Can I Add Someone to My Car Insurance Who Doesn’t Live With Me?

Last Updated on September 4, 2021

Auto insurance policies can be very pricey, but costs can be kept down by sharing an insurance policy or adding people to one policy rather than purchasing separate plans. Unlike health insurance policies, car insurance policies are generally limited by household. This means that, typically, those who reside under the same primary address and live in the same home can be listed under one insurance policy. But what happens if you need to list someone under your insurance who doesn’t live with you?

Many people run into situations where they need to insure a friend, neighbor, or family member who uses their vehicle but doesn’t live in the same home as them. For example, if you have children who live in a separate household or a family friend who sometimes borrows your car. In these situations, you might wonder if you can add a person to your policy if they don’t share your same address?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. Typically, those listed on your auto insurance policy need to share the same primary address. But there are exceptions to the rule.

Who Can I Add to My Insurance Policy?

Can I Add Someone to My Car Insurance Who Doesn’t Live With Me?It’s usually less expensive to add someone to an already existing insurance policy than it is to purchase a new, separate plan. This is a big reason why people want to list friends or family members who drive their vehicle under one policy, but it’s also one of the reasons why insurance companies don’t usually allow that to happen if you don’t live together.

Anyone who lives at the same address as you and uses your vehicle can be added to your policy, but those who don’t list your home as their primary address typically cannot. However, there are some times where there might be exceptions. For example, if you have elderly parents who regularly drive your vehicle but do not live with you, your insurance company might allow them to be on your policy.

This usually depends on the type of policy you have and the company that you are insured by. If you are shopping for auto insurance and you know that you will find yourself in this situation, make sure to ask the carrier if they will allow you to insure someone who doesn’t share your address.

Another common scenario is college students who don’t live with their parents throughout the school year. In this situation, you would be considered a dependent, and car insurance companies would allow you to remain on your parents’ car insurance. Also, many college students who live in dorms or student housing throughout the school year still list their parents address as their primary residence, so as long as their parent is also the registered owner of the vehicle, they can remain under the same insurance plan

Can I Insure a Child Who Doesn’t Live With Me?

This is yet another common scenario for many people, particularly parents who are no longer together and reside in different homes. It’s also common for older children who first move out of the family home to live on their own.

For a child who has moved out on their own and is living at their own residence, they usually will have to purchase their own insurance, since their primary address is now different from that of their parents.

For divorced parents or parents living separately, the parent with primary custody is typically responsible for listing the child on his or her policy. For those with joint custody, the parent who has the child the majority of the time should be the one to list them. In these types of situations, there can be a lot of gray areas, which is when it’s best to talk directly with your insurance company to make sure your child is covered in all circumstances.

Who Should I Insure on My Policy?

Obviously, anyone living in the same household with you who has a license and drives your vehicle should be insured under one policy. In some states, it’s required by law that you add any spouse, children, or siblings who live with you to your policy – even if they don’t drive. This also goes for roommates who live together or unmarried couples who drive each other’s vehicles (even if you have your own separate policies). However, there are circumstances where you may let someone borrow your car, but you don’t need to insure them.

If you have a neighbor, friend, or relative who occasionally borrows your vehicle, it isn’t always necessary to list them on your insurance because they’re usually covered under what’s called “Permissive Use”. This means a driver can drive your vehicle infrequently, typically for no more than a dozen trips. However, sometimes what constitutes permissive use can vary, so make sure to check your individual situation with your insurance carrier.

Car insurance companies don’t typically let you list those who don’t live with you under your policy. And although there might be some exceptions to this rule, don’t just assume that you can add whoever has access to your vehicle. If you unknowingly add someone to your policy who shouldn’t be listed, you could risk getting dropped by your insurer. So, it’s always important to check with your individual insurance carrier whether or not you are allowed to list someone.

Final Word – Can I Add Somebody to My Insurance That Doesn’t Live With Me?

Generally speaking, insurers do not allow policyholders to add people who do not live in the same household to their insurance policies. Those listed on your auto insurance policy need to share the same address as you. One exception to this rule is if you have a child who is a college student living-away-from-home who does not bring a car to school. They can remain on your policy as a distant student. Another exception is friends, relatives, or neighbors that infrequently drive your vehicle. You might be able to add them to your policy on a “permissive use” basis.

The good news is that car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. While you have to add all driving-age people living in your household to your auto insurance policy, you won’t have to worry about adding people to your insurance that don’t live with you. They will automatically be covered if they borrow your vehicle.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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