In Ontario when a teenager turns 16 years old, by law they can get their driver’s license. This milestone is viewed as a true marker of freedom and independence. However, driving is a privilege and not a right, and teens need to be especially careful when they get behind the wheel. According to MADD Canada, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 25-year olds. Teens that drive, pose a greater risk to themselves and others due to their inexperience.
These risks and statistics are the reason why car insurance coverage is incredibly important for teens. In Ontario the insurance rules are different than other provinces. If a teen doesn’t own their own car, then most teens are added to an existing insurance policy (usually their parent’s policy). Choosing the right insurance coverage will protect your teen as well as your vehicle.
There are a few things you need to know before adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy:
Teenagers are added as an “occasional driver” to your car insurance
Teens that are added to your policy are known as “occasional drivers” or “secondary drivers.” An occasional driver is someone who drives the vehicle regularly, but less than the primary driver (less than 50% of the time). This only applies to teens with G2 and G licenses and doesn’t apply to teens who only have a G1 license. It’s important to add a teen to your policy to ensure peace of mind and protect your teen with coverage. In fact, Ontario rules state that all members of a household with a valid driver’s license should be added to your policy as a driver. By adding your teen as an occasional driver, they will have the exact same policy coverage as the primary driver.
Your car insurance rates will increase
If a teen gets their own insurance policy this cost can be significant compared to adding them to your existing policy, since higher risk means higher rate. If they are under the age of 25 and never completed a driver’s education course your teen could end up paying thousands of dollars per year for car insurance. However, by adding them to your existing policy they can drive any vehicle listed under that policy and save money.
Car insurance rates will increase modestly when you add a teen to your insurance policy as an occasional driver. This increase is based on how young the teen is, if they are inexperienced, and lastly if they already have any accidents or convictions. These factors will determine whether the driver is considered low-risk or high-risk. Remember, if your teen is on your policy, their driving record affects your policy going forward. For example, if they get into an accident, you could be sued being the owner of the vehicle and your rates could go up.
Shop around for the right car insurance policy
Some insurance providers offer discounts depending on certain factors. If your teen enrolls in an accredited driving training program this can help to reduce your insurance rates. Also, if your teen also has good grades, can maintain them, and has proof of transcripts, then some insurance companies will take this into consideration when determining how much your policy rates will increase by. Shopping around for the right auto insurance policy is key. Ensure you compare insurance quotes from several companies to find the best deal and most extensive coverage. One company may charge you considerably more than another company for the same coverage because they base their level of risk on different factors or may not provide the same discounts.
Find the right car insurance policy for you
Making the right decision about which car insurance policy is the best option for your needs can be difficult. Keep in mind that Ontario’s insurance rules are different than other provinces. It’s important to add your teen as a “occasional driver” to your policy, so that they are protected. Also, expect your car insurance rates to increase after adding your teen to your policy. Lastly, ensure you shop around for the right car insurance policy to get the best deal and right coverage for your situation.
Our team can help find you the right car insurance policy or add your teen to your existing policy. Get in touch and we’ll help you explore the best car insurance solution for your needs.