Learn About an Additional Insured on an Auto Policy
Going through your insurance paperwork you might come across the term additional insured. Or, maybe someone has requested to be added as an additional insured. It is important to understand all aspects of your insurance policy including what is an additional insured.
An additional insured has partial ownership of a vehicle or is liable for a vehicle that is insured by another party. So is a driver on a policy considered an additional insured?
The answer is no.
Additional Insured Versus Listed Driver
A difference definitely exists between an additional insured and a listed driver. Do not assume because you are listed on someone's policy as a driver, you will be compensated for a loss. Only named insured's, loss payees, and additional insured's are listed on insurance claim checks for total losses.
- Must have ownership of one or more vehicles on policy
- May or may not drive the vehicle depending on whether or not the additional insured is listed as a driver or has insurance elsewhere
- May have no ownership of vehicle
- Primary or occasional operator of the vehicle
Who is Usually Added as an Additional Insured
- Co-titled Vehicles: usually have an additional insured if the two people on the title are not married or listed as named insured's together. For instance, if your grandma cosigned on a car for you and doesn't live in your household, she would be listed as additional insured. She does not need to be listed as a driver because she lives out of the household and probably has her own car insurance policy. As part owner of the car and additional insured, she is entitled to compensation after a total loss if both of you owe less than the actual cash value of the vehicle.
- Leased Vehicles: should always have the lease company listed as both loss payee and additional insured, sometimes referred to as combination. The lease company acts as both the lender and owner of the vehicle. In a total loss, the lease company would get the claim check. Usually, gap insurance is required on leases so you won't have to worry about an out of pocket expense.
- Vehicle Owner is Not the Named Insured: Not many insurance companies allow people to insure vehicles they don't own. Preferred carriers are often very strict about the rule and only allow insurance to be held in the name of the person on the title. Some standard and non-standard insurance companies do not have any restrictions on who insures a vehicle. If you allow someone to insure your vehicle and physical damage is purchased, the claim check will go to the insured unless you are listed as an additional insured.
The Purpose of Being Listed as an Additional Insured
- The additional insured is notified anytime a change is made to the vehicle. If coverage is reduced to storage insurance, the additional insured is notified. Same goes for if the vehicle is removed from the policy or coverage is added or reduced in any way. It keeps the additional insured in the loop when it comes to insuring the vehicle.
- Additional insured's are included in insurance claim payouts. As an owner of the insured property, the additional insured's name is on total loss claim checks.
When an Additional Insured Should be Removed
An additional insured is only removed when the name is off of the title due to a sale. After the additional insured has no interest in the vehicle they should be removed immediately.
Having an additional insured listed on the policy that does not belong can delay a claim from being finalized.
The owner of the vehicle is entitled to compensation if the coverage is right and the owner owes less than the actual cash value. Whether you are the additional insured or you need to add one on your insurance policy, it is important to know about how additional insured works. Make sure the additional insured is listed properly on your policy by checking your declaration page or asking your agent.