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What is secondary driver car insurance?

When you insure a vehicle that’s leased or owned under your name, you are by default the “primary driver.” Your insurer will use your personal information and driving history to determine your insurance premium and coverage. But what happens when you’re not the only one driving your car?

If there is a person who uses your car on a regular basis, you must add them to your policy. If your vehicle is involved in an accident while an occasional driver is behind the wheel, your claim may be denied if you haven’t listed the driver on your car insurance policy.

Who is a secondary driver?

An occasional driver is anyone who uses your car on a regular basis. This may be a spouse, child or roommate with regular access to your car.

An occasional driver doesn’t need to use the car on a daily or even weekly basis to be included under the coverage of your auto insurance policy. Any person who you anticipate will use your vehicle consistently, even if only occasionally, must be included.

What does secondary driver insurance cover?

Secondary driver car insurance gives the listed driver(s) the same coverage as the policyholder. This means the coverage in your policy will automatically cover the secondary driver when they’re using your vehicle.

Do I need secondary driver insurance?

While getting occasional driver insurance may increase your overall car insurance premium, it will also help you avoid denied claims if a secondary driver is involved in an accident.

If your insurance provider determines that a driver other than the primary driver routinely uses your vehicle, they have grounds to deny a claim if that driver is behind the wheel when the car is damaged, or causes injury to a third party.

Secondary driver insurance in Ontario

In Ontario, anyone residing in your home with a valid G2/G driver’s license can be added to your policy as a secondary driver. This rule applies even if they own a car and are listed as the primary driver on their personal car insurance policy.

The cost of adding a secondary driver to your policy

Adding a secondary driver to your policy will increase your car insurance premium. It is important to remember that the primary driver’s record will still have a bigger bearing on the premium, as compared to the secondary driver’s driving history.

When you add an experienced driver with a good driving record, it won’t increase your car insurance premium by much. However, a teen driver, new driver, or a reckless driver will be seen as a risky addition under your policy and can significantly add to your overall premium.

The insurance company will need the secondary driver’s personal information to calculate the added cost. This includes the following information:

  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Tickets and fines ­
  • History as an insured driver

How to save money when adding a secondary driver to your car insurance policy

Adding an occasional driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive, especially if you are adding multiple drivers. Here are some tips that will help you save money when adding a secondary driver to your car insurance policy.

1. Compare secondary driver quotes: Comparing quotes will allow you to secure the best deal and save money. On RATESDOTCA, you can instantly compare the best secondary driver car insurance quotes from Canada’s top insurers within minutes.

2. Be careful who you add: Consider the kind of driver you are adding to your policy. Are they a high-risk driver? How is their driving history? A reckless driver can result in a costly premium.

3. Ask important questions: Ensure you know who qualifies as a secondary driver, and what including them as part of your car insurance policy means for your premium. If you’re not clear, or if you want to add or remove an occasional driver, be sure to consult your insurance company.

Frequently asked questions

Here’s everything you need to know about having a secondary driver under your car insurance policy.

Where can I buy secondary driver insurance in Canada?

If you have an existing car insurance policy, you can add a secondary driver by contacting your insurer.

When choosing a new policy, you can add a secondary driver to your policy as part of your application.

Will having a secondary driver increase my car insurance premium?

Yes, usually when you add a secondary driver to your car insurance policy you can expect your premium to increase. The secondary driver’s driving history and risk potential will determine how big or small the added cost will be. Please keep in mind, some companies do not charge to add an occasional/secondary driver depending on their age/driving record

If your secondary driver is a low-risk addition to your policy the increase will be relatively small. A high-risk driver, on the other hand, will cause your premium to increase by a larger amount.

Can you remove an occasional driver from your car insurance policy?

Yes. Contact your insurer and submit the required documents to change your coverage. If the secondary driver is not using your vehicle, removing them from your policy will decrease your insurance premium.

Does a G1 driver need to be listed as an occasional driver?

No, you don’t have to list a G1 driver who is using your car to learn how to drive. The driver should be added to your policy once they get their G2 or G driver’s license.

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