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I live in an apartment with my girlfriend and when I request a quote on the car insurance websites it asks me if I'm the only driver in my household. It's my car but she would likely drive it occasionally. She has her own car and insurance that she would drive normally.

Why do I need to put her information into these quotes? Doesn't her insurance cover her driving other people's cars? I got two different quotes -- one with her as a driver and one without and they were radically different prices. I'm trying to save money here without mistaking how this is supposed to work.

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    My first thought was to wonder how this is on-topic. Would you please update the text so that it is more related to personal finance? E.g. concern over the difference in rates between the two situations – George Marian Sep 28 '10 at 18:30
  • @George I understand your concern. In the faq it states this site is for people who wish to "find ways to save money". I think this is general enough that it would apply. – Joe Phillips Sep 28 '10 at 20:25
  • No worries. As I said, my initial reaction was to wonder about question, then I realized there was an acceptable angle. – George Marian Sep 28 '10 at 20:29
  • I think this should be on-topic, even if the cost/rates/savings aspect isn't discussed, because insurance is a financial product individuals buy to insure against loss. The impact of not having insurance is certainly financial in nature. – Chris W. Rea Sep 29 '10 at 2:27
  • Knowing what country you are in is absolutely essential to answering this. – DJClayworth Feb 21 '12 at 22:08
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I would call and ask your insurance company. You never know what notes or policies your insurance company might have in place. Possibly some time ago, you took a discount for not allowing other drivers.

Safest way to know is to call and ask whose insurance would be used if a friend wrecks your car.

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Why do I need to put her information into these quotes?

Because you are getting your quote through a website instead of via a human being. They likely programmed their system for the most likely scenarios.

Doesn't her insurance cover her driving other people's cars?

Yes, it should. The big questions: for how much damage and is it liability only?

My advice: don't be lazy, make the calls and find out the details. Not everything can be answered on the internet. :)

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    Sorry. I tend not to trust sales persons and any extra information I can get is helpful – Joe Phillips Sep 28 '10 at 20:22
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    @d03boy Fair enough, though an insurance rep should be best qualified to answer the question. – George Marian Sep 28 '10 at 20:31
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Insurance companies vary. A former roommate of mine had to add me to her policy as a driver even though there was 0 chance I was ever going to drive this roommate's car. My insurance company on the other hand had me add my spouse after we got married even though they had his information for a different transaction before the wedding.

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Your auto insurance should cover you driving any car, as well as anyone driving your car (on a temporary basis).

In an accident, I suspect her insurance would be the primary insurer.

Since she has her own car and insurance and only temporarily drives yours, I wouldn't include her as a "driver".

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I wouldn't bother. I think this varies from state to state, but generally her insurance would cover her even when driving someone elses car.

  • That's excellent advice if her insurance isn't a "generally insurance" and doesn't cover her, and she causes a million dollar damage to someone (easily done if you insure a 20 year old so he or she cannot work for the rest of their life) and then finds out she is not insured. – gnasher729 Jan 5 '16 at 0:34
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In most states, Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, so your insurance would likely cover her. Her insurance may secondarily cover her in your car under certain conditions (she'd have to call and ask to confirm) Of course, they might try to deny any claim if you misrepresented your application (where it asks about all drivers in the 'household').

One thought-- Consider getting a joint policy with both of your cars on it, the joint policy might be cheaper than two separate policies. Marriage and 25+ yr age is the holy grail as far as insurance companies go, but you might fare well with a joint policy. You could also consider becoming domestic partners if you're not quite ready for marriage and possibly save on health and car insurance.

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Without more specifics, yes, you should. The risk depends on your policy, but the impact is high.

The actual requirement will depend on your state and the specific language in your policy. Some policies will provide full coverage if that driver has your permission to use the car. The cost of not complying can be substantial. If you live with your girlfriend, apply for a policy and fail to disclose her presence in your household, that could be construed as intent to fraud in some situations. Other companies will drop your coverage if they find out.

You need to think long and hard before not answering a question posed by an insurance company with complete honesty. There are documented cases where families have lost out on thousands of dollars because someone checked the "non-smoker" box on a life insurance form, but the insurance company found a picture of the person smoking a cigar at a wedding.

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protected by Chris W. Rea Apr 4 '13 at 11:38

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