Most people don’t think much about whose name their insurance is in. They assume that the insurance can be in one person’s name, but anyone in the household has the same rights as far as the policy is concerned. This belief is far from the truth.

Being the named insured gives certain rights to that person or persons alone. Only the named insured is authorized to make changes to the policy. Many people have their child or significant other call in to add themselves and/or their car to the policy, but your agent really cannot make that change without your permission. People other that the named insureds are not allowed to obtain coverage for themselves at your expense, and your agent is protecting your rights by requiring that you give permission to add them.

A word of caution here, be very careful who you allow to be a named insured on your policy. Obviously your spouse, or even your child is not a problem, but adding a significant other can be. In the event of any break up or divorce, it is sometimes very difficult to get one named insured to agree to being removed from the policy, even if they have other insurance already, and have no intention of helping you pay the price for them being on your policy. Sometimes breakups are ugly, and one or the other named insureds want to hurt the other. In this event, it is possible that your agent can split the policy, thereby removing the other vehicle, but still cannot remove the named insured without their permission. So, think before you add, as named insured, someone who is not related to you.

Another right that belongs to the named insured only is the right to give someone permission to use the vehicle. While most people would not prosecute their child’s friend for driving with permission of the child, it could happen. Children have no authority to allow their friends to drive, and this is a great way to stop this from happening. Simply explain it to the child, and most will not put their friend in danger of a lawsuit. And it gives you greater control of what is going on in the car with your teen, even when you can’t be there.

The rights of the named insured are not something your agent is just being difficult about. Your agent is standing up for you the named insured. You are the one paying the premiums, and therefore you are the one in control, but remember that when there is a second named insured, your agent is responsible to both, so they will act in the best interests of both. It is required by law.

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