What is an Excluded Driver?

If you live with a young person, a very old person, or a person who has had many accidents, or live with anyone else who has a driver’s license out of convenience but never drives a vehicle, it can be very 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: excluded drivers. Listing a person as and an excluded driver could save you money. It is important to know who to exclude and of course, to remember (and to make sure they remember) the fact they are indeed excluded and not covered by your insurance policy. An excluded driver will have no coverage for liability or physical damage when driving vehicles listed on the car insurance policy they are excluded from.

Why Would You have an Excluded Driver on Your Car Insurance Policy?

DUI Arrest
Getty Images/ Darren Mower

Insurance carriers judge a driver’s risk on several factors. Many different situations can arise in regards to wanting a driver excluded from coverage.

​1) ​Insurance carriers might want a driver excluded or cancel the entire policy. Common reasons to exclude a driver would be a bad driving record, a suspended license, or too many claims. If someone lives with you who fits into one of these categories, the insurance company might insist that the dangerous driver won’t be covered before they’re willing to sell you insurance at all.

2) You might want to exclude certain drivers.

Maybe you want to leave your teenagers off of your policy because you do not want to pay the higher rates to insure them, or they are not following the rules and are not allowed to drive. Maybe, your spouse got a DUI and no longer has a driver’s license or a car.

Lots of reasons exist to make excluding a driver an option. There are both pros and cons to excluding a driver. It is very important the insurance policy holder and the person being excluded both understand the rules of excluded drivers fully.

Does an Excluded Driver Affect the Cost of Insurance?

Unfortunately, having a driver listed as excluded on your car insurance policy could cost more when compared to not having the driver listed anywhere on your policy. Even though the driver is excluded from coverage, usually they are still eligible for medical coverage. And as a member of your household, the medical coverage for automobile insurance costs extra depending on what coverage you have selected on your policy.

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 very expensive to insure.

What Happens if an Excluded Driver Drives My Car?

Excluded drivers should never drive the vehicle in which they are excluded from. It is the same as driving with no insurance. If an accident occurs, both the owner of the vehicle and the excluded driver could be held personally liable for damages.

How Do I Know if a Driver is Excluded?

Drivers cannot be excluded without the named insured’s permission. To authorize an excluded driver your signature is required on a driver exclusion form. If you receive a notice of cancellation from your insurance company due to a bad driver on your policy, ask if excluding the high-risk driver is a possibility.

A couple of places to look on your policy to find if a driver is excluded are your proof of insurance or declaration page. Or, just call your insurance agent for verification.

How Long is a Driver Excluded For?

The length of exclusion depends on the reason for the exclusion in the first place. Once the excluded driver has a good driving record and a valid driver’s license it is possible to get them listed as a covered driver.

How Do You Make an Excluded Driver Eligible to Drive Again?

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. It should be a quick and painless process.

Do All Insurance Carriers Make Driver Exclusions Possible?

No, some preferred carriers may not allow a driver to be excluded. If one driver in the household is ineligible, then so is the entire household. It depends on the insurance carrier.

Can a Driver be Excluded From One Insurance Policy but Insured on Another?

Yes. Obviously, different vehicles would be involved, but it is a possibility. Driver exclusions are specific to the policy in which they are excluded.

Excluded drivers are necessary for some car insurance policies, however, you are better off avoiding any scenario which requires someone being excluded. You are paying a lot of money for your car insurance and you do not want to find yourself uninsured for any reason. Remember if you exclude a driver on your car insurance policy and do not let that person drive your car under any circumstances.

Before you decide to exclude a driver in your household from your policy, it helps to do the math. While you can do some of your own research, an insurance agent should be able to walk you through how much money you will save by excluding a driver, and how expensive a policy for them would be if they were separate.