Driving is a big responsibility and it’s important to be prepared just in case something happens when you or a loved one are behind the wheel.
Car insurance provides the peace of mind that you and your vehicle will be protected if a collision were to occur.
In Ontario, it is mandatory for all drivers who own a car to have a car insurance policy if it’s going to be driven. This type of insurance covers the car and the driver if there is a collision.
When it comes to who else can drive your vehicle under your insurance policy, the short answer is anyone with a valid license. Although, there are considerations to keep in mind, and depending on how often they drive your car they will be required to be listed on your policy appropriately.
Primary drivers and secondary drivers
Primary drivers– The person who drives your car the most (usually you) will be listed as the primary driver on the insurance policy.
Secondary or occasional drivers –those that drive the vehicle less frequently than a primary driver will need to be listed as an occasional driver. For instance, your teenager who just got their G2 license or full G-class license should be listed on your policy as a secondary driver if they drive your car once or twice a week and live in the same home.
However, a few situations where this does not apply is if, on a rare occasion, you let your friend borrow your car when they’re moving homes or allowing a relative to use your car while they’re visiting you from out of town. These scenarios and similar ones do not count the person as a secondary driver. As a rule of thumb, anyone in the home should be listed as an occasional driver.
Why it’s important to add drivers to your policy appropriately
Adding a secondary driver to your policy is important because it ensures the vehicle and driver are financially protected just in case of an accident. In Ontario, any driver with a valid license must be added to the policy if they reside in the same home (regardless of if they’re related). Although, keep in mind that drivers who only have a G1 license, do not need to be listed on any policy.
If you want to exclude one of the individuals you live with on the policy, even if they have a license, then you will need to advise your insurance provider and submit an endorsement form 28A (excluded driver endorsement). For example, you may want to exclude a child who lives with you and still has a valid license and has a bad record. However, if he/she drives there is no coverage.
The consequences of not adding a driver who uses your car to your policy are that if a collision occurs, your insurance provider can deny the claim. You may pay an additional premium to cover the secondary driver, but the cost of car insurance premiums will be far less than medical bills or the potential cost of repairing damages to your car.
How do other drivers impact your premiums?
While you are technically able to let another driver use your car, there can be negative effects to your premiums if a collision does occur. Your insurance provider will increase your rates as a result of being considered a higher risk. This is because the insurance follows the car, not the person and although, you may not have been involved in the collision, your car was. Additionally, you could be sued since you are the owner of the car.
The lesson here is to only lend your car to people you trust, even if it’s only one time. In order to be covered, ensure they have a clean driving record, a valid license, and are using the car for the purpose set out in your insurance policy.
Beyond collisions, if other drivers listed on your insurance get speeding tickets or engage in other high-risk behaviour while driving your vehicle, then it can cause your car insurance premiums to increase as well.
If a collision occurs and your premiums increase, when your car insurance is up for renewal, consider shopping around for a new insurance policy with potentially lower rates.
Find the right insurance broker
Almost everybody who owns a vehicle or is planning to can benefit from working with an insurance broker. They are experts that can help you find the best coverage for your car insurance needs.
Choose a reliable and professional insurance broker that will work in your best interests.
Our team is highly knowledgeable and experienced to find insurance options that will fit your lifestyle seamlessly. Get in touch and we’ll help you explore the best car insurance solutions for your needs.