Your entire family can indeed be added to one single auto insurance plan. It’s also a popular hack to get a discount on your insurance premium by adding an experienced driver to your policy. However, the way your policy treats the primary driver and the secondary driver is not the same. The rules are different for a secondary driver. So if you want to know everything about secondary driver insurance in Edmonton, this guide is for you.
Also, before we move ahead, click here if you want to check out Edmonton auto insurance quotes from the best insurance providers in the market.
Primary Driver vs. Secondary Driver: What Is the Difference?
A primary driver is a person who drives the car most frequently. It is important to note that primary drivers do not always have to be the owner itself. For example, it might happen that the primary driver of a car, which is owned by a middle-aged couple, is their child.
The insurance rates are decided based on the primary driver’s driving history and other credentials.
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On the other hand, a secondary driver is someone who drives the car pretty frequently but not as much as a primary driver. According to insurance laws, anyone who drives your car frequently needs to be added to your insurance policy. This means that most of your family members except the primary driver will be regarded as secondary drivers.
It is important to note that secondary drivers are not added free of cost. Your insurance provider will evaluate the secondary driver’s driving history and experience before quoting an additional premium.
What Happens If You Do Not Add Secondary Drivers to Your Insurance Plan?
Since secondary driver insurance comes at an additional premium, you might plan not to mention them in your policy. While this can serve short-term benefits, it can lead to a substantial financial loss in the long run.
For example, when your car gets into an accident, the insurance provider would run a thorough investigation. During that investigation, it will be revealed that you have drivers driving the insured vehicle who are not added to the policies. In that case, your insurance provider has all the right to deny your claim.
By listing all the secondary drivers, you inform the insurance provider about the potential risk they are undertaking. If you hide facts and provide them with a false picture of their potential risk, you would be violating insurance rules, and your policy might be discontinued.
Hence if you do not want to land in financial troubles, make sure you add all the secondary drivers to your auto insurance.
Who Exactly Needs To Be Added As Secondary Drivers?
There might be numerous people who drive your car occasionally. It can be a relative visiting you on a holiday or a friend who needs to borrow your car for an urgent errand. You do not need to add these occasional drivers to your insurance policy. Here is a list of people who are not required to be added to the plan:
- Relatives who are visiting you on a special occasion
- Neighbors or friends borrowing your car for a one-time trip
- Any family member who is running a one-time trip on your behalf in case you are sick, or there is an emergency
However, you have to add each of those drivers who use your car quite a few times in a week. This includes your spouse driving the car regularly or siblings using your car to drop their children and pick them up from school. Basically, any driver who uses your car three or more times a week (depending on the insurance provider) must be added as a secondary driver.
What Does It Cost To Add Secondary Drivers To Your Insurance Plan?
Adding a secondary driver leads to a considerable increase in your premiums. The exact cost of adding a second driver to your existing plan depends on quite a few factors. These factors include:
Older drivers are expected to be more experienced. This reduces the risk of irresponsible driving habits that can lead to accidents. Hence the cost of adding these drivers is comparatively less than adding younger people. In general, people belonging to the age group 18 to 25 pay the highest premiums.
If the secondary driver has a clean driving record, they will qualify for a cheaper premium. A clean driving record indicates that the driver drives responsibly. This reduces the probability of the secondary driver getting into an accident and hence qualifies them for lower premiums.
Being older is not enough. Insurance providers give higher weightage to the driving experience an individual has. Drivers who have higher experience are seen as low-risk parties and considered to be safe drivers. Hence they qualify for cheaper premiums. On the other hand, new drivers are considered high-risk parties who are prone to accidents. Hence they are required to pay higher premiums.
Who Are Occasional Drivers?
People often get confused between secondary drivers and occasional drivers. Occasional drivers are people who drive your car once in a while. This could be a roommate, a friend, or even your son who uses your car only on the weekends or once a week. The driver does not need to be related to you to be an occasional driver.
There are insurance options available for occasional drivers as well, and the premiums are decided on the driving experience and record of the individual drivers.
However, not everyone driving your car will require separate insurance. According to the insurance laws in Edmonton, the insurance follows your car. This means that if an occasional driver is using your car drive, they will be automatically protected by your insurance policy provided:
- They have a valid driving license
- They had your permission
- They weren’t participating in anything illegal
- They were not breaching any conditions of your insurance.
Initially, it might be challenging to understand who qualifies as a secondary driver and who qualifies as an occasional driver. The simple trick to crack this is to see who uses your car the most after you. In case you are confused, it is always better to consult your insurance provider. After all, if you do not get your doubts cleared, you might unintentionally commit insurance fraud.