As you know, the decision to have your aging parent move in with you is one that will impact many facets of your life. However, one area you might have looked over is your auto insurance. The moment you have another driving adult move into your home, it's possible that the structure of your auto insurance policy might change. Learn how this household adjustment can affect your policy and what you should do.
States impose different guidelines on auto coverage, including ownership guidelines. As part of an ownership guideline, a vehicle can only be insured under a policy in the same name as the registered owner. For this reason, if your parent has a vehicle and you had planned to add their vehicle to your policy if you live in one of these states and your name is not on the car, you can't. In this instance, you and your parent would need to research coverage in their name to ensure the vehicle meets the state requirements.
On the other hand, if your parent does not have a vehicle in their name, don't assume they can drive your vehicle with automatic coverage. Typically, polices only apply automatic protection to the legal spouse of the policyholder. To keep your vehicle and your parent protected while operating your vehicle, you would need to add him or her to your existing policy as an additional driver.
It's important not to overlook the fact that as people age, their awareness behind the wheel and overall safety on the road can start to decline. Take a look at your parent's driving history of the last few years, especially if the reason for the move is related to their health, and look for red flags.
If your loved one has a condition that might increase their risk of an accident, you should first determine if he or she should stop driving in the first place. While it might add to your already full to-do-list, if it keeps them safe, this option is best.
If your parent can still drive, at the very least you should consider increasing the amount of liability coverage they cover above the state minimum to ensure adequate coverage in the event of an accident.
If you don't know exactly how you should move forward — don't worry. An insurance professional can assess your family's situation and help you determine the best coverage option for all your needs and budget.