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Can roommates share car insurance?

Living with a roommate is common. Car insurance for roommates is fairly straightforward, although rules and considerations may vary by car insurance provider. Some auto insurance companies require all driving-age individuals sharing an address to be added to the policy as a rated driver or an excluded driver. If your roommate is not listed as a rated driver, e.g., covered by the policy, the insurance company hasn’t had a chance to evaluate them as a risk — or rate them for that risk.

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Key Takeaways

  • If you’re worried about your roommate's driving profile increasing your premium, explicitly exclude them from your policy
  • If you and your roommate want the ability to share vehicles or be eligible for a discount, you should add them to your policy
  • If a roommate has poor credit, this can potentially make insurance rates much higher and it might not make sense to share insurance
  • At the end of the day, the way to find the best deal on auto insurance is to shop around for car insurance — with or without your roommate — every six months

Do I need to add my roommate to my car insurance?

If your roommate won’t be using your vehicle, you don't need to add them to your car insurance policy. Some insurance companies might take issue with a household member, i.e., someone living at your listed address, not being listed on your policy. Car insurance companies want any driving-aged individual living in a given household to be either clearly covered or not. If your roommate won't drive your vehicle, your insurance company may require you to explicitly list them as an excluded driver.

While adding an excluded driver to your policy should not impact your premium, it does mean your roommate won't be covered if they are involved in an accident while driving your vehicle. If your roommate is listed as an excluded driver on your car insurance policy, do not let them use your car.

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How can I add my roommate to my car insurance?

Most policies will allow you to add any driver who lives in the same location as you to your policy. Call your agent to discuss your options, or enter your zip code above if you'd like to compare quotes from multiple companies. Below are key reasons to add your roommate to your car insurance policy.

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Additional flexibility

If you add your roommate to your policy, you can share your vehicles. If your car breaks down and you need to borrow your roommate's vehicle for a week, you will be covered in the event of an accident. If you are listed as an excluded driver, you wouldn’t have coverage and couldn't drive their car.

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Roommate car insurance discounts

When you add your roommate — and their vehicle — to your policy, you may become eligible for multi-car and multi-driver discounts. While the policy premium may increase, it will be proportionally cheaper than everyone covering their vehicle on separate policies. The table below outlines examples of savings you might see when having multiple policies. 

Homeowner Status Avg. Annual Premium
Renter $1,760
Condo Owner $1,730
Home Owner $1,728
Renter With Multi-Policy $1,677
Condo Owner With Multi-Policy $1,592
Home Owner With Multi-Policy $1,562
Updated: 09/27/22.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


When to keep roommates' car insurance policies separate

Alternatively, it could make sense to keep your car insurance policy separate from your roommate's.

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If your roommate drives an expensive car

If you drive a Toyota Corolla but your roommate drives a Lamborghini, you should expect a significant difference in your premiums. Your insurance company has to account for the financial risk of insuring such a high-value car by charging an expensive premium. If you’re worried about footing the bill for their fancy car, consider sticking to your own policy.

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If you don't share cars

If your roommate isn't going to use your vehicle, there's no reason to add them to your auto insurance policy. Adding another driver — even your roommate — will increase your premium. 

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If your roommate has a bad driving record

If your roommate has a bad driving record, i.e., lots of at-fault accidents or citations, your bill will be higher if they're on your policy. Keeping your policy separate would avoid your being penalized for their driving mistakes.

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If your roommate has poor credit

Most insurance companies — in most states — use credit scores as a factor to set premiums. A low credit score can negatively impact car insurance premiums. If all other metrics are constant, a driver with "excellent" credit (800-850) could potentially pay $1,641 less than a driver in the "poor" credit tier (300-579). Below you can see monthly and annual rates for different credit tiers.

Credit Tier Avg. Annual Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
Excellent $1,506 $125
Very Good $1,627 $136
Good $1,760 $147
Average $1,913 $159
Fair $2,071 $173
Fair to Below Fair $2,250 $188
Below Fair $2,461 $205
Below Fair to Poor $2,730 $228
Poor $3,147 $262
Worst $3,836 $320
Updated: 09/27/22.

Renters insurance and roommates

There are a few reasons not to share renters, homeowners, or condo insurance with a roommate, but it’s generally a good idea. Not only can you earn a discount on your car insurance policy (if you bundle policies within the same company), you can lower your overall bill by splitting it with your roommate. See below typical discounts from bundling your policies.

Why not to share renters insurance with your roommate

If you’re worried about your own liability, sharing a renters insurance policy might not be a good idea. Any claim your roommate makes on your shared policy will impact your premium.

Furthermore, you'll share limits on your coverage. If your and your roommate’s belongings are destroyed, you might exhaust the personal property policy limits on your coverage prior to having all your belongings replaced.

Read more about renters insurance with roommates.

If you're like more information on condo, home or renters insurance, see our guides below:

home and auto bundle

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RECENT QUESTIONS

If my husband is excluded from his sister's policy, is he still covered as a passenger?

Sorry to hear about your situation. The big question here is this: who was driving the car?
Sep 24, 2019 Memphis, TN

Will my rate change if I remove my non driving wife from insurance policy?

The only rate change you might expect is a rate decrease. Because there are fewer people driving on the policy, there is less risk associated with your policy.
Feb 27, 2019 Austin, TX

I was rear-ended, but I'm an excluded driver. Will the damages still be covered?

Typically, when you are hit from behind the other driver is at fault. In this case, their insurance company would be responsible for the damages.
Oct 16, 2019 Shreveport, LA

Am I legally required to list my son on my car insurance policy?

Most car insurance companies like to know everyone who is of driving age and has a license to be either listed on the policy or excluded. To them, it's simply peace of mind so they're aware of all the risks presented to them.
May 27, 2018 Rochester, MN

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.