Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2020

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What You Should Know

    • A new drier may find that it is actually over $1,000 cheaper to add their mom to their auto insurance policy as an additional driver.
    • You are required to list every driver in the household on your auto insurance – even if they have no plans to drive your car.
    • If you’re found guilty of committing insurance fraud, you may lose driving privileges, have to pay fines, and even serve jail time.

A scenario: You’re 19 years old and buying your first car this spring.  You’ll be the registered owner (of title, lien, etc.) and will also be insuring it with you as the main driver. Adding your parents to your car insurance could be a good idea.

You may find that it is actually over $1,000 cheaper adding mom to your auto insurance policy as an additional driver.  But she won’t actually be driving the car, and her license may not even be valid anymore. Can you put your parents on your car insurance?

Could you get in trouble with doing this?  Is there any way they can find out your mom isn’t actually driving?

This one is complicated. What you’re doing could either be completely legal – or totally fraudulent.

In the proper circumstances, you can find great insurance rates adding mom to your auto insurance.

Whether you’re combining insurance policies or adding a driver to yours, don’t pay more than you have to. Get the cheapest rates for you and those in your household. Enter your ZIP code and get FREE insurance quotes adding mom to your auto insurance.

Same Auto Insurance Policy Drivers Must Live at the Same Address

Can i add someone to my car insurance that doesn’t live with me? First, it depends on whether you actually live with your mom or not, and this changes everything.

Can I put my mom on my insurance?

If you do live with your mom, then you are actually required to list your mom on your auto insurance policy. You are required to list every driver in the household on your auto insurance – even if they have no plans to drive your car. She should be added to your insurance policy as a named driver or secondary driver. In fact, you may be required to add her as a named driver.

If there’s an emergency situation (say, if you’re unable to drive your car due to an injury), then your mom may need to drive your vehicle. That’s why you need to list every driver in your household. If adding your mom to your auto insurance lowers your auto insurance by $1,000, then congratulations. You’ve just saved an enormous amount on auto insurance.

Can you put your mother on your insurance if you do not live together? 

If you do not live with your mom, then you could be committing auto insurance fraud – especially if your mom has no plans to ever drive your vehicle (or cannot legally drive). If you are planning to add her as a named driver purely to save money on auto insurance, then no, you cannot add your mom as a secondary driver and you could be committing insurance fraud.

Can i be on my parents’ car insurance if the car is in my name? No, if the car is registered in your name, then you need your own insurance policy, even if you are still living at home.

If you’re found guilty of committing insurance fraud, you may lose driving privileges, have to pay fines, and even serve jail time. They take it pretty seriously, as the Insurance Research Council notes that insurance fraud costs $7.7 billion a year.

If you are living with your mother, then yes, by all means, you should add her to your insurance policy.  The reason you should add her is that you want to be able to both have access to your vehicle at all times (in case of an emergency).  If you don’t, then she can never legally use your car.

So, yes, add your mother to your list of drivers.  She is entitled to be on your policy.  It’s not the insurance company’s job to decide who does and does not drive your car.

And let’s not forget your dad. Adding parents to car insurance, mom and/or dad, can save you money.

(Note – If you don’t live with her, on the other hand, you are playing with fire.  That is considered fraud. If you are in an accident, they can deny your claim.)

It totally depends on your policy and the terms and conditions. It would be better if you can discuss it with them. The only issue with the new driver being added to insurance as a named driver is that they will not accumulate any claims discount.

You may be eligible for multi-driver or multi-vehicle discounts. The table below shows the availability of these discounts with major insurers.

Multi-Vehicle and Multi-Driver Auto Insurance Discounts by Company
CompaniesMultiple Drivers Discounts OfferedMultiple Vehicles Discounts Offered
21st CenturyNoYes- n/a
AAANoYes- n/a
AllstateNoNo
American FamilyNoYes- n/a
AmeripriseNoYes- n/a
AmicaNoYes- 15%
Country FinancialNoYes- 15%
EsuranceNoYes- n/a
FarmersNoYes- n/a
GeicoNoYes- 25%
Liberty MutualNoYes- 10%
NationwideNoYes- 20%
ProgressiveNoYes- 10%
Safe AutoNoYes- 15%
SafecoNoYes- 15%
State FarmNoYes- 20%
The GeneralNoYes- 15%
The HanoverNoYes- 5%
TravelersNoYes- 8%
USAANoYes- n/a
The HartfordYes- 5%Yes- 5%
MetLifeYes- n/aYes- n/a
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As you can see, you can save about 5 percent with multiple drivers or 25 percent with multiple vehicles. But your rates are determined by many factors, as well. It comes down to your individual driver information.

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The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Driver Insurance

Being listed as a primary driver and a secondary driver on auto insurance is an important distinction. Auto insurance companies care very much when a primary driver is actually listed as a secondary driver.

Let’s say you want to save a lot of money on auto insurance. You list your elderly mom as the primary driver on your auto insurance policy even though you’re the main driver. This is a serious problem that could lead to enormous implications: if you get into an accident and your auto insurance discovers you are the primary driver of the vehicle, even though your mom is listed as the primary driver, then your auto insurance company will refuse to pay the claim.

To determine who the primary driver is, your insurance company may even check your driving history to see if you’ve been using the car more than, say, 3 or 4 nights a week.

In your situation, where you’re listing your mom as a secondary driver because you live at home, you should not face a similar issue with your claim. You’re listed as the primary driver of the vehicle because you are the primary driver.

Your mom is listed as the secondary driver because she’s at the same address and could feasibly drive the car in an emergency situation. In this situation, you and your mom should have no trouble getting a claim paid, assuming you get into an accident and you’re listed as the primary driver.

This video touches on adding a second driver to our auto insurance policy.

Of course, things change if your mom is listed as the secondary driver and does not live at the same address as you.

Is it normal for auto insurance policies to go down with another person?

In many cases, auto insurance rates will rise significantly when adding a secondary driver. Let’s say you live at the same address as your brother, for example, and your brother has three DUIs on his driving record. In this situation, our auto insurance rates might triple in price by adding your brother as a secondary driver.

In other cases, auto insurance rates may drop when adding a secondary driver. However, a drop of $1,000 or more – like the drop you experienced here – is definitely rare for most drivers.

However, you’re not like most drivers! As a 19-year-old, you’re probably paying some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country (some 19-year-old drivers pay $4,000 or more for auto insurance every year). Given that, a drop of $1,000 after adding a safe secondary driver is certainly possible – although it’s still rare.

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Can a driver with an expired license be on my auto insurance policy?

What about the expired license? This may not matter as much as you think. Auto insurance companies may require you to list every adult driver in the household even if they do not have an active license.

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Can I be added to my parents’ auto insurance?

You can be added to your parents’ car insurance policy, as long as you live in the same household and your vehicle has their name on it. In fact, students can even remain on their parents’ policy when they don’t live in the same house. That’s one of the few exceptions.

Can I add a car to my insurance that is not in my name?

The easiest way to add a car that’s not in your name to your policy is to add the owner of the vehicle to your insurance policy as an additional insured driver.

We hope we’ve answered your question: “Can you put your parents on your car insurance?” Check with your insurance agent if you still have questions such as:

      • Can you add a non relative to your car insurance?
      • Can i add my sister to my car insurance?
      • Can I have car insurance for additional drivers at a different address?

You can save with multiple drivers and find affordable auto insurance adding mom to your auto insurance. We can help you find the best rates. Enter your ZIP code and get FREE quotes from multiple insurance companies.