What Is an Excluded Driver?
If you live with a young person, an old person, someone who hardly drives, or someone who has had many accidents, it can be costly to list them as a household member on your insurance policy. If they live in your household, however, you can’t just leave them off the list of licensed drivers on your insurance—or can you?
There is one option: excluding those drivers. Listing a person as an excluded driver could save you money. It is important to know who to exclude and, of course, to remember that they are not covered by your insurance policy. An excluded driver will have no coverage for liability or physical damage, so they shouldn't drive the vehicle listed on the car insurance policy.
Why Would You Have an Excluded Driver on Your Car Insurance Policy?
Insurance carriers judge a driver’s risk by several factors. If someone is judged to be a risky driver, insurance carriers might want them excluded from the policy (or it might want the policy canceled altogether).
Some of the common reasons for this include bad driving records, suspended licenses, and an insurance history that includes too many claims. If someone living with you fits into one of these categories, the insurance company might insist that the high-risk driver won’t be covered before it's willing to sell you insurance.
Even if the insurance company is willing to cover a driver, you might choose to exclude them. High-risk drivers are more expensive to insure, so you can save on costs by excluding them. Or, maybe a teenage driver in your home isn't following rules, so they aren't allowed to drive for an extended time—you can save money and discourage them from driving by removing them from your policy.
Does an Excluded Driver Affect the Cost of Insurance?
Listing a driver as excluded is usually much cheaper than adding them as a covered driver. Often, the driver is excluded due to being a high-risk driver, and high-risk drivers are expensive to insure.
However, having an excluded driver listed on your car insurance policy could cost more than not listing the driver on your policy at all. Even though the driver is "excluded" from coverage, they may still be eligible for medical coverage, which could come with extra costs.
How Do I Know If a Driver Is Excluded?
If you are the primary policyholder, you should know if you have an excluded driver on your policy. Drivers cannot be excluded without the named insured’s permission. The driver exclusion form requires the policyholder's signature before the driver is excluded.
You may find out that you could benefit from excluding a driver through your insurance company. For example, if the company sends you a notice of cancellation due to a bad driver on your policy, ask if excluding the high-risk driver is a possibility.
If you forgot whether you've excluded a driver or not, look at your proof of insurance or declaration page. Alternatively, you can call your insurance agent for verification. If your household owns multiple cars or has multiple policies for another reason, make sure to check each policy—a driver can be excluded from one policy and included in another.
Keep in mind that not all insurance companies allow for excluded drivers, especially preferred carriers. Under those kinds of policies, if one driver in the household is ineligible, then the entire household is ineligible.
How Long Does an Exclusion Last?
The length of exclusion depends on the reason for the exclusion in the first place. If a driver was excluded to appease the insurance company, that driver may be able to become covered again by building up a good driving record and maintaining a valid license.
Normally, to reinstate an excluded driver as an insured driver, you need to speak with your insurance agent. Verification of a valid license and driving record will need to be provided. Once a driver's license and driving record are in order, restoring their status with the insurance policy should be a quick and painless process.
The Bottom Line
Some people will find that it's necessary to exclude drivers from their car insurance policies. However, if you can, you are better off avoiding scenarios in which someone is excluded. It's inconvenient to add expenses to your car insurance costs just so you can exclude someone from driving.
Before you decide to exclude a driver in your household from your policy, it helps to do the math. After doing some of your own research, reach out to an insurance agent who can walk you through how much money you will save by excluding a driver. You may also look into how expensive it would be to add a policy for them separately.
If you do exclude a driver on your car insurance policy, do not let that person drive your car under any circumstances.