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Excluded Drivers in California

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 05/06/2017

Q: Can the owner of the vehicle be an excluded driver on a car insurance policy in the state of California?

A: Yes, they can. However, if the owner is an excluded driver that means that they can NEVER drive the vehicle under any circumstances. If they have an accident driving that vehicle, it will not be covered by the insurance company.

When you exclude a driver from a policy, in exchange for a cheaper rate, you are telling the insurance company that a particular driver will not be using that vehicle at all. The insurance company agrees to not rate that driver because the risk is then removed that they will have to pay out a claim for that driver.  Now, if that driver does have a car accident with the vehicle they are excluded on and the insurance company finds out, your policy can be subject to cancellation.

Also, just because you exclude a driver it doesn’t mean that you get off not having to pay anything for the driver, most insurance companies now add a surcharge to policies for each excluded driver that you have listed. So all-in-all, unless the owner of the vehicle has an atrocious driving record, in most cases, it’s just best to leave them on the policy.

Now, with all that said. These rules do vary by insurance company and there are cases where the owner of the cannot be excluded because they are the named insured on the policy. So as always, it is best to check with you car insurance agent on your company’s excluded driver rules.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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