Question

Can an insurance company force me to be added to a policy?

My parents (in their 60s) 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 have my own older model Toyota and a clean record. I never drive their cars and shouldn't need to.

My living situation came up when my parents recently talked to their insurance agent, and they were told they'd have to add me to the policy. I can't afford Allstate, my parents don't want to switch, and I have my own insurance anyway. They don't want to lose their policy by refusing.

Is this fair? Are they taking advantage of their long-time, perfect customers? I'm concerned about my parents being taken advantage of, and of us having to pay more on a three-person policy when we're trying to save money by living together.

Feb 6, 2023 Denver, CO

Answer
Beth Swanson

Feb 6, 2023

Thanks for reaching out to The Zebra. It is normal for insurance companies to require anyone in the household (of driving age) to be listed on a policy, "just in case." Even if you don't ever plan on driving their cars, insurers know that things come up and there is always a small chance. For example, if you're riding with a parent who suddenly experiences a health problem and needs you to take over driving to the hospital. If you were involved in an accident and shared any fault, your parents' insurer would have to cover damages (this is a risk for them).

However, policyholders usually have the option to exclude anyone they don't want to be added to their policy. Your parent's insurance company will likely need a copy of your current insurance, and maybe a signature from your parents. The best thing for you to do would be to provide your parents with a copy of your ID Cards or Declarations Page. They can reach out to their current insurance company, Allstate, to see if they can have you excluded from the policy. But this means that you cannot drive your parent's vehicles under any circumstances as you would not be covered.

Another option to consider is potentially combining policies and shopping around for a different insurer who might be able to provide a multi-policy discount that benefits all of you. Unlike health insurance with age limitations, a driver can stay on a parent's policy as long as they share a residence. Your parents have been with Allstate for a long time, and we understand the connection you make with a company or agent over the years, but we also recommend getting new quotes every six months to a year. If your parents are willing to explore options to see what else may be available, call our agency at 888-444-8949 or get a quote online through www.TheZebra.com.


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