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How Marital Status Affects Auto Insurance Rates

When you are considered the primary driver of a vehicle, the insurance premium you pay is based on the primary driver’s driving history and other factors used to determine the car insurance premium. The car insurance policy is in place to protect the primary driver in the event of an accident providing medical bill coverage and damage to the car coverage. Your spouse can be added as a secondary driver if they drive the vehicle on a regular basis. 

What Is A Primary Driver?

Definition of a primary driver is the driver that uses the vehicle the most. However, secondary and occasional drivers can be added to the policy, including the spouse of the primary driver.

What Is A Secondary Driver?

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A secondary driver is a driver that drives a vehicle on a regular basis but not as much as the primary driver does. A secondary driver must be added to the primary driver’s insurance policy. In the case of a married couple, they are listed as a primary driver on the vehicle car insurance they drive the most and then listed as a secondary driver on the vehicle car insurance they use frequently but not more than the primary driver. A secondary driver can also be a parent, teenager, friend, or neighbour, anyone who drives the vehicle on a regular basis should be listed on the primary driver’s car insurance policy. 

What Is An Occasional Driver?

An occasional driver according to the car insurance industry is someone that uses a primary driver’s vehicle, once or twice a week. This could be a spouse, nanny, roommate or licenced young driver. Driving records of occasional drivers are used to base occasional driver car insurance. 

Does It Cost More To Add a Spouse To Car Insurance?

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Depending on your spouse’s driving record, it may cost more to add them to your policy. 

Why Do I Have To Add My Spouse To My Car Insurance?

If your spouse uses the primary driver’s vehicle on a regular basis, they need to be listed on the primary driver’s insurance policy as a secondary driver. 

Can My Wife Drive My Car If She’s Not On My Insurance?

In order to receive car insurance protection for your wife, she should be added to your car insurance policy to prevent problems from arising down the road. 

Can a Husband And Wife Have Separate Car Insurance Policies?

Yes, a husband and wife can have separate car insurance policies however, if both persons drive both vehicles frequently they should be listed as secondary drivers under both insurance policies. 

What Happens If A Spouse Neglects To Add Their Spouse As A Secondary Driver?

According to the Canadian Insurance Industry, you are required to advise your insurance provider if there is someone else using your vehicle on a regular basis. Failing to do so may result in claim denials should something happen when a secondary driver is driving the vehicle but is not listed on the car insurance policy. Insurers need all pertinent information so they can make a fair risk evaluation. When other regular drivers are driving the vehicle and are not listed, even if it’s a spouse, the insurer is not given a true picture of the total risk involved. 

Who Should Be Added To A Car Insurance Policy?

Any driver that uses someone’s vehicle on a regular basis should be added to a car insurance policy. This can be a nanny, a spouse, a sibling, licenced teens, a relative. Insurance providers must be informed if a young driver will be driving the vehicle even if it’s occasionally as this directly affects the risk factor to the insurance company. Even a roommate that uses your vehicle to make regular shopping trips should be added to your policy. 

Who Does Not Need To Be Added To A Car Insurance Policy?

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Persons that do not use your vehicle on a regular basis and need to borrow your vehicle for a brief time such as:

  • Someone running a one-time grocery or another type of errand while you are sick
  • Family or friends visiting from out of town that wants to do some sightseeing
  • A neighbour who needs to borrow your vehicle while theirs is in for repairs

Can It Be Costly To Add Someone To Your Car Insurance Policy?

Typically adding someone to your car insurance policy shouldn’t add a significant amount to the cost of your premium. However, there are some instances where it can be quite costly to add a driver to your car insurance premium for example:

  • A young driver
  • An inexperienced driver
  • A high-risk driver, such as someone that has incurred many speeding tickets

Depending on the risk of the driver, the cost can range from a few dollars a month more for low-risk drivers or hundreds of dollars more a month for high-risk drivers. 

What Happens If An Occasional Driver Gets Into An Accident Without Occasional Driver Insurance?

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Only regular drivers of your vehicle or someone who uses your vehicle on a regular basis even if it’s only once or twice a week should be listed on your car insurance policy. But not everyone, who drives your car, necessarily needs car insurance. If someone were to borrow your truck for a one time use to move furniture or something, they do not need to be listed on your car insurance policy to drive your truck. As long as the driver has a valid driver’s licence and your permission to use your vehicle they are good to go. Most insurers will provide accident coverage if the person using your truck happens to get into an accident providing they do have a valid driver’s licence, your permission to use the vehicle, and use the vehicle in accordance with the rules and regulations of your car insurance policy. For example, someone cannot use your vehicle to conduct their Uber business, it can only be for personal use. This is provided the person does not participate in any illegal activities such as impaired driving when the accident occurs. However, if someone not listed on your insurance policy is involved in an accident and the insurance company pays for property damage and bodily injury expenses, you can expect to see an increase in your insurance premium.

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