Secondary Driver Insurance Rules
If you purchase auto insurance and you are the only person listed on the policy, you are considered the primary driver. However, if you add another driver to the policy, they are considered secondary drivers. For instance, if your teen has just acquired their driving license, you may not buy them a car immediately. Similarly, your spouse or another dependent may use your car to run occasional errands such as picking the kids from school. In this case, it would be wise to list them as secondary drivers. This ensures that you are safeguarded from perils in case an accident occurs. However, listing secondary drivers on your policy is guided by various rules.
Who can be listed as a secondary driver?
Anyone who uses your car regularly should be listed as a secondary driver. This can be anyone such as a dependent, parents, a spouse, family members, a nanny, friends, neighbours, or persons residing in your household. If a person only uses your car once or twice in a year, for instance when they are on holiday, then it is not necessary to list them as secondary drivers. However, if your friend borrows your car regularly to run errands, they should be listed as secondary drivers. Adding a secondary driver to your policy is a great way to safeguard yourself against accidents.
How does secondary driver insurance work?
A policyholder can list anyone who uses their car as their secondary driver. However, they must be fully licensed. Also, roles should be properly assigned. A person who drives the primary driver’s car every day cannot be listed as the secondary driver. To add a secondary driver, visit your insurer with the driver’s info including the name, age, gender, occupation, and driving records.
What are the insurance cost implications of adding a secondary driver to your policy?
As we mentioned, adding a secondary driver to your insurance policy protects you in the event of an accident since both the primary and secondary drivers have the same coverage. However, do not be surprised if your insurer raises the cost of your auto insurance. Adding a secondary driver carries more risk compared to having only the primary driver on the policy. For instance, if you add your teen driver as a secondary driver, the cost of your insurance will rise. On the contrary, the cost of insurance may not rise significantly if you add your spouse as the secondary driver.
Here are factors your insurer will consider to determine your insurance cost:
- Age- The age of the secondary largely comes into play when determining the cost of your insurance. Adding a teenager or an older person may raise the cost of your insurance. This is because such persons are more likely to cause or be involved in accidents.
- Driving experience- Is the secondary driver an experienced driver? Ultimately, if you add someone who just acquired their driving license, the cost of your insurance will rise. However, if your friend holds a valid driving license and has years of driving experience, the cost of your insurance will be lower compared to less experienced drivers.
- Driving record- If the secondary driver has a bad driving record, you might want to reconsider adding them as a secondary driver. Adding a reckless driver who has a history of fines and tickets is an added risk to the insurer. To safeguard themselves, the only option is raising the cost of your insurance. In some cases, an insurance company may decline to list someone as a secondary driver, more so if their driving record is very poor.
- The history of the secondary driver as an insured driver- How many claims has the secondary driver made when they were insured? If the secondary driver made too many claims, this will increase the rate of your insurance.
How can you save on secondary driver insurance?
- Choose the secondary driver wisely- While adding the secondary may seem the best option, adding an inexperienced, young, or reckless driver can spike your insurance costs.
- Consult with your insurer on the insurance options available- A good insurance advisor will help devise ways to get the best value on your insurance policy.
- Shop around and compare quotes- Insurers have different pricing strategies. This also applies to coverage. Shop around for the best rates in the market. However, always compare the pricing with the coverage. Paying lower insurance on insufficient coverage is not a wise move.
- Ask for discounts- You can get significant discounts on secondary driver insurance especially if you add an experienced driver and also one who has a clean driving record. Always ensure to ask for discounts from your insurer.
Removing a secondary driver from your insurance
You can remove your secondary driver from your insurance anytime. This is a great move if you finally bought your teen a car or if you realized that the secondary driver is reckless. However, you need to fill the OPCF 28A endorsement form and agree that the secondary driver will no longer be using your car. Both the insurance owner and the secondary driver must agree that the insurance company will not cater to any property and automobile damages and even injuries caused by the excluded secondary driver.
If an excluded driver continues driving the car even after being delisted from the secondary driver:
- The insurance company will not cater to any claims in the event of an accident
- The excluded driver can be charged with driving without insurance if caught driving the car
- The authorities and the insurance company will hold both the policy owner and the excluded driver for injuries or damage caused by the excluded driver
Be wary of fronting
Fronting is an instance where drivers try to save on the cost of their insurance by being listed as the secondary but in the real sense, they are the primary driver. This is a fraud case commonly undertaken by young drivers or those with poor driving records in a bid to pay lower insurance rates. It is a violation of insurance rules and can lead to a fraud charge or prosecution for driving without valid insurance. The main driver listed on the insurance policy should be the person who drives the car the most. In the instance where the roles switch, for instance when a parent gives the son the insured vehicle, the insurance company must be informed.