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Can I Be On My Parents' Car Insurance if the Car Is in My Name?

You can stay on your parents’ car insurance if your parents own or co-own your car or if you live with them. Coverage will still extend if you bring your car while dorming at college. However, insurers may require you to purchase a separate auto policy if you are the sole owner listed on your car’s title — even if you live together.

Can You Remain on Your Parents’ Car Insurance?

If your parents own or co-own your car, you are required to live with your parents to remain on their auto insurance policy. One exception is if you’re attending college and moving into a dorm for the semester. Whether you leave your car at home or bring it with you to campus, insurance companies will generally allow you to remain insured under your parents’ policy.

What if the Car Is in Your Name?

If you are the sole owner listed on your car’s title, then remaining on your parents’ car insurance policy may or may not be possible, depending on your state and auto insurance company. Insurers may require that the sole name registered to the car match the name on the auto policy. Your insurance agent should have a definite answer as to whether you can remain on your parents’ policy, based on your policy and location.

If your parents own or co-own your car, you are required to live with your parents to remain on their auto insurance policy.

Keep in mind that your name may still be listed on your parents’ policy if you live with them but occasionally drive their car, even if you have your own auto policy.

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When You Can and Can’t Be on Your Parents’ Car Insurance

Generally, if you are the sole owner of your car and your parents’ address is no longer your primary residence, you need to buy your own auto insurance policy. We’ve compiled several scenarios below and whether you would qualify to stay on your parents’ auto insurance.

Scenario

Can You Stay on Your Parent’s Car Insurance?

Your parents are the sole owners of your car and you live with them.

Yes

You and your parents are listed co-owners on your car and you live with them.

Yes

Your parents own or co-own your car and you temporarily moved into a college dorm for the school semester.

Yes

You are the sole owner of your car and move out of your parents’ house.

No

You are the sole owner of your car and move into a college dorm.

No

If you are the sole owner listed on your car’s title, remaining on your parents’ car insurance policy may or may not be possible, depending on your state and auto insurance company.

Is It Cheaper To Stay on Your Parents’ Car Insurance Plan?

Staying on your parents’ policy is generally the cheapest way to get auto coverage. If you buy your own policy, you may lose out on a multi-car discount and face higher premiums for being young and having a low credit score or insufficient driving and credit history.

Many car insurance companies offer a discount for insuring multiple vehicles under one policy. A multi-car discount helps policyholders save money on car insurance when they insure all household vehicles under one policy.

Younger drivers are less likely to have good credit. In some states, insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores as a rating factor when calculating auto insurance premiums. Unfortunately, this penalizes younger drivers who likely have lower credit scores because they’re still working on or haven’t started building their credit.

Drivers under age 25 typically pay higher insurance rates because they are more likely to get into an accident due to less driving experience. The Insurance Information Institute analyzed fatal accidents across several age groups and found that drivers up to age 20 had the highest involvement in fatal accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers in each group. If you buy your own policy, you lose out on the savings opportunities noted above.

Age Group

% of Licensed Drivers

Involvement Rate in Fatal Accidents*

16 to 20

5%

39%

21 to 24

6%

35%

25 to 34

18%

30%

35 to 44

17%

24%

45 to 54

17%

21%

55 to 64

17%

19%

65 to 74

13%

14%

75 and older

8%

16%

*Per 100,000 licensed drivers in each age group

If you are the sole owner of your car and your parents’ address is no longer your primary residence, you need to buy your own auto insurance policy.

Tips To Reduce Your Parents’ Auto Policy Costs

Staying on your parent's car insurance policy can increase their premiums — especially if you’re a younger driver. The following tips can help keep costs as low as possible.

  • Ask about a good student discount: Translate your good grades into savings on your car insurance premium by maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Ask about a distant student discount: If you’re dorming at college for the semester and leave your car at home, you may qualify for a premium discount because your car is seeing less usage.
  • Maintain a clean driving record: A driving history free of recent accidents and moving violations is the best way to keep your premiums as low as possible. Your insurance company may offer a good driver discount by maintaining a clean driving record for several years.
  • Take a defensive driving course: Complete a defensive driving course that refreshes your memory on safe driving techniques and your insurance company may offer a discount.
  • Purchase accident forgiveness: Purchasing accident forgiveness will forgive the accident surcharge applied after your first at-fault accident. The savings from dismissing the surcharge will likely outweigh the cost of the accident forgiveness benefit to your policy.
  • Switch to a pay-per-mile policy: If you’re a remote worker or taking online classes, you may be considered a low-mileage driver and may save by switching to a pay-per-mile policy.
  • Consider buying your own policy if you have a poor driving history: If you have multiple at-fault accidents and moving violations but your parents have clean driving records, your parents’ premiums may increase unfairly if they continue insuring your vehicle. If you do not want your driving history driving up their car insurance costs, consider getting listed as an excluded driver on your parents’ policy and buying your own policy.

Do You Have To Buy Your Own Car Insurance Policy?

The general rule of thumb is that if you solely own the car, then you will need to buy a separate auto policy. However, exceptions are possible and you should ask your insurance agent if your car can be insured under your parent's auto insurance. As mentioned, this is ideal if you still live with your parents because you can save with a multi-policy discount and use your parents’ superior credit score to qualify for a lower rate.

There is typically no age limit for how long you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy.

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Pros and Cons of Staying on Your Parents’ Auto Insurance Policy

Pros

Cons

Parents may qualify for multi-policy and loyalty discounts

Adding a teenage driver can raise your parents’ auto insurance costs considerably

Coverage still applies if you’re dorming at college

 

Receive a discount if you’re dorming at college and leave your car at home

 

Pros Explained

  • Parents may qualify for multi-car and loyalty discounts: Adding your car to your parents’ auto policy can qualify your parents for a multi-car discount — savings otherwise lost if you purchased your own insurance policy.
  • Coverage still applies if you’re dorming at college: If you’re dorming at college and bring your car with you, you are still covered so long as your parents’ home is still your primary residence.
  • Receive a discount if you’re dorming at college and leave your car at home: If you opt to leave your car at home while dorming at college, you may qualify for a distant student discount since your car will pose a smaller risk with its limited use.

Cons Explained

  • Adding a teenage driver can raise your parents’ auto insurance costs considerably: Although you’re saving on car insurance, staying on your parents’ policy — especially if you’re under 25 — may significantly increase your parents’ premiums.

FAQs

Can my parents be on my car insurance?

If you are the co-owner of your parents’ vehicles and live in the same household, then you can usually add them to your auto policy without issues.

Is there an age limit to being on your parents’ car insurance?

There is typically no age limit for how long you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy.

How does car insurance work with divorced parents?

If the child has two primary residences throughout the year, they will typically be added to both parents’ auto policies. Situations involving divorce and two primary residences can be tricky, so consult your insurance agent for more information.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are the only listed owner on your car’s title or move out, you may need to buy your own car insurance policy.
  • Insurance companies generally allow drivers to stay on their parents’ auto insurance policy if their parents are co-owners of their vehicle and they live in the same household.
  • Staying insured under your parents’ policy is typically cheaper for younger drivers because they may face higher rates for less driving experience and having a low or insufficient credit history.

Whether it’s for yourself or your parents, shopping around pays off. SmartFinancial’s FREE car insurance comparison tool lets you compare insurance rates and coverage from multiple insurers within minutes. If you’re ready to get matched with a policy that meets your coverage needs and budget, enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive your car insurance quotes.

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