When you purchase auto insurance, the specifics of the car you drive will have the most impact on the rates you will have to pay. During the application process, the insurance company will want to know who will be driving the vehicle, because that makes a difference as well, but it is the car, not the person that is the first consideration.
If car insurance was based on the person instead of the car, each individual who drove the car would have to have their own auto insurance policy for that car. Since insurance companies expect that all legal drivers in the household will use the vehicle at one time or another, insuring the vehicle and listing the approved drivers is a much less complicated, as well as being more economical, way to insure the vehicle.
The insurance company will want to know the names and ages of everyone in your household. Additionally, you will be asked for any additional names of people outside of your household who may drive the car on occasion. For example, if your cousin down the road borrows the car once or twice a week, the insurance company will want to know her name and driver license number so that she can be added to the coverage.
If you have unlicensed drivers in your household, or someone who has a suspended or revoked driver’s license, the insurance company you buy from will want that information as well. In order to protect their own best interests, insurance companies routinely mark unlicensed drivers as being excluded from coverage.
By listing the approved and excluded drivers in the policy, the insurance company is able to control the risks involved with insuring your car. If you later need to loan the car to someone not on the policy, you can contact your insurance company and have that person temporarily added to the coverage. In effect, both the car and the drivers of it are insured by the policy. The people are listed as operators of the car, but it is the car itself that is being insured.