Can Grandpa and Grandma drive our cars?

By Des Toups, Posted on 08 August 2014

I live in Florida with my father and mother-in-law. They have their own auto insurance for their vehicles, and my wife and I have insurance for our own vehicles (different companies). At times my in-laws use our minivan to take our kids out. If I exclude them from our policy and likewise on their part, would my insurance cover me in their vehicle, and theirs cover them in our vehicle? Would it be best to add them as drivers to our policy and likewise on their part?

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The short answer: Don’t exclude them. Don’t add them to your policy. You’re fine as is.

Yes, licensed drivers living under the same roof are usually considered when an insurance company calculates your premiums, except in two instances:

  • When the other drivers have an insured vehicle of their own
  • Or when the other drivers are specifically excluded from your policy

In your case, your in-laws should not be “listed” drivers on your policy because they have a car and policy of their own. Your insurance company may ask about the additional drivers that public records show at the same address, and you may have to provide proof that they are insured.

They should not affect your rates at all, and you should be able to lend them your car occasionally as permissive users. You should be able to drive theirs as well.

Permissive users are covered by your insurance when driving your car. If they hit something, you pay for any damage they do to other cars or to yours, and for any injuries they cause as well.

Only when your insurance is exhausted would your in-laws’ insurance step in.

If you excluded your in-laws from your policy, they would not be covered in any way by your insurance – but you would still be liable as owner of the car.

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Des Toups

Des Toups

Managing editor

Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.


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