What Is A “Named Insured”?

Your auto insurance policy is sprinkled with confusing industry jargon. For example, when you look at your policy’s declarations page, you’ll notice that it refers to the “named insured.” But who does that refer to? Is the term interchangeable with “listed insured?”

A named insured is basically the person who owns the car insurance policy; it’s the one who pays the monthly premium, enjoys the coverage protection that it provides, and has to authorize any changes made to the policy. In many cases, the named insured is the person whose name is on the vehicle’s title. In the event of an accident, they’ll be the one who works with the insurance agent, and it’s their name that will be on claim checks.

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Having More Than One Named Insured on a Policy

Generally speaking, only one or two people can be the named insureds on a policy. This is usually the case if the insureds are married or are both listed on a vehicle’s title. If a vehicle is titled to three or more people, then two people will be listed as the named insureds and the others would be referred to as additional named insureds.

Named Insured vs. Listed Driver

The named insured is the owner of the auto insurance policy, but they’re not the only one covered by it. Your policy may also outline specific drivers, which are usually referred to as “listed drivers,” who are also covered by the policy. However, listed drivers don’t have the same authority as the named insured. They can’t make changes to the auto insurance policy, and in the event of an accident, they can’t file a claim and they don’t have a say in the claims process. Listed drivers can be added to or removed from an auto insurance policy at the named insured’s discretion (as long as state laws or the insurance provider doesn’t prevent them from doing so).

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Making Changes to Your Auto Insurance Policy

The named insured is the only one who can make changes to an auto insurance policy, but what if there are two named insureds and one needs to be removed?

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important that a driver knows when they are being removed from an auto insurance policy. For this reason, it’s impossible to remove a named insured from a policy without their knowledge and consent. That person must be covered by a new auto insurance policy before they can be removed from the existing one.

Knowing who is listed on your policy as a named insured as well as who are the listed drivers is an important part of understanding your policy and its coverage limits. It can also help you avoid confusion and frustration if you need to file a claim with your insurer. Your auto insurance agent can help you review your policy to ensure that you fully understand your coverage.

Related Articles:

Auto Insurance and the “Excluded Driver”

Updating an Auto Insurance Policy: When and How

The Cost of Adding a Driver to Your Auto Insurance Policy

Why Every Household Driver Should Be On Your Auto Insurance Policy

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DISCLAIMER: It is important to note that the information contained herein is made general for the purpose of explanation.  You should consult your policy for exclusions or other language that may alter your policy.

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