Primary Driver vs Occasional Driver Insurance

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Insurance is known for being a complicated industry that costs average drivers a lot of money. One complicated and frequently underutilized aspect of insurance is the difference between primary and occasional driver insurance.

These two different kinds of insurance are designed to give coverage to people who drive particular vehicles at different amounts. Drivers can save with this form of coverage if they fall under one of these categories: students, classic car collectors, and people who own multiple vehicles.


What Is Primary Driver Insurance

Primary driver insurance covers either the sole driver of a vehicle or the person who drives it the most. Primary driver insurance generally costs more than occasional driver insurance as more use of a vehicle comes with a corresponding higher risk of a crash. However, primary driver insurance offers a higher level of coverage than occasional driver insurance with primary driver insurance being required for people who drive their vehicle nearly every day.


What Is Occasional Driver Insurance

Occasional driver insurance is for a vehicle that is not driven very often or for policies where there is another person who drives the vehicle regularly. Occasional driver insurance is designed to provide coverage during times when the vehicle is used by that particular driver.

Occasional driver insurance costs less than primary driver insurance. However, this form of insurance is only available in certain circumstances such as collectable cars or shared vehicles.


Are Primary Driver And Occasional Driver Different Policies?

Primary and occasional driver insurance are not different policies. Instead, a person is named as either the primary or occasional driver on a policy. The most common example of this is in the case of a family vehicle where one person likely drives the vehicle every day for things like commuting while another person uses the vehicle less frequently for short trips around town. The commuter would be the primary driver in this case.

Whereas occasional driver insurance allows two or more drivers use a vehicle without having to take out multiple policies on the same vehicle. An example where an insurer would specifically issue an occasional driver policy without a named primary driver is in the case of something like a collectable car that is not used on a daily basis.


What Vehicle Can An Occasional Driver Use

Occasional driver insurance can get complicated in the case of families that have multiple vehicles. Generally, a family will insure someone such as a teenager or college student on the cheapest car as that is the one they are most likely to insure.

Generally, a teenage driver will be insured on one vehicle with them having the ability to drive the rest of the cars insured by the family. However, they will only have liability protection if they are involved in a car crash while driving a vehicle they are not principally insured on.

When taking out occasional driver insurance, you should speak with your broker about a number of specific things such as:

  • What Car Are They Allowed To Drive
  • What Level Of Coverage They Receive While Driving Each Vehicle
  • How Often They Can Drive

Occasional Driver Rules & Laws in Ontario

The rules concerning primary and occasional driver insurance varies from Province to Province.

Ontario has some of the loosest rules concerning occasional drivers. Any person, who can drive legally, can drive the primary driver’s vehicle if they live at home with them. This feature makes up for Ontario having some of the highest insurance rates in the country.


Adjust Your Insurance For Occasional Drivers

Occasional drivers insurance frequently involves inexperienced drivers or even low mileage drivers. This can increase the risk of a crash, and so you should do a few things when adding an occasional driver to your insurance.

  • Increase Liability – Liability coverage pays for damages done to the other party with it covering your legal bills. Increasing your liability coverage allows you to avoid paying large bills that may not be covered by your standard liability limits.
  • Use The Cheapest Vehicle – Some provinces allow you to have the occasional drive on the cheapest vehicle. This is a simple way to get cheaper insurance while avoiding having an inexperienced driver crash your family’s most expensive car.
  • Avoid Claims – Filing an insurance claim can result in major increases to your premiums. Therefore it may be a good idea to have the inexperienced driver not drive at night or limit how many miles they drive.

Shop & Save On Insurance With My Choice

Here, at My Choice, we make it easy for you to compare insurance rates. We allow you to get a personalized insurance quote that includes primary and occasional driver insurance. Visitors to our site can get a personalized quote within minutes.