How can I add someone to my car insurance for a day?

Adding someone to your car insurance for a day is necessary only in some cases. Check with your provider to see if your policy covers permissive users and if additional coverage is necessary.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There are limited circumstances that create the need to add a driver to a personal auto insurance policy for just a day
  • The named insured on a policy has the right to make changes when necessary, but a good agent will advise you when a change is truly needed
  • The standard car insurance policy provides coverage to not just the drivers that are listed on the policy, but also to others who are given permission to operate the covered auto

You probably believe that anyone who drives your vehicle for any amount of time must be added to your policy in order for them to be covered with insurance.

However, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that make adding extra drivers to your policy difficult.

Here is a helpful guide that will help policyholders make the right decision when a family member is in town or when a friend borrows their car.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below!

What is a Permissive User?

A permissive user has many different definitions in the insurance marketplace.

Typically, an insurance company will define a permissive user as a driver who is not listed on the policy but is given permission to drive by the policyholder.

While it might sound as if a permissive driver can be any relation, some companies will not extend the permissive user status to household members.

Those who do fit the permissive user definition will automatically receive all of the coverage of the named insured while they are driving the car.

Examples of Permissive Users Who are Covered

There are plenty of different scenarios where a permissive user would be covered to drive your car under physical damage cover, liability cover, medical payments and other options like uninsured motorist.

Contrary to popular belief, car insurance follows the car and not the driver.

Here are some common scenarios where an unlisted driver may need coverage for just a single day:

  • Your friend’s vehicle is in the shop, and he borrows your car for the day
  • A close friend who does not live in the household is the designated driver of your vehicle for the night
  • A family member flies in from out of town for the day and uses your vehicle to get around town
  • You are selling a listed vehicle and allow a prospective borrower to test drive the car
  • Your child is away at college but comes back home for a weekend trip and uses your vehicle

Examples of Drivers Who Are Not Granted Automatic Coverage

There are many situations where you may need temporary car insurance to include the following:

  • A family member living in the home drives your vehicle regularly but is not a listed driver on the vehicle
  • Another household member who has regular access to the vehicle does not carry his own coverage and borrows your vehicle on occasion
  • Someone who borrows the vehicle but does not have a valid license to drive
  • A college student away at school who is not listed on the policy but still claims your address as his residence
  • A driver who has been excluded from the policy due to his driving record or prior losses

What is an Excluded Driver?

Understanding when your coverage will extend is important, but understanding special conditions that are built into your policy specifically is necessary.

Not everyone has excluded drivers on their policies, but policyholders who have household members with poor driving records may elect to exclude drivers to save on the premiums.

Excluding a driver is an alternative to canceling a policy entirely.

By agreeing to exclude a driver from a personal auto insurance policy, you are agreeing that the driver will not have access to any of your vehicles.

You are also agreeing that the insurer will not pay for any claims when the excluded driver is operating any of the vehicles on the policy.

How to Add a Driver Who May Not Have Coverage

Every insurance company has their own unique rules surrounding family members and automatic coverage.

It is in your best interest to speak with a representative from your insurance company just to ask if someone you want to drive your car for a day is covered.

If it is questionable or the person would not be granted permission for automatic coverage, it is best to add the driver for the day.

Remember, adding a driver is a lot easier than removing the driver from the policy.

Here are the steps to take to add a driver for a day:

  • Contact your insurer or log into your policy online and request that an endorsement be made
  • Provide the company with the driver’s name, address, date of birth, and license number
  • Find out if the driver has any tickets or accidents in the prior 7 years. Provide the dates and incident type to avoid complications
  • State that this is a temporary addition. Get proof of residential address or proof of other insurance to show your insurer the driver does not live in the home or is covered elsewhere

Knowing when you do and when you do not need to add a temporary driver to your policy is important.

If you discover a driver will not be covered under your policy, it may be time to shop around. To find a policy quickly, start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below!