Adding Someone to Car Insurance Temporarily

Written By Scott Kessman
Last updated October 8, 2021

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October 8, 2021

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Understanding the different rules and regulations pertaining to your car insurance policy can be confusing. When you first set up a car insurance policy, you are instructed to add all the drivers to the policy that will potentially be driving the car. However, on some occasions, there may be someone that will only be driving the car for a short period of time. These situations have many people wondering, “Is adding someone to car insurance temporarily possible?”


Everyone is aware that someone with one accident or more on their record will tend to pay higher car insurance rates. In families where more than one driver is on a car insurance policy, this can mean higher rates. If even one driver in a family has been at fault in an accident, it can increase rates for the whole policy.

Age Affects Cost

Age can also be a determining factor in the cost of your monthly car insurance premiums. As an adult with a clean driving record, you will likely have good rates. But you may have children that are old enough to drive but don’t have their own car or car insurance policy. If you want to add them to your own policy as a secondary operator, your rates may increase. That’s because car insurance companies consider younger, less experienced drivers more of a risk.

Risk of Not Including Children on Policy

Many parents prefer to keep their rates as low as possible, of course. And so, they often don’t include their children on their car insurance policies. But this is a big mistake. Even if your child will only be driving your car once in a while, excluding them from the policy could have dire financial consequences.

There are other situations where you will loan your car to a friend or family member for a short period of time. This may seem like a friendly and harmless gesture. But what if they get in an accident while driving your car? If they were not on your car insurance policy, it could mean much higher insurance policy premiums for many years as a result.

To address the above situations and many others, you can add someone to car insurance temporarily. Doing so is a very wise decision because it covers both you and them in the event of an unfortunate accident. And, it doesn’t really cost as much as you might think.

Adding someone to car insurance temporarily is also easy to do. Many car insurance company websites enable this option online. And, you can also simply call your insurance agent and provide them with the temporary driver’s details.

The information you’ll need to provide typically includes:

  • Name
  • Birth Date
  • License ID Number
  • Social Security number
  • How long they’ve had their driver’s license?
  • Have they had any traffic tickets or accidents in the past few years?

Car insurance companies consider drivers other than the main policyholder as secondary operators or permissive drivers. The classification depends on how frequently the other driver will be using the car.

Secondary Operator

For example, your spouse or another family that uses the car on a regular basis should be added as a secondary operator, and not necessarily a temporary driver. However, if it is a family member that is just visiting for a few weeks, you can add them as a temporary driver. This is known as a permissive driver — via the policy, you are giving this person legal permission to use your car.

One of the biggest and most important reasons for adding someone to car insurance temporarily is the risk of an accident. Of course, no one sets out driving thinking they will get in an accident. And many policyholders don’t feel it is worth the hassle or that an accident won’t happen. But the reality is, accidents do happen. And it is far better to ensure that all drivers of your car are covered.

Kids Home From College

You might also have children in college that are home for a few months. If they will be using your car on occasion while home, it’s another good reason to add them as a temporary driver. Occasional use of your car over a few months qualifies them to be a temporary driver. But doesn’t warrant them being added to the policy permanently. That would only make more sense if they lived with you permanently.

There can be some confusion about when to add a teen to your insurance policy. Even if someone is just learning to drive and not using the car so much. They should still be listed as a secondary driver, and not a temporary driver. As mentioned above, this will probably raise your monthly premiums a little. However, many insurance companies offer discount programs for teen drivers.

Adding someone to car insurance temporarily is not necessary if someone is just borrowing the car for a day. Use your judgment on how often someone is actually using your car. If someone is using the car even just once a week but on a weekly basis, then adding them as a temporary driver makes more sense.

You can also ask your insurance agent about the permissive user clause that is a part of your policy. The agent can provide you with more insight as to when you might want to add a temporary driver or not and why.

Rates will vary from company to company. And, believe it or not, your rate won’t always go up. Adding a driver with a very good driving record might actually help bring your monthly premium down a little. Either way, unless you are adding more than one temporary driver, the increase or decrease is usually not very significant, unless one of the drivers is a big risk.

In Conclusion

If you still aren’t sure about whether to add someone as temporary, secondary, or not at all, speak to your insurance agent. But, as a general rule of thumb, anybody living permanently within the household should be on the policy.

About the Author

Scott Kessman

I possess a strong 20-year background in marketing, digital marketing, and advertising. However, writing has always been a true passion of mine, and after working in corporate offices for many years, I turned my passion for writing into a full-time job. As a contract content writer for the last 12 years, I can craft engaging and informative content about a wide variety of subjects. I have also written and published two fantasy novels and a collection of short stories.

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