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Question

Can an insurance company force add me to a policy even if I do not drive?

My senior parents have full coverage on their car and have been with their insurance company, Allstate, for several years with no claims against them and spotless records. I live with them at their home and do not own a car, nor do I drive anywhere. My record is clear as well. One day my mother asked me to go shopping with her. She drives there but when she was done she asked me to drive home since she was tired. I did so, and after driving for only 3 to 5 mins a car came up from behind, passed us, and then clipped the front of the car. No one was hurt. He apologized and said he was fully covered. We exchanged information and went on or way. In the process of telling my parent’s insurance company what had happened, they said that I had not been listed on the policy as a resident of the household and  they would not help to deal with the other insurance company. They then said that my parents would have to pay $120 more to add me to their policy. They, and I, can’t afford this at all. I know that none of us realized that I had to be listed, but as I understand, it should not cost much if perhaps anything to add me to their policy. I am 51 and male. Is there something wrong in their actions, and is there some way we can resolve this? They are saying that I have to prove I don’t live with them or get my own insurance (I don’t even have a car), or be added to their policy. Their insurer has failed to represent them, and now they feel like they are being “come after” after someone else hit their car. I want to know if it should be so difficult to add me to their policy? No one wishes to do anything wrong of course, and thought everything was fine. Is their insurer acting fairly? Are they taking advantage of their long time, perfect customers? Very concerned and worried at what this additional cost would do to an already very very tight budget.

Agent Answer

Neil Richardson

Insurance companies generally require any household member of driving age be listed on a policy. Policyholders normally have the option, however, to “exclude” anyone they don’t want added to their policy. Unfortunately the accident you had is exactly the reason why insurers require household member to be included on a policy. In the event that you shared any fault in the accident then they would have to cover the damage. It is likely that the reason they aren’t representing your parents is due to the fact that the other driver is 100% at fault. In the event that there is a dispute with the other driver’s insurance company about covering all the damage, you may have to hire an attorney if your parent’s company is unwilling to step in and assist.

If the only issue is that your parent’s company is requiring you be added to the policy, your parents should have the option to exclude you so there is no impact to their rate. The 3 of you may also benefit from shopping around with new insurance providers to see what else may be available. Ultimately we recommend shopping around every 6 months to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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