A Lapse of Insurance and What You Can Do

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A lapse of insurance can make a huge difference in the cost of your policy. The lapse of even just twenty-four hours can take your low-risk insurance policy and turn it into something astronomical. Your insurance company will likely tell you there is not much you can do other than wait out the six months paying the rate of a high-risk driver, and then they can move you back into the standard insurance platform. Sometimes they are right, but that is not always the case. Here is some of your potential recourse.

Quote a permissive user on your policy.

It is a misconception that each person on the policy must not have a lapse of coverage to qualify for the standard platform. Only one driver listed on the policy needs to have continuous coverage over the last six months to avoid the lapse of insurance surcharge. So if you call a new company and quote your insurance with a driver on your policy who has carried continuous coverage over the last six months, you could cut the cost of your policy down by significant margins.

Most states also calculate risk by "driver averaging." This means if the person you look to add has a lower risk rating then you do; then it reduces the cost of the policy to add that driver. Adding a driver to your policy also does not make them liable for anything you do behind the wheel.

You cannot add just anyone to your policy though. They must meet one of the following criteria.

1) They are listed on the title.

If someone is listed as a titled owner of the vehicle, not only can you add them, but your insurance company may require it. If they are on the title, then they too have an insurable interest in the vehicle.

2) They reside in your household.

Anyone who lives in your household may be added to your insurance policy. This could be parents, roommates, whatever the case may be.

3) They regularly operate your vehicle.

This is where things open up for those who live by themselves. Have a significant other? Let them drive your car once in a while and add them to your policy as a permissive user. This doesn't give them control over your policy; they can't make changes, it just means if they are driving they will be covered under your policy in the event they are involved in an accident.

When you consider quoting a policy with someone else, it is important to keep in mind their driving history, insurance history and even their credit can make an impact on the premium. However, if they do not have a lapse, and you both have good driving and insurance histories, adding them to your policy could save you a small fortune over that six-month policy term while you establish continuous coverage.

There are some misconceptions here.

1) This is not illegal. Quite the contrary, if someone falls into one of those three categories, your insurance company WANTS them listed on your insurance policy. Most companies will require it.

2) This only helps drivers who do not require a high-risk policy. If you have had a DUI in the last five years, or multiple accidents or tickets over the last three years, adding someone to your policy is not likely to help.

This does not affect the person you add to the policy. They do not become responsible for the bill if you do not pay it (unless they are a titled owner). They also do not need to make any changes to their insurance policy. They don't need to add their vehicle to your policy, and it doesn't affect their coverage in any negative way. The only coverage difference is in their liability, your coverage could help them if they are involved in an accident and they do not carry enough coverage for the claim.

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