Understanding Authorized Drivers: Why You Need to List Household Members on Your Auto Insurance Policy

Many people frequently ask, “Who needs to be included in my auto insurance policy?” The distinction between who is currently listed, and who should be listed on your auto insurance policy is significant. A common oversight is not including every household member on the policy, regardless of whether they drive the insured vehicle. Another important thing that is overlooked is regular operators of the vehicle, that do not live in the household. This post will go over some things to keep in mind when reviewing your insurance policy and thinking about the drivers/household residents in your home.

What Are Authorized Drivers?

Understanding who qualifies as an authorized driver is crucial before we discuss the necessity of including household members on your auto insurance policy. An authorized driver is anyone granted explicit permission by the policyholder to use the insured vehicle. Sometimes people refer to this as drivers with permissive use. Typically, these drivers are covered under the policyholder’s insurance, unless explicitly excluded or if the policy outlines specific restrictions. Generally these are people that are not household members, that are using the vehicle on an limited basis.

Think about it like this, your friend visits you from out of town, and borrows your vehicle to run down to the store. They are a authorized driver. They don’t live with you normally, and are just using the vehicle on a limited basis. However, your 18 year old child that lives with you that took your car for a night out would need to be a rated driver on the policy. Yes, they are authorized to use the car, but due to them living with you they need to be listed accordingly.

Including Household Members on Your Policy

Transparency with your insurance carrier and agent is paramount. Here’s why listing all household members on your auto insurance is non-negotiable:

1. Ensuring Policy Compliance: Many insurance companies mandate the disclosure of all household members with access to the insured vehicle. Non-disclosure can lead to significant issues, like denied claims, should an accident occur with a household member that is not listed on the policy. Listing everyone on the policy, then allows you to decide if you want to rate or exclude these individuals. More about this later in the post.

2. Accurate Risk Assessment: Insurance rates are influenced by the driving records and risk profiles of all household members. Providing complete information allows for precise risk evaluation and premium determination. You may be a great driver with a clean record, but if your car is also used by a household member that has a not so stellar record, the risk profile associated with that needs to be accounted for in your rate.

3. Preventing Coverage Disputes: Omitting household members can lead to coverage gaps. If an unlisted member is involved in an accident, the insurer might deny coverage, leaving you financially responsible for the claim. No one wants that to happen.

Choosing Between Rated and Excluded Drivers

With many carriers, you have the option to categorize household members as either rated or excluded when adding them to your policy:

  • Rated Drivers: These individuals influence your premium, as their driving history and risk assessment are considered in the pricing. Accurate disclosure is key to correct premium calculation and coverage. Generally speaking, if a household member plans on driving the vehicle under any circumstance, they should be a rated driver. You should also add non-household members that drive your car regularly to the policy as rated drivers.
  • Excluded Drivers: You might opt to exclude certain members due to their driving history or risk factors. This means they’re not covered under your policy, and any incidents involving them won’t be covered. At Younger Insurance, we urge customers against excluding drivers on their policy because of the risks associated with it. You have to be ok knowing that under no circumstance, emergency or otherwise, the excluded individuals cannot drive your vehicle.


Be upfront and honest about who lives in the household. Many times, carriers can see who potential household members are. When asked about it, give the honest answer so appropriate guidance can be given. This ensures accurate risk assessment and premium setting.

Here at Younger Insurance, our commitment goes beyond the policies; we’re emotionally invested in your insurance journey. Insurance is not a buy it and forget it service. Your experience should include feeling understood, cared for, and comfortable with the coverage and policies you have. If you want to learn more about what it is like to work with us, or have questions about how to insure certain household members, then fill out the form below or give us a call at 240-527-2344.

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