Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • All of the drivers in your household should be listed on your car insurance policy
  • You do not have to include your wife if she does not drive
  • Do price comparisons to get the best premium for the combination of drivers you are insuring

There are plenty of common questions out there regarding car insurance, but one that always seems to come up is whether or not you and your spouse need to be listed on the insurance policy.

As the owner of a car insurance policy, if you get married, do you have to add your wife to that policy? The answer is not as simple as it may seem as there are a few factors that are going to be at play here to help you come to a conclusion.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to car insurance policies is that you want to have anyone who is a driver in your household listed on the policy. 

There are going to be exceptions to this rule, but that is what most car insurance industry professionals are going to advise you. What is the reason for this, though? Why is it that you want to have your wife and others living in your house on your car insurance policy?

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Does your wife drive?


The biggest question that you need to ask yourself in terms of whether or not you need to have your wife on your car insurance policy is whether or not she drives.

Does your wife have a car driver’s license? If she has a license does she actually drive a car? When the answer to these two questions is no, then they do not need to be added to your car insurance policy.

When you have a wife, though, that is going to be driving your car or other cars listed on the insurance policy, it is then that they absolutely have to be added to the policy.

They need to be listed as a driver so that the risk that they present to the insurer can be properly assessed and priced in the insurance premium.

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Potential for Misrepresentation

There is a potential here for what is known as misrepresentation on the part of the insured when it comes to failing to include your wife on your car insurance policy.

Say you had a wife and she did indeed drive the cars that you drive that are covered as part of your policy. Now assume that you did not have her on your policy and she was to get into a car accident.

The insurer has the right, in this case, to actually deny the coverage due to what is known as misrepresentation.

When you know that you have a wife who drives, but you fail to tell your car insurance company this, you are misrepresenting the true risk that they are covering.

This is a form of insurance fraud and is something that can result in coverage being denied right out of the gate.

Backdating Coverage and Premium


The above example can be rectified in some cases with an insurance company when they agree to backdate coverage, adding your wife as a driver on the policy.

In exchange for this, what the insurer may actually do is to increase the policy premium and have you pay what you would have paid should she had been insured all along.

When a car insurance provider calculates your premium, the risk that you and your wife present to them is going to factor into what the policy actually costs.

If your wife has a history of accidents, that is going to increase the premium versus if it is only covering you as a driver who may have a perfect record.

If you are married and your wife drives your car, chances are you should have her listed on your car insurance policy.

The test that you can do is to basically figure out who is living in your household and who drives your cars. If you have multiple drivers in your home, they should be on your policy.

Always shop around in the car insurance industry and do price comparisons so that you can get the best premium value possible for your slate of drivers on your policy. Compare today using our free tool below!