Is It Worth Adding a Friend To Your Insurance Policy?
There are many reasons under which a friend or extended family member may need to use your vehicle. Personal emergency is one such, but others include holiday visitors who fly in from out of town, or arrive in a vehicle unsuited to local driving, such as a recreational vehicle. In many instances, close friends will allow one another to temporarily borrow vehicles for any number of reasons. So the question arises again and again- Is it worthwhile to add a friend (or relative) to your insurance policy?
The cost of adding a friend to your policy will depend on a number of factors. That person’s driving record is probably the most important, as far as the insurance company is concerned. If they have had numerous traffic tickets, or were found to be at fault in multiple accidents, your agent will either discourage adding them to the policy at all, or inform you that your rates will have to be increased dramatically.
The best thing to do is to consult your insurance agent. Inform them of the situation, and what you would like to do, and provide them with the information concerning your friend that will be requested, and make your final decision based on that. It is, however, important to keep in mind that the agent is most likely getting paid according to the premiums you pay, so there may be instances where they encourage you to add the friend, hoping to make a financial gain from increased insurance rates.
Even before you bring up the subject of adding your friend to your policy, it may be in your best interest to simply check with your insurance company regarding the implications of allowing a friend to borrow the vehicle. In the case of temporary visitors from out of town, or loaning the car out due to an unexpected hardship, this solution may be the optimal one. After all, if the usage will be for a very short period of time, the full expense of adding them to the policy may not be warranted.
And finally, many insurance policies will cover the vehicle for any legally licensed driver. It is a distinct possibility that you won’t have to make any changes to your policy at all. Only a close examination of your particular policy, or direct consultation with the insurance company, can make that determination for certain. In most cases, the insurer will want to be informed if anyone who is not listed on the policy will be in possession of the vehicle. This is simply a means of allowing them to assess the risks involved, and make the proper decisions on how your policy should be handled.
What is certain is that if an accident should occur while a person who is not authorized is in control of the vehicle, you stand a chance of having any claims made discredited, and in the worst-case scenario of a lawsuit being filed, you will be fully liable. If someone other than the named drivers will be using the vehicle, the best recourse will be to make sure that your insurance company is aware of them, both for your protection and for the protection of the person who will be using the vehicle.