My 23 year-old son just moved out and bought a car. His car
insurance rates are ridiculously high. Can I put him back on
my auto insurance as if he still lives at my house? His car
is in his name. I have excellent credit and a clean driving
record, so I get better rates.
This is a bad idea. Auto insurance companies don't act kindly to
those who give untruthful information in order to obtain cheaper
auto insurance rates. (See "
Address insurance cheaters
Purchasing insurance under your name could result in lower auto
insurance premiums for your son's car; however, placing your son's
car on your policy as if you owned the car and he lived in your
household would be a misrepresentation of facts.
There is even a term for insuring another person's car in your
name as if it's your own - fronting -- and it's illegal to do.
You're expected to give true and complete answers to your car
insurance company so that it can accurately access the risk you
present to them. From the information you provide, an auto
insurer decides if it wants to take on that amount of risk and if
so calculates the premium that would be appropriate. (See "
Yes, the insurer checks up on you
Omitting or misrepresenting information, specifically in your
situation about items like who owns the car, the primary driver and
the garaging address, and simply trying to add your son and his car
to your policy may help your son save costs -- but will hurt both
of you if the insurance company finds out.
For instance, if he were in an accident it would likely be found
out that he was the primary driver and owner of the vehicle and
lived outside your home. The cancellation of your policy (possibly
back to the effective date so that it's voided) and denial of
claims would then be likely.
The money your son saved by having his car on your policy would
be for naught since he would now be personally on the hook for the
And, because your policy is voided out, due to material
misrepresentation (a form of insurance fraud), it would be more
difficult to find low cost car insurance. Insurers will be
wary of you, believing you pose more of a risk, and thus charge you
more. A lot more.
State laws vary on penalties against those that have been found
to have misrepresented information in obtaining auto
insurance. It's possible that you could face charges of
insurance fraud and end up with fines or jail time.
Michigan's penalties for insurance fraud
include imprisonment of up to four years or a fine of up to $50,000
- but that is pretty extreme.
Your son's car insurance premium is more than yours because he
is young, doesn't have a long driving history, and has a short
credit history. There may be little he can do right now to
lower his rates, besides shop around for
affordable car insurance
and be diligent in asking for discounts that he's eligible for, but
in time his rates should come down.
Turning 25 will lower rates with most car insurance
companies. Also, keeping a clean driving record and building
a good credit score should help him to receive cheaper auto
insurance rates in the future.