of theft. Some insurers also provide a modest discount for paying the entire premium upfront as opposed to in installments. If you must make changes to your policy, such as removing your boyfriend because you are no longer living together or selling your vehicle and having to cancel your insurance, you can obtain a refund of the insurance policy's unused portion or the overpayment.

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