Adding drivers to your policy

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What Car? Staff
20 Aug 2012 10:17 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

When you take out a car insurance policy, you can opt to have cover for more than one driver.

You just need to add the other individuals as named drivers on your insurance policy.

Generally, the more named drivers you have on a policy, the more expensive your insurance is likely to become.

However, this is not always the case. If your named driver is considered a lower risk than you, your premium could even go down.

How do I add a named driver to my policy?
You can add a named driver to your policy at the point of purchase or at any point during the term of your policy.

All you need to do is list the individual on your original policy documents or contact your insurer to request a new quote with another driver added on.

If you are simply lending your car to a friend or relative, you can even add a driver to your policy for a short time such as a week or a month.

You will, however, need to provide your insurer with information such as age and driving experience for any additional named drivers.

If you have comprehensive car insurance, it will often allow anyone with a licence (apart from those perhaps who have only recently passed their tests) to drive your car as long as they have gained your permission before hand. This even applies if they are not a named driver on the car insurance policy.

You or they will have to pay for any damage caused to your vehicle should it be involved in an accident while they are driving, though, as the cover provided in these circumstances is normally third-party only.

Who can I add as a named driver?
Adding a named driver is not limited to a family member or partner. Most drivers can be added, except people who have already been banned from driving and, in some cases, very young drivers with little experience.

However, it should be remembered that if you add another motorist as named driver on your policy, you do run the risk of losing your no-claims discount an incident which is no fault of your own.

How do I know if my premium is likely to rise or fall?
If you are a parent thinking of adding your young son or daughter as an additional driver, it is worth knowing that the chances of your premium increasing - probably dramatically are high.

This is because less experienced drivers are viewed as higher risk by insurers due to the fact that they tend to be involved in more accidents.

Ways to reduce the impact include limiting the times that the young person can take the car out. You could, for example, keep your premiums down by restricting their driving to school holidays or daylight hours.

If you are a young driver, however, adding a parent on to your insurance policy could actually reduce your premium because having an older driver at the wheel from time to time lowers the insurer's overall risk.

What's more, if you are added to your mother or father's policy, you may be able to build up your own no-claims discounts.

When the time comes for you to take out a policy of your own, this should help you to get covered for less as long as you do not have an accident of course!

Couples can also reduce their premiums by adding their spouse or partner to their policy. The reason why this often brings the cost down is that if the annual mileage is being done by two people, the risk is lower than if it is just one person driving the car the entire time.

Is there anything else I need to know?
As insurers charge young drivers such high premiums research from MoneySupermarket shows that the average 18-year-old pays well over 1000 a year some parents have chosen to insure a child's car in their name before adding the youngster as a named driver.

However, while this practice, known as 'fronting', can cut costs, it is in fact illegal and could lead to any claims being rejected.

Peter Harrison, a car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: 'It is deeply worrying how many people are taking the risk by 'fronting' on their car insurance, especially as this practice is illegal and will be classified as fraud by an insurer.

'Any motorist falsely claiming to be the main driver of a vehicle is committing fraud, and taking a serious risk. Despite the attraction of saving money in the short term there will be serious repercussions if they were caught as their insurance will be invalidated.

'Further ramifications could include the younger driver ending up in court being charged with driving without insurance.'

This article has been researched and written by whatcar.com's car insurance partner, MoneySupermarket