Generally, if married, it is wise to have both a husband and wife listed as named insureds on your auto policy because, under some policies, there is broader coverage for named insureds than for other persons insured under the policy, such as non-spousal family members or other residents of the household. Similarly, if you co-habitate with another person, and regularly drive their vehicle, or if it is available for your regular use, you need to be a named insured on the vehicle’s policy, or you may not be covered.
Although a policy usually only has one or two named insureds, there can be a limitless number of “other insureds” under a policy. The language of the policy tells you who the other insureds are. Family members of a named insured are generally considered as insureds under the typical automobile insurance policy. There may be limitations, however, requiring that the family member be related by blood, marriage, or adoption and a resident of the same household as the named insured. Children temporarily away at college are usually covered under their parent’s policy. Unmarried cohabitants are usually not considered members of the same family, and thus, as noted above, should be added to the policy as a named insured if they will be using the vehicle to ensure that they will be covered. Parents with joint custody of children who split time between the homes of their divorced parents should, to be safe, add the child to their respective auto policies if they will be driving either parent’s car(s).
Coverage is also normally extended to anyone who uses an insured vehicle with the permission of a named insured as long as their operation of the vehicle is within the scope of the permission at the time of the accident.