What does it mean to have an excluded driver on your auto insurance?
How does an excluded driver affect your auto insurance?
Understanding the terms of your auto insurance policy can be confusing. One term that you may come across is “excluded driver.” But what does it mean to have an excluded driver on your auto insurance?
Let’s dive into this definition and explore how an excluded driveraffects auto insurance coverage and rates.
What is an Excluded Driver?
An excluded driver is someone who has been removed from a car insurance policy. An excluded driver is not covered by the policy, meaning they are responsible for all costs related to any accident they cause, regardless of who was at fault.
The policyholder must sign an exclusion form naming each individual they want to exclude from their insurance policy. In doing so, these individuals will not be able to receive any coverage under the auto insurance policy, even if they are driving the car with permission from the policyholder.
Why we recommend that you do not exclude?
We do not recommend excluding drivers from your auto insurance. This is especially true if the driver resides in your home. Because things happen and we do not want you to not be protected.
Let us say that you exclude your, 18-year-old son who lives with you, because he has his own car and insurance. He needs to get to work and your car is blocking him, and it is only 2 blocks away. So he jumps in your car. Even if he is just moving your car out of the way, or if his trip is just a few blocks, if he is excluded and driving at the time of the accident there is no coverage.
What if you are both out and you are in your car, and you had a little too much to drink. So your excluded driver feels it is better that he drives. Although it is a great decison to not drive while intoxicated, there will be no coverage if the excluded driver is involved in an accident while driving your vehicle.
Why would you have an excluded driver?
There are a few different reasons why you may choose to have an excluded driver on your auto insurance policy.
The most common reason I hear for wanting to exclude a driver is to save money. If someone in your household has had multiple traffic violations or their license has been suspended. Having that person listed as an excluded driver allows them to still live in the household but prevents them from driving any of the vehicles covered by the auto insurance policy. This may help reduce your car insurance premiums since that individual would no longer be rated on your policy
Over the years I have had a few excluded drivers that were involved in an accident. And the insured figured it would be ok, because the distance was short, or they forgot, or they needed to drive that day because their car was in the shop and there was no other option.
When you exclude, there is no excuse. There is no reason that there will be coverage if they are involved in an accident. You could be having a medical emergency, or a vehicle could be in the repair shop.
What does this mean for you?
You own the vehicle involved in the crash. So the cost to repair or replace the vehicle is 100% your responsibility. And just because your insurance company is not providing coverage, does not mean that you still can not be sued and held responsible for the damages or injuries to those that were hurt in the crash.
So, what to do?
It is best that everyone be insured and listed as drivers on each other’s policies if there in the same household.
This way there is no reason that the claim is not paid because of a driver exclusion.
If there are regular drivers of your vehicle that are not in the household, they should also be listed as drivers. Thic can include such as boy/girlfriend, neighbors, or a caretaker etc.
The option to exclude is one that should be taken seriously. And make sure that the driver knows that they are excluded. Then explain what that means for them and for you if they drive your car.
Sill have questions on excluded drivers?
Give us a call at 410-647-1111 and we will be happy to talk it over with you.