If you’re moving in with a friend or roommate, car insurance policies can get confusing. Although you’re not a formal household, auto insurers often want to know about anyone who could potentially drive your car to assess risk properly.
Find out when to add your roommate to your car insurance and other questions about car insurance for roommates below.
Should I add my roommate to my car insurance?
You should add your roommate as a driver on your car insurance policy if they have access to your keys and car.
Most insurance companies require you to add any drivers in the household to your policy to appropriately assess risk. Since your roommate could potentially drive your car, most insurers factor that into your insurance rates.
Adding your roommate as a driver on your car insurance isn’t the same as sharing a car insurance policy with them. You’ll still be fully responsible for your vehicle and premiums, but you’re giving the insurance company all the information they need to insure you properly.
Excluding Your Roommate as a Driver
Another option is to list your roommate as an excluded driver on your policy, meaning they’re specifically not covered to drive your car, even with permission. If your roommate is a high-risk driver, this can help keep your premiums low.
Rules for excluding drivers in your household vary based on where you live and what insurance company you use. Check with your insurer whenever your household changes to ensure your auto insurance policy fully covers you and your vehicle.
Can my roommate borrow my car?
Your roommate can borrow your car if your auto insurance policy lists them as an insured driver. If you exclude your roommate from your policy, they can’t borrow your car, even with permission. If they do, they are driving without insurance and can be held responsible for damages or injuries they cause while driving.
In some cases, another driver borrowing your car is covered under a permissive use clause. For instance, GEICO's permissive use policy states that another driver can borrow your car up to 12 times per year and still be considered a permissive driver.
You will want to check with your insurance company about the permissive use policy rather than making any assumptions.
Can roommates share car insurance?
When you move in with a new roommate, you may want to look into splitting a single car insurance policy instead of maintaining separate ones.
Depending on your location, driving record, and other factors, sharing car insurance with your roommate could save you money. You might qualify for multi-car discounts and other savings too.
If your roommate has a bad driving record, splitting a policy may cost you more. Compare car insurance quotes to figure out the best solution for you and your roommate.
Car Insurance for Roommates: The Bottom Line
Let your car insurance company know whenever you get a new roommate or your household changes somehow. Insurers need to know about all potential drivers to assess your risk appropriately.
Sometimes, sharing a car insurance policy with your roommate can save you and them money. Check with your insurance company to find the best rates for you.