Blog Occasional Driver Insurance In Ontario

Mar 1, 2021

Learn About Insurance For Occasional Or Secondary Drivers

Young woman driving a car

It’s important to understand insurance for secondary or occasional drivers if you allow others to drive your vehicle.

All legal auto policies in Ontario need to have at least one driver listed, and many have multiple drivers listed. There are also many situations where it’s unclear whether or not an occasional or secondary driver needs to be added. Keep reading to learn about additional costs for occasional drivers.

What Is A Primary Driver?

A primary driver is the main user of a vehicle. They are the person who, in most cases, leases or purchases a vehicle and takes out a policy. Primary drivers use the vehicle the majority of the time. Every insured vehicle is assigned a primary driver.

What Is An Occasional Driver For Insurance?

An occasional driver for insurance, also often referred to as a secondary driver, is a person who regularly drives the vehicle but doesn’t use it the most. They drive the vehicle less than 50% of the time.

For example, an occasional driver is most commonly a spouse who uses the vehicle to run errands or visit family on the weekend. They use the vehicle a couple of times per week, while the primary driver uses the vehicle to commute to work daily.

Who Should Be Listed As The Occasional Driver For Insurance?

Anyone who uses your car regularly, such as once a week, should be listed as an occasional driver on your insurance .

This includes :

  • A teen with a G2 or G license
  • An adult child living at home
  • Parents living with adult child
  • All licensed drivers residing in your household
  • Roommates, neighbors or friends
  • Family members
  • Nanny

Do All People Who Use Your Car Need To Be Listed As An Occasional Driver?

You only need to add drivers to your insurance who regularly use your vehicle. This means you don’t need to add a person if they borrow your vehicle one time only or if you lend your vehicle to visitors from out of town staying at your home.

So it’s perfectly okay to lend your vehicle to a trusted friend, neighbour, or family member on occasion. But remember, you are also lending your insurance to this individual.

What Is The Difference Between A Primary And Secondary Driver For Insurance?

Primary and secondary driver refers more to the driver's status on the insurance. Both primary and secondary drivers are subject to the same coverage outlined in the policy.

The one area where defining driver designations is the amount of the premium. Primary drivers are scrutinized by insurers more heavily when determining costs.

What Is The Definition Of An Occasional Driver For Insurance?

In Ontario, anyone in your home with a valid license will be added to your insurance as an occasional driver. Even if they have their own vehicle and are the primary driver on their insurance, this is the case.

How Does Insurance For An Occasional Driver Work?

Things you should know about occasional drivers and insurance :

  • Any person who uses your vehicle regularly should be added as a secondary driver.
  • Add all licensed drivers who reside in your home.
  • Make sure roles are properly assigned – the secondary driver cannot actually be the primary driver.

Can You Remove Someone Who Is Considered An Occasional Driver From Your Insurance?

You can have an occasional driver removed from your insurance. You will need to fill out the OPCF 28A endorsement form. The driver must sign the form, agreeing not to be insured or drive your vehicle.

Even occasional drivers need lower rates

Our brokers go the distance for finding you the best coverage at a competitive rate. Compare multiple quotes and save.

black vehicle parked outside house

What’s The Cost of Adding An Occasional Driver To Your Insurance?

Adding an occasional driver to your car insurance quotes will result in increased costs. The actual amount will depend on the type of driver you add.

Adding an experienced good driver will not likely increase your premiums much. However, adding a teen, a new driver, or someone with a poor driving record could increase your costs considerably.

Some factors that affect costs include :

  • Age and experience
  • Driving history
  • Tickets and fines
  • Years with insurance

How To Save On Occasional Driver Insurance

Adding a secondary driver to your insurance will have an impact. Costs can vary as much as they do for primary drivers.

Here are some tips :

  • Choose wisely : Be conscious of who you are adding to your insurance. Adding a teenager, or a bad driver could spike your costs.
  • Consult an advisor : A good advisor can help you choose the right coverage to ensure any occasional drivers are insured properly.
  • Shop : Even when adding an occasional driver, it’s important to shop around and compare your options.

What Happens If Someone Gets Into An Accident With Your Car And They Are Not Listed As The Secondary Driver?

If you give someone permission to drive your car and they are not listed as a secondary driver, you will be covered in most cases. Your insurance protects if they are involved in an accident as long as they have a valid license and do not engage in illegal activity while driving.

It may affect you driving record and you can expect your costs to increase as a result of an at-fault accident.

Occasional Driver FAQs

Yes. It’s advisable to add all occasional drivers to your insurance.

Yes. You can permit any licensed driver to use your vehicle. If they use your vehicle regularly, you may need to add them as an occasional driver.

It depends on the situation. Generally, adding a secondary driver will slightly increase your costs, and it will be less than having two policies. Speak with your advisor about your options.

Yes if you don't live in the same home and it's not often. But it is advisable to get added onto their insurance if you drive their vehicle regularly.

Yes, as long as you give them permission to drive the car. Ontario auto insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.

No. You do not have to list a teen driver on a parent’s insurance until they have a G2 driver’s license.