What is a Named Insured Driver?

Insurance agent discussing named insureds.
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Named insured drivers on a car insurance policy are the only drivers fully covered in the event of an accident. They also have control over the policy and are they only ones authorized to make changes.

Understanding what a named insured driver is can help you understand your entire insurance policy better.

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

Who Are the Named Insured Drivers On a Policy?

A named insured driver is usually the person who purchases the insurance policy. 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 can usually find the named insured on the first page of your policy.

Additional Drivers vs. Named Insured Drivers

Additional or authorized drivers on a car insurance policy are those that live in the same household as the named insured and drive the vehicle on the policy. However, they're not fully covered under the insurance policy like the named insured drivers are. Claims will not be paid out in their name—even if they were the driver at the time of the accident.

Additional drivers are only covered 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 are also 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.

Additional Named Insured vs. Named Insured

In some policies, if there is more than one named insured driver, then they'll be listed as an additional named insured driver. They usually have the same rights and coverage as they 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.

Spouses as Named Insured Drivers

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 vary regarding this, as well. Some states will give you the option to exclude your spouse on the policy and others won't. Others require you to include all family members in the policy—which means your spouse will automatically be covered.

If you want to exclude your spouse from a policy, you usually have to have good reasons. For example, they don't have a driver's license or they're already covered by another insurance policy.

Removing a Spouse as Named Insured

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.

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.

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.

Article Sources

  1. The Zebra. "What Is a Named Driver Policy?" Accessed March 18, 2020.

  2. RiskBlock. "Named Insured vs. Additional Driver." Accessed March 18, 2020.

  3. PSC Insurance Brokers. "Insurance Explained: The Difference Between ‘Named Insured’, ‘Additional Insured’ and ‘Named Additional Insured.’" Accessed March 18, 2020.

  4. Personal Injury Law Journal. "How Are You Listed on Your Automobile Insurance Policy: Named Insured vs. Authorized Driver." Accessed March 18, 2020.

  5. Progressive. "Car Insurance With Spouse." Accessed March 18, 2020.

  6. Auto Insurance Ape. "Can I Remove My Spouse From My Car Insurance?" Accessed March 18, 2020.