Co-owner car insurance tips

December 22, 2014

Having a co-owner on a vehicle can make buying a car much more affordable, but it can also make your car insurance much more expensive. Here are some tips to help find out if it's worth it for you.

Co-owner car insurance tips

Co-ownership can be a good option when you:

  • Want to share a car with a friend, relative or colleague
  • Wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford buying a car on your own
  • Don’t need a car on a regular basis and want to share the driving and the costs

While it is easy to set up insurance for co-owners, car insurance companies will assess the risk that each owner represents individually when calculating quotes and premiums.

5 things to know about car insurance coverage with a co-owner:

  1. Get separate quotes first. Start by you and your partner getting separate quotes. Then, get one for both of you together to see how they compare. You can usually get a quote easily online, or call your insurance broker to get one over the phone.
  2. Age and experience matter. Depending on the age and driving experience of your co-owner, your insurance premiums could be high regardless of whether or not you are a good driver. For example, if you are a parent buying a car with or for your child, the child’s driving record won’t matter too much because they will already be considered high risk due to their age and lack of driving experience.
  3. You’re only as good as your co-owner. If you have a good record, but your co-owner has a bad driving record, that’s all the insurance company is going to care about. You will pay higher premiums for your co-owner's bad driving record. The only way around this is to get an exclusion on your policy, which guarantees you will be the only driver and your co-owner will not drive the car. If the co-owner breaks the rules and gets in an accident, you will not be covered.
  4. When and where you drive are factors. If one person drives the vehicle during the week and the other owner drives it only on the weekends and at night, the risk will be different. For example, a driver who is on the road more during rush hour may have a higher premium than the other owner.
  5. Consider having one driver. Chances are this won’t be a viable option for many co-owners, as the whole point of co-owning a car is that two people can use it. However, if you can assign one owner as the sole driver and that person has a good driving record, your premiums will be much lower.
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