What is a Named Insured Driver?

Definition & Examples of a Named Insured Driver

Insurance agent discussing named insureds.
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Named insured drivers on car insurance policies typically are the individuals who own or lease the vehicles being insured. They also have control over the policies and are the only ones authorized to make changes.

What Is a Named Insured Driver?

Named insured drivers usually are the individuals who purchase insurance policies on vehicles they own or lease. They're responsible for making and approving policy changes, verifying claim details, and paying premiums. The insurance company also writes checks to them in the event of a loss.

However, there can be more than one named insured driver per policy. Often, those who are married to each other or own a vehicle together are listed together as named insured drivers. You usually can find the named insured drivers on the first page of your policy.

How Named Insured Drivers Work

Some auto insurance companies require you and your spouse to be named on the same policy if you're living under the same roof, and others don't. State laws also vary. Some states give you the option to exclude your spouse on the policy and others don't. Others require you to include all family members on the policy—which means your spouse automatically is covered. If you want to exclude your spouse from a policy, you usually have to have good reasons. For example, they might not have a driver's license or might already be covered by another insurance policy.

In some policies, if there is more than one named insured driver, they'll be listed as an additional named insured driver. They usually have the same rights and coverage as the named insured driver, but they aren't always responsible for paying the policy premium. In some cases, the additional named insured driver might not have all of the same rights as the primary named insured driver. It's important to clarify the difference in your particular policy with your insurance broker.

Legally, one spouse cannot remove the other as the named insured on a car insurance policy. The one being removed must do it themselves or give their explicit permission.

Couples often want to separate their car insurance during divorce, but it’s not often a simple or straightforward process. It is important a driver knows when they are being removed from a policy, and divorce is no exception.

An agent or representative will either contact the person you wish to remove as named insured or request that person contact them before taking any steps to remove them. In many instances, an insurance company will require the named insured to fill out and securely sign a form before removing them. In some cases, a new policy must also be in place, and proof of insurance must be provided to the insurance company to remove the named insured from the existing policy.

Named Insured Drivers vs. Additional Drivers

Additional or authorized drivers on a car insurance policy are those who live in the same household as the named insured and drive the vehicle on the policy. However, claims will not be paid out in their name even if they were the driver at the time of the accident.

Additional drivers are covered only when driving the vehicle in the policy. For example, if an additional insured driver were to be hit by another car while walking to the vehicle, their injuries would not be covered under the insurance policy. However, if that happened to the named insured driver, then they'd be covered.

Since they neither own the vehicle nor pay the insurance premiums, additional drivers also are not able to make significant changes to the car insurance policy without the named insured's approval. Everything processed by the insurance company on behalf of any drivers will be handled with confirmations from the named insured.

If you're ever unsure about your car insurance policy, contact your insurance agent or customer service representative.

Key Takeaways

  • Named insured drivers typically are the owners of an insurance policy on a car they own or lease.
  • Policies can have more than one named insured driver—a spouse, for example.
  • Additional drivers may be listed on a policy, but only named insured drivers can make changes to a policy.
  • A named insured driver cannot be removed from a policy without consent.

Article Sources

  1. PSC Insurance Brokers. "Insurance Explained: The Difference Between ‘Named Insured’, ‘Additional Insured’ and ‘Named Additional Insured.’" Accessed Aug. 20, 2020.

  2. Progressive. "Car Insurance With Spouse." Accessed Aug. 20, 2020.

  3. Kneller Insurance Agency. "Can I Remove My Spouse From My Car Insurance?" Accessed Aug. 20, 2020.

  4. Personal Injury Law Journal. "How Are You Listed on Your Automobile Insurance Policy: Named Insured vs. Authorized Driver." Accessed Aug. 20, 2020.