What is an Excluded Driver?

Why excluding certain drivers from your car insurance policy can lead to lower rates.
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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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What is an excluded driver in car insurance?

An excluded driver is someone in your household that has been explicitly removed from your car insurance policy. This can be done either by the policyholder or the insurer. There are a number of reasons a policyholder or insurance company might consider this, but it usually comes down to one simple word: risk. Find out below what circumstances might lead you to consider excluding a driver from your auto insurance policy. 


Why exclude a driver from your car insurance policy?

Having certain drivers on your policy can raise the cost of your premiums. This is usually due to them having a poor driving record. Insurance companies use a number of factors to price policies. If you list a driver who insurers see as high-risk, you will almost certainly see an increase in the premiums you pay, regardless of your own record. 

An example could include an adult with a bad driving history moving back in with their parents. By excluding their high-risk child from their policy, the parents could see considerable savings on their rates. This would prohibit their adult child from driving the vehicle in any circumstance. 

Similarly, if you live with roommates, exclusions may be something to consider. Just because they share your house doesn’t mean they will share your car. By excluding these drivers you can put the insurance company at ease and avoid paying more than is necessary. 

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Can an insurance company make me exclude a driver?

Car insurance companies may insist on exclusions for certain drivers, particularly if they have DUIs, a suspended license, or are otherwise deemed too risky to safely insure. In some cases, insurers can cancel your coverage or even refuse to cover you if such drivers are left on your policy. 


What if an excluded driver borrows your vehicle?

If an excluded driver borrows the policyholder’s car, no coverage is provided. They would be driving with no insurance coverage at all. This includes emergency situations. If the excluded driver is involved in a wreck, the insurance company is under no obligation to cover any damages. Both the owner and the excluded driver may be held responsible for any damages caused. 


Should I exclude my child who is away at college? 

Unless your young adult child already has a less-than-stellar driving record, it is likely better to keep them on your policy. While it may seem beneficial to exclude or remove a young driver who doesn’t live with you full time, there are usually other options, especially if your college student lives at home on school breaks and might possibly be driving one of your vehicles. 

Many insurance companies offer a student away from home discount, which allows your student to stay on your policy while giving you savings on your premiums. 


How do I exclude a driver?

In many cases, it’s as simple as contacting your insurance company. There are likely to be some questions involved, as well as the signature of the policyholder, but the process is fairly straightforward in most situations. You can often find the names of excluded drivers on your policy’s declarations page

However, as most insurance regulations are decided at the state level, the practice of excluding drivers differs from state to state. The following states do not allow driver exclusions: Kansas, Michigan, New York, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Other states, like Kentucky, may prohibit exclusions in the case of dependents or married couples, even if one partner is not a driver. Not every insurance company offers driver exclusion either, so it depends entirely on your insurer. 

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How long is a driver excluded from a car insurance policy?

A driver exclusion stays in place until you — or the insurance company in some cases — choose to have it removed. The policyholder must submit a formal request to the insurer, which they can then approve or deny depending on the circumstances. This usually happens when the excluded driver has had serious offenses like DUIs drop from their record.

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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.
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