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It is not uncommon for an individual to own and insure a vehicle but also wants to have someone else as a secondary driver. Fortunately, it is possible to get proper insurance for the secondary driver.

What Is The Difference Between An Occasional And Secondary Driver?


It is easy to get confused between what an Insurance provider considers as an occasional and a secondary driver. But, the classification can make a difference in your insurance premiums.

Occasional Drivers:

This is applicable to those who may only drive the car once or twice a week at the most. The occasional driver may be someone that is using the car to run errands for you. Or it could be one of the kids that need to use the car to get to practices or for some other reason. But no more than twice a week. Although each insurance company will have its own rules as to what is the maximum time of usage for an occasional driver.

Choosing The Occasional Driver Wisely

If you are going to designate someone as an occasional driver of your vehicle then choose wisely. The cost for the premiums for this will be based on that driver’s driving record. If they have a good record the premiums will be much lower. However, if they don’t then it is going to increase the cost of the insurance.

Secondary Drivers:

Quite often a couple will share one vehicle. One of them will use the car more than the other. This individual is classed as the primary driver. The other will be the secondary driver. It does not necessarily have to be a spouse. A secondary driver will be one who may use the vehicle on a regular basis.

Your insurance provider will want to know if there is going to be a secondary driver and if so, who that individual is. Again the insurance premiums for this segment of coverage will be based on the driving record of that individual. So, again if you want to keep insurance costs down then you need to be sure your secondary driver has a good driving record.

Does Adding A Second Driver Increase Insurance?


In most cases, the insurance provider will increase the premiums when a second driver is added to the insurance. The main reason for this is because the insurance company considers itself to be at a higher risk with two drivers using the vehicle instead of one. It means the car is on the road more often, therefore, is at greater risk for accidents or perhaps theft. However, if the secondary driver has a good driving record the increase in premiums shouldn’t be too much. Also, it is important to add either a secondary or occasional driver to your insurance in the case of a claim when either of them is driving.

How Is The Cost For A Secondary Driver Calculated?

The same metrics will be used to determine the risks posed by the secondary driver as those used for the primary. Although the difference will be is the secondary driver is not using the car as much as the primary. What is going to be important is:

  • How old the secondary driver is and what experience they have
  • Their history of being insured
  • Their driving history

Who Has To Be Added To The Insurance Policy?

Again it will depend on the insurance company as to what questions they ask on their insurance application. Many will ask if there are any other persons in the household licensed to drive. This question must be answered truthfully. How the insurance company applies this information to the premium will depend on each company. There are a lot of rules and regulations that apply to insurance coverage. In order to protect your coverage, it is important that you answer every question on your vehicle insurance application truthfully. If you don’t it could affect any claim that was made by you or your secondary driver if they were the one involved in the accident. You can never assume anything when it comes to your vehicle insurance.

Ontario has specific rules as to who must be added to your insurance policy. Although the insurance company may ask you to list all drivers in your household it doesn’t mean that they will be using your vehicle. If this is the case then you may want to fill out an excluded driver form with your insurance company. But, if you do it means that this excluded individual will not be allowed to drive the vehicle for any reason. If they did and got into a situation that created a claim, it would be void.

One-Off Driving Situations

It doesn’t mean that everyone that may drive your vehicle has to be added to your policy. There are times when someone may want to borrow your vehicle for a one-time occurrence. In this case, you would not need to add them to your policy. If they were to get into a situation that implemented a claim they should be covered under your insurance. The insurance follows the car.

How Do I Add A Second Driver To My Car Insurance?

broker showing calculation

Every insurance company has its own in-house rules that they apply. If you are considering a secondary driver then you need to contact your insurance company and ask them what their policy rules are regarding this. They may ask you some questions to determine how often this driver will be using the vehicle. This will help them to determine if the individual will be classed as a secondary or occasional driver.

Once it is determined that the individual needs to be added to your insurance you will need to provide the insurance company with the pertinent information. They will want to check the driving record of this individual before they determine what the cost is going to be.

Take the time to shop around for your vehicle insurance including asking for a quote related to the secondary driver if this is applicable.

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