What Does Excluded Driver Mean?

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What Does Excluded Driver Mean

An excluded driver on your car insurance policy refers to a specific person who is not covered to drive your insured vehicle. If an excluded driver borrows your car and gets into an accident, your insurance company will deny any claims related to that incident. Excluding high-risk drivers allows you to keep your premiums lower, but it means you have no coverage if they drive your car against the policy terms.

Ever feel lost in the world of car insurance jargon? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Buckle up because we’re going over what does an excluded driver mean on your car insurance policy and exactly why it matters.

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What is an excluded driver?

An excluded driver is someone who has been intentionally removed from your car insurance policy by name, meaning they are not covered by your insurance in the event of an accident while driving your vehicle. 

This exclusion is typically agreed upon by the policyholder and the insurance company, often due to the individual’s high-risk driving history or other factors that increase the likelihood of claims. 

If an excluded driver operates the insured vehicle and causes an accident, the insurance company will not cover the damages, leaving the financial responsibility to the policyholder.

Excluded vs. removed driver: What’s the difference? 

An excluded driver is someone explicitly listed on your insurance policy as not covered under any circumstances. This decision is usually made to avoid high premiums that would result from including a high-risk driver. 

The exclusion is formal and documented, meaning that if the excluded individual drives the vehicle and is involved in an accident, the insurance will not cover any claims arising from that incident.

A removed driver refers to someone who was once an active driver on the insurance policy but has been taken off, typically because they no longer use the insured vehicle (e.g., an adult child who has moved out). 

Unlike an excluded driver, a removed driver isn’t specifically barred from coverage; they are simply not listed because there’s no expectation they’ll drive the vehicle. 

If a removed driver uses the car, depending on the situation and the terms of the policy, coverage might still apply, unlike with an excluded driver.

Why would a driver be excluded?

Excluding a driver from your car insurance policy can be a strategic decision, primarily influenced by the desire to lower insurance costs. Here are some common reasons why a driver might be excluded.

High-risk profile

Insurance companies often consider the driving history of all drivers covered under a policy when setting premiums. Drivers with a history of traffic violations, accidents, or DUIs are deemed high-risk, leading to higher premiums. 

Excluding such drivers can keep insurance costs more manageable.

Young drivers

Young drivers, especially teenagers, are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. Including a young driver can significantly increase insurance premiums. Families might choose to exclude young drivers from their primary policy to avoid these higher costs, particularly if the young driver has their own vehicle and insurance.

Infrequent use

If someone has access to your vehicle but rarely drives it, you might consider excluding them to save on premiums. This is common in multi-car setups where not every family member uses each vehicle.

High insurance costs

In some cases, the cost of adding a particular driver to a policy may be prohibitive due to their driving record or other factors. Excluding this driver from the policy can prevent a steep rise in your insurance bills.

Excluding a driver is an important decision that should align with your needs for protection and cost-effectiveness. It’s important to weigh the potential savings against the risks of not having coverage for everyone who might drive your vehicle. In other words, if excluding a driver, it’s best to not let them drive your vehicle.

When should you exclude a driver? 

Excluding a driver from your car insurance policy should be considered carefully, especially in situations where their inclusion could significantly impact your financial liability and premium costs. Here are some scenarios where you might decide to exclude a driver.

1. History of DUI or DWI

If a driver has a history of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), their presence on your policy can drastically increase your insurance rates. Given the severe risk associated with such behaviors, excluding them can prevent premium hikes and reduce your liability.

2. Frequent at-fault accidents

A driver who frequently causes accidents represents a significant risk to insurance providers. If someone in your household has a history of at-fault accidents, excluding them from your policy might be a wise financial decision to keep your insurance costs in check.

3. High-risk driving behaviors

Aside from DUIs and accidents, other risky behaviors, such as repeated traffic violations (speeding tickets, running red lights), can also lead insurance companies to categorize a driver as high-risk. Excluding a driver with such a history can be beneficial.

4. Temporary or permanent changes in driving status

If a driver will not be using your vehicle for an extended period — perhaps due to a long-term stay abroad, incarceration, or a decision to stop driving — excluding them during this period could reduce your premiums without affecting your coverage needs.

Excluding a driver is a strategic choice to manage risk and insurance costs effectively. However, it is crucial to weigh the potential savings against the risk of having an uninsured driver operate your vehicle, as this could lead to severe financial consequences in the event of an accident.

How to exclude a driver from your policy 

Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about how to exclude a driver from your policy. 

Step 1: Contact your insurance provider or agent

Begin by reaching out to your insurance provider. You can usually do this by phone, through the insurer’s website, or by visiting an agency office in person. Explain that you wish to exclude a driver from your policy. They will guide you on the next steps based on their specific procedures.

During this step, you should also determine if excluding a specific driver will reduce your insurance costs. There’s no sense in doing so if it won’t save you money.

Step 2: Provide the driver’s information and reason for exclusion

You must provide detailed information about the driver you wish to exclude. This includes their full name, date of birth, and possibly driver’s license number. You will also need to explain why you want to exclude this person. Be prepared to discuss their driving history or other reasons impacting your decision.

Step 3: Sign any necessary paperwork or forms

Your insurance provider will likely require you to fill out and sign specific forms to make the exclusion official. These documents serve as your formal agreement with the insurer, detailing that the excluded individual will not be covered under your policy in any capacity. Make sure to read these forms carefully before signing to fully understand any implications or legal commitments.

Step 4: Confirm the driver has been officially excluded from your policy

After submitting all necessary documentation, follow up with your insurance provider to ensure that the exclusion has been processed correctly. It’s crucial to receive confirmation — typically in writing — that the driver is officially excluded. This confirmation helps protect you by verifying that the individual will not be covered in any claim related to your vehicle.

What happens if an excluded driver gets in an accident?

If an excluded driver gets into an accident while driving your vehicle, the consequences can be significant and costly. Here’s what typically happens.

No coverage from your insurer

The primary impact is that your auto insurance policy will not provide any coverage for the accident. This means that any damages to your vehicle, as well as any liability for damages or injuries caused to others, will not be covered by your insurance. 

The responsibility for all associated costs falls directly on you as the policyholder, or potentially on the excluded driver, depending on the circumstances.

Financial and legal consequences

Without insurance coverage, the financial burden of repairing or replacing your vehicle, as well as any medical bills or property damage claims from others involved in the accident, must be paid out of pocket. 

Additionally, if the damages or injuries are severe, both you and the excluded driver could face legal actions which could result in substantial legal fees and compensation payouts.

This situation underscores the importance of strictly adhering to the terms of your car insurance policy and ensuring that excluded drivers do not operate the vehicle under any circumstances. Doing so helps avoid substantial financial risks and legal complications.

Alternatives to excluding a driver

If you’re hesitant about excluding a driver from your car insurance policy due to the risks involved, there are alternatives that can help manage costs while maintaining coverage:

  • Increase deductibles: One way to manage higher premiums due to a high-risk driver is to increase your insurance deductible. This is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. By opting for a higher deductible, you can lower your monthly premium. However, this means you’ll need to cover more of the initial costs in case of an accident.
  • Separate policies: Another approach is to obtain a separate policy for the high-risk driver. This can isolate their risk from affecting your insurance rates. While the high-risk driver’s policy might be expensive, it won’t impact the premiums on your main policy, and it ensures that everyone has the necessary coverage.
  • Driver improvement programs: Encourage the high-risk driver to enroll in a certified driver improvement course. Many insurance companies offer discounts or lower rates for drivers who complete these programs, as they demonstrate an effort to improve their driving habits and reduce their risk level.

Navigating car insurance: Key takeaways on excluded drivers

Excluding a driver can lower costs but can also pose risks if they drive your car. Alternatives include raising deductibles, securing separate policies, or promoting driver improvement programs. Each option offers a balance between cost and coverage, tailored to individual needs and risks.


How does being an excluded driver affect my auto insurance coverage?

Being an excluded driver means the car insurance policy does not cover you for any vehicle you drive that has listed you as such. Any accidents or damages caused while driving will not be covered, placing financial liability directly on you or the policyholder.

Are there specific criteria for someone to be classified as an excluded driver?

Yes, specific criteria such as a poor driving record, history of accidents, or high-risk behavior can lead an insurance company to classify someone as an excluded driver. The policyholder can also request to exclude a driver to avoid high premiums.

Are there any restrictions on who can be listed as an excluded driver?

Generally, anyone who poses a significant risk of increasing insurance costs can be listed as an excluded driver. However, some states may have regulations that limit the ability to exclude certain drivers, such as spouses or minors living at home.

Can an excluded driver still drive my vehicle with my permission?

No, an excluded driver cannot legally drive your vehicle under any circumstances. Allowing an excluded driver to operate your vehicle can result in the denial of any claims and potential cancellation of your policy.

Can an excluded driver be added temporarily for a specific occasion or event?

Typically, excluded drivers cannot be temporarily added to a policy for specific occasions; exclusions are generally permanent for the duration of the policy term. Any necessary adjustments would require a formal change to the policy, subject to insurer approval.

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