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Temporary drivers: Do They Have to be Listed or Not?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 08/11/2012

Adding temporary drivers are as much of a hassle to your insurance company as it is to you.

temporary drivers

No, Fido does not qualify as a temporary driver.

A lot of people wonder if they have to add temporary drivers to their insurance policy. Should my child visiting from college be added? Should Aunt Betsy be added while she is staying with us for our niece’s wedding?

The answer heavily depends on who the temporary drivers are and how temporary the driving situation really is.

 Who are Temporary Drivers?

Temporary drivers are anyone that drives your vehicle just now and then. These drivers don’t drive your vehicle enough to be considered a significant risk of getting into an auto accident.

For example, your friend from across the nation is staying with you for a week. You let them borrow your vehicle while they are here, so they can get around while you are at work. Your friend is considered a temporary driver and does not have to be included on your insurance policy.

However, you also have a teenager who lives in your home. They just got their license, but they only drive one or twice a week. They are not considered a temporary driver.

Why? Because the teenager lives in your home, causes a significant risk of a car accident, and technically drives your vehicle on a consistent basis (just not very often).

How Do I Know For Sure Who is a Temporary Driver?

When in doubt, ask your insurance company or insurance agent. They can listen to the situation and tell you exactly if the person has to be listed as a temporary driver or not.

Also, don’t worry about the insurance company saying, yes, just to collect on extra premium. This worry is unfounded for two reasons.

One, adding a new driver for just a short period of time is a pain. There is information to collect, reports to be run, and information to be entered. All of which required employee hours that insurance companies and agencies would rather not waste just to add a driver that may drive your vehicle for the two days they are visiting you.

Two, there is no guarantee that the insurance premium will go up. Adding an additional good driver can sometimes actually decrease your premium.

Again, if you are not sure of the situation, ask your insurance company about how they process temporary drivers.

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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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