Can I Add Someone to My Auto Insurance That Doesn’t Live With Me?

While most insurance providers won't let you add someone to a policy unless they live with you, there are two exceptions to the rule that will allow you to add someone to your auto insurance that doesn't live with you: 1) college students who are away at university and 2) children of divorced parents who are at driving age but live at different addresses. Read this guide for more information regarding when you can add someone to your car insurance that doesn't live with you.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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There are some situations where you might consider adding someone else to your own car insurance policy. But can you add someone to your car insurance that doesn’t live with you?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about adding someone to your car insurance when they don’t live with you, including how much you can expect to pay and whether or not it’s an option.

Most Insurers Do Not Allow You to Insure Someone Who Doesn’t Live With You

With a typical car insurance policy, you need to add all licensed drivers to your policy. Your insurance company needs the names of every driver in your household.

Generally, however, car insurance companies do not allow policyholders to add people who don’t live in the same household as them to their insurance policy.

Some couples, for example, try to combine auto insurance policies before they move in together. Most car insurance companies do not allow this. You need to be living with your partner to combine car insurance policies and qualify for a bundling discount.

Other families might try to add a child to their car insurance policy to save money. A 19-year-old son who just moved out of the house, for example, is going to pay exorbitant rates for his own car insurance policy if buying on his own. If he is listed under his parents’ policy, however, he can save thousands of dollars per year. Again, this isn’t typically allowed with most insurance companies.

In short, it’s rare for an insurance company to allow you to add someone that doesn’t live with you.

However, this can vary on a case by case basis, and there are certain situations where you can add someone to your car insurance even if they don’t live with you.

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Car Insurance for a Child Who Doesn’t Live with You

If your child moves out of the house as an adult and lives on her own, then she will need to have her own car insurance policy. Generally, it’s not possible to keep an adult child on your own policy after she has moved to a different address.

There is one unique situation where this can occur, however: when two divorced parents have a child of driving age, it’s possible for the child to be listed under one parent’s car insurance policy. Typically, the parent with primary custody is responsible for listing the child on his or her car insurance policy. In joint custody situations, the parent who has the child the majority of the time should list the child on his or her car insurance policy. If you’re the parent who isn’t listing the child on your car insurance policy, then your child can still drive your car while being covered by car insurance – just like if a friend were to borrow your car. However, if your child is driving your car frequently, then you may want to contact your car insurance company to add your child.

Car Insurance for College Students

You may also be able to add a college student to your own insurance policy even when the student is living away from home.

In this situation, your college student is still technically a permanent resident of your home address – even if they’re living in a separate city or state for college eight months of the year. You should be able to continue listing your college-aged child on your car insurance policy even if the child is bringing a vehicle to college.

You Are Required to Add Anyone Living in your Household to your Car Insurance Policy

Most car insurance companies in the United States require you to add everyone in your household to your car insurance policy. That includes licensed drivers, non-licensed drivers, and even children. It also includes roommates.

Why do you need to add everyone living in your household? In the eyes of your insurance company, all of these people have access to your car. Your car insurance follows your car – not the driver. That means anyone who drives your car (with your permission) is not just borrowing your car; they’re also borrowing your car insurance.

For that reason, you are required to list everyone living in your household on your car insurance policy.

It is possible, however, to exclude a driver from your car insurance policy. Some people do this when one of their roommates or family members has a problematic driving history – like multiple DUIs on their record.

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Final Word

Generally, you cannot add a driver to your policy if that driver does not live in your household. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including for college-age children who still permanently reside at home, and for divorced parents who share custody of a child. Aside from these cases, however, it’s unlikely for you to be able to add someone to your car insurance who isn’t living with you.

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